Flaw guitarist/bassist Tommy Gibbons has issued a statement which appears to be part apology and part damage control. It arrives in response to the revelation that the band’s latest album “ Vol. IV Because Of The Brave ” features five songs that essentially weren’t written by the band, with some of them being lifted at large (sans vocals) from several YouTubers .
Gibbons unintentionally revealed himself as the guilty party regarding the plagiarism this past August when he claimed to have written a song which was later revealed to have been stolen directly from a YouTuber .
To catch up, YouTuber Douglas Patrick called out the band this past September for stealing a song of his, “ KoЯn style_Nu Metal/Rap Metal/Beat Instrumental 14 “, and releasing it as a track of their own by the name of “ Wake Up ” on “ Vol. IV Because Of The Brave “. The band’s frontman Chris Volz then claimed to be unaware of the matter , stating that he was deeply upset about it and pinned the blame on a then undisclosed member of the band. He also revealed that he himself had since reached out personally to Patrick to compensate him for his work.
Soon after it was revealed that the band had allegedly lifted the work of Patrick on another track on the album, with Patrick ‘s 2017 instrumental song “ KoЯn style_Nu Metal/Rap Metal/Beat Instrumental 22 ” bearing a strong resemblance to Flaw ‘s 2019 offering “ Persistence “.
Following that, a listener using Shazam found that the Flaw had seemingly taken the ideas from two more tracks from a writing collective known as Sound For Production . The Flaw track “ On Your Feet ” is nearly a direct copy of “ Electro Metal Trailer ” by Sound For Production and Antoine Binant & Julien Ranouil .
Likewise, Flaw ‘s “ Sign Of The Times ” appears to have lifted elements directly from Sound For Production ‘s (feat. Antoine Binant & Julien Ranouil ) “ Intensity Metal Signal “.
In another twist, it was revealed that the band had also properly licensed the usage of another song prior to the album’s release. To that end they purchased the rights to “ Nu Metal Instrumental 2 ” by YouTuber ‘ Riff Master T ‘, reworking it into the “ Vol. IV Because Of The Brave ” track “ Conquer This Climb “. Comparisons of those various tracks can be found here .
That leads us up to yesterday, October 04th, when Gibbons issued the following statement:
“As many of you know, I am the current bass/guitar player for FLAW . I was tasked with writing the music for our most recent album, ‘ VOL IV: Because Of The Brave ‘. To clarify, this is the only record I’ve recorded with FLAW and I had no hand in previous recordings. I have been writing and recording music for over 15 years.
I, like many other musicians, look to YouTube for inspiration and creative ways to challenge myself and learn more. Over the years I have listened to and re recorded hundreds and hundreds of songs online. I also have hundreds and hundreds of songs recorded on my studio computer which have been compiled over the last 10 or so years, some of them mine and some of them taken from other inspiration.
I regretfully did not label and differentiate the music I wrote and recorded from a blank slate versus the inspiration I found and re-recorded as I was trying to further myself. As I was going through hours and hours of previously recorded material to present to Chris for the new album, clearly a specific style in my catalog stuck out to me.
These are things I re-recorded years ago and did not label where they actually came from. This is where I went terribly wrong. I took the tracks I re-recorded not knowing their true original source and presented them to Chris which in turn he worked tirelessly to write and record original lyrics and vocals to. He entrusted me with something that I thought I was going to truly impress him with and I let him down.
I take full and all responsibility for the accusations and bad press that has been flooding social media recently. None of the other band members had any knowledge or reason to believe these songs were written by anyone else, they are free and clear of any responsibility or wrongdoing. To all my friends and fans, I want you to know that this was a royal mistake on my part, and by no means did I intentionally try to steal or plagiarize any other musicians music.
I will do what I can to rectify this situation including any compensation for the original writers. We have made contact with him and are working on an agreement. Again, I am sorry to those I have let down including my bandmates who had no participation in writing the music for these recordings. I understand and respect whatever decision has to be made by the band because of this and I hope I will continue to see all of you along the way. I’m sorry and thank you.”
Seemingly poking a hole in Gibbons ‘ explanation is the fact that the band did legally license one of the tracks from a YouTuber prior. That the band would license one track yet Gibbons would be murky of the origins of other tracks seems questionable. Of course, this track and its licensing could have also been handled by another member of the band, which would put Gibbons in the clear in that specific matter.
Another potential point of contention in his explanation is that the nearly direct copies of some elements of the tracks suggest that Gibbons may not have entirely ‘re-recorded’ all parts of them.
Interestingly, Gibbons states that the band have reached out to a “him” regarding compensation for his works. Given Chris Volz ‘s statement, we know that him to be YouTuber Douglas Patrick . What is not mentioned are the tracks seemingly lifted from the Sound For Production collective.
There is no clear word on whether or not those two tracks were properly licensed/purchased for use on the album, as the group did with Riffmaster T , or were ‘unintentionally’ stolen, as with Douglas Patrick .
Update: October 05th, 2019 11:58 AM :
Flaw frontman Chris Volz has since commented on Gibbons ‘ statement: