Guitarist Joe Satriani, who sued Coldplay for plagiarism in a Los Angeles court last week over allegations that their song "Viva la Vida" borrowed the melody from his song "If I Could Fly," said in a new interview that he was shocked the first time he heard Coldplay's tune. Meanwhile, in an interview taped before the suit was filed, Coldplay singer Chris Martin insisted the band did nothing wrong.
"I felt like a dagger went right through my heart. It hurt so much," Satriani reportedly told the Music Radar Web site. "The second I heard it, I knew it was [my own] 'If I Could Fly.' " But Satriani said he wasn't the only one who noticed the similarity, claiming that "almost immediately" after Coldplay's album came out last summer, his e-mail was flooded with people asking, " 'Have you heard this song by Coldplay? They ripped you off, man.' I mean, I couldn't tell you how many e-mails I received."
Satriani said, "Everybody noticed the similarities between the songs. It's pretty obvious. It's as simple as that — when you listen to a song and you say, 'Wow, that's a real rip-off.' "
One of the reasons Satriani told the site he was so upset was because he had spent more than a decade working on "If I Could Fly" before he demoed it in 2003 and recorded it as a tribute to his wife, Rubina.
"That's what really hurts about this whole thing," he said. "That I spent so long writing the song, thinking about it, loving it, nursing it, and then finally recording it and standing on stages the world over playing it — and then somebody comes along and plays the exact same song and calls it their own." Satriani called the intense media response to the action "the weirdest thing I've ever been involved in" and said he did everything he could to avoid filing suit, but claims that "Coldplay didn't want to talk about it. They just wanted the whole thing to go away. Maybe they figured this little guitar player guy will leave them alone after a while, I don't know ... But we're talking about a piece of art that I created, and that's something I feel is important. I think everybody should feel that way."
The fact is, Coldplay have talked about it ... kind of. During a recent "Nissan Live Set" on Yahoo.com — filmed before the suit was filed — singer Chris Martin refers to a "Moe Batriani" in defending the band's honor against charges that they borrowed someone else's melody. (The line occurs about 3:30 into the Q&A.)
"When we finished the song 'Viva la Vida,' our only hit single, we knew that was good," Martin joked, referring to an earlier question about the band's confidence in the songs on the Vida album. "And I will maintain that till my dying day, that it's not that bad. Although we are being sued by about 12 people who say that we stole it, though I promise we didn't. Including ... I probably shouldn't say [laughs]. I can't tell you, I can't tell you, but it rhymes with Moe Batriani."
A Coldplay spokesperson has not responded to MTV News' requests for comment on the lawsuit.