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Ulrich Schnauss sues Guns n' Roses


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It's all very amusing. Axl Rose just got tiny snippets of Ulrich tracks, put a load of reverb on them, and used them as an intro for one of his own tracks.


None of us noticed at the time, but there's a very good chance that "Riad N' the Bedouins", a track from Guns N' Roses' attempted comeback album Chinese Democracy, samples unlicensed chunks of a couple of tracks by the German electronic shoegaze auteur Ulrich Schnauss. Yes, Ulrich Schnauss. Whoa.

As Reuters reports, two indie labels-- Independiente and the American arm of Domino-- are suing GNR and their label, Interscope-Geffen A&M, for $1 million in damages (via Spin). The lawsuit claims that pieces of the Schnauss tracks "Wherever You Are" and "A Strangely Isolated Place" both turn up on "Riad N' the Bedouins".

If you listen to all three songs, it's a pretty tough claim to dispute. Before its guitar riff roars in, "Riad N' the Bedouins" has a drawn-out ambient intro that uses wobbly, faraway synth sounds that seem to come directly from both songs.

To hear it for yourself, check here to listen to "Riad" and here and here for the two Schnauss originals.

According to Reuters, the suit names Axl Rose along with a few current and former GNR members: kabuki freakshow virtuoso guitarist Brian "Buckethead" Carroll, former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, and Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck.

If it turns out that Guns N' Roses really did unlawfully sample Ulrich Schnauss, it raises a whole bunch of questions: Did Axl really think nobody would notice if he just straight-up swiped pieces of Schauss songs? Did he not trust himself to write his own ambient synthgaze intro? After spending tons of money and way too many years recording Chinese Democracy, couldn't he have bothered to clear his samples? And does Axl just sit around his mansion jamming Ulrich Schnauss all day? Because it would be pretty cool if he did.

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I'm always asking this, I know, but is 'All The Right Places' or whatever it's called basically Ulrich Schnaus' best tune? I love that, but I'm yet to find one by him that I thought was like it

'In All the Wrong Places'? I love all of 'A Strangely Isolated Place', but that one is one of the ones that didn't really register with me. I love 'On My Own' and 'Monday - Paracetamol' the most I think.

I too hope Ulrich gets really rich off of this, its a very blatant lift.

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Update on Pitchfork: http://pitchfork.com/news/36728-guns-n-ros...lrich-schnauss/

Azoff added, "The band believed when the record came out and still believes that there are no unauthorized samples on the track. The snippets of 'ambient noise' in question were provided by a member of the album's production team who has assured us that these few seconds of sound were obtained legitimately. Artists these days can't read the minds of those they collaborate with and therefore are unfortunately vulnerable to claims like this one. While the band resents the implication that they would ever use another artist's work improperly and are assessing possible counterclaims, they are confident this situation will be satisfactorily resolved."

No ripping off occurred but if it did then it wasn't Axl anyway. The way they've laid the groundwork for excuses makes me believe that Ulrich must have a strong case. I think Axl was seriously pissing off that 'member of the production team' and this is his glorious revenge. Its also funny that this was Axl's 10 year opus- thingy and yet he doesn't know where some of the noises on it came from.

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The Pet Shop boys are decades old, have had numerous hits and sold millions of albums. They're hardly the same as a German electronic producer with absolutely no mainstream success to speak of.

Well I know that, I was just saying he probably likes all kinds of music.

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