Powerman5000 Takes To Facebook To Complain About Similar Sounding Final Fantasy Song, Fans Rebut Them

from the your-fans-would-know dept

I imagine, as a musician, it must be common to come across other music that sounds somewhat similar to one's own. I would think that not all genres of music are created equal in this respect. Jazz, for instance, while sharing common elements across the genre, seems to have enough instruments and space within the music for unique expression that perhaps similarities occur less often or are less severe than, say, industrial rock, which seems to have some more rigid common core elements. How much similarity is there in songs from Ramstein and Nine Inch Nails, for instance, or in songs from Nine Inch Nails and Powerman5000? Or in songs from Powerman5000 and Final Fantasy XIV...wait, what?

Fans of Powerman5000, a band that reached its popularity pinnacle years back with its hit song When Worlds Collide, may already be aware that the band took to its Facebook page to complain about a new boss battle song in Final Fantasy XIV.

Really? Got to say that the level of unimaginative theft that was used in creating this music for #finalfantasyXIV is...

Posted by Powerman5000 on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The song that now appears in the game came via an update from Square Enix recently. That song, which you can see in the video above, is supposedly a "straight up rip off" of When Worlds Collide. See below if you're not familiar with the song.




Are they similar? Hell yes. But it seems to me that they're similar in the same way that When World's Collide is similar to any number of Nine Inch Nails songs. It's industrial rock of the same sort. In fact, I have a feeling that if the Final Fantasy song didn't include the throaty intro before the bridge, this probably never would have triggered a response. But what it most certainly is not is any kind of blatant note for note ripoff. It's not even really that close.

And, while I'm not a fan of the genre, the fans of Powerman5000 certainly are, and it seems a great many of them are trying to figure out what the hell the band is complaining about. Some snippets of comments left on their Facebook post:

"Sorry, but no. If you guys think that song is "a straight up ripoff" of your old 1999 song, then you've seriously got a slight case of some major brain damage from playing your own shitty music too loud. They sounds completely different."

"Soken (the composer) loves metal. And if anything PM5K, you should be happy that he took inspiration from your song. It's not a ripoff, but there's influence there, and as a result of this influence, your music has now reached an MMO playerbase."

This post is basically saying every industrial metal song is the same ever. I bet I can find at least 3 Static-X and Rammstein songs that sound like When Worlds Collide. I don't need to point out that Worlds Collide also sounds like something Nine Inch Nails would have performed years prior."
And that really is only a sampling; it goes on and on from there. And these are, again, people following Powerman5000's page. They are fans of the band and fans of the genre and in a perfect position to comment on the similarities of the songs, which most seem to indicate are, "meh, maybe the composer listened to you guys once or something, but it's not a rip off."

Public shaming is a useful tool, much more so in many circumstances than going the legal route. And, to be clear, I have not seen anything to indicate that the band is preparing to go the legal route here. But the public shaming thing only works if the public, or at least your fans, agree with your premise.

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Filed Under: copies, exaggeration, fans, final fantasy, industrial music, music, powerman5000


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  1. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 17 Mar 2016 @ 1:05am

    Thank the FSM that we get to listen to these people bitch for another 150 yrs how this song stole that songs sound.

    Think about it, we are locking up 3 & 4 notes as the property of a singular artist who then get to collect rent from anyone else who happens to put those few notes in the same order.

    How long before musicians have to hire a legal team to jiggle notes around to find arrangements that are noninfringing? See also: The reason names of new meds are so damn screwy

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