Hives have a ticking time bomb in song suit

December 2008

Music Publishing

The Hives are being sued by Jason Shapiro, songwriter for the bands The Roofies, Three Way and Celebrity Skin, for allegedly stealing a riff and vocal melody for their song ‘Tick Tick Boom’. Shapiro has recorded the song both with The Roofies (in 1996) and Three Way (in 2002) and only discovered the supposed similarity when the Hives song was used on the trailer for recent movie, ‘Get Smart’. Shapiro says that after consulting a musicologist he was left in no doubt that his song had been the source material. Shapiro told LA Weekly: “I absolutely love The Hives and don’t feel great about suing a band I love. But I also feel credit is due where it is due if you borrow a riff. [The musicologist] said the part in question – the main riff and vocal melody – was very similar and its uniqueness led him to believe it wasn’t just a coincidence. He also runs it through a background test seeing if any charts from previous songs are close and we were clear on that front.

CMU Daily 31 October 2008

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