Coldplay Drummer Responds To “Viva la Vida” Plagiarism Claims - Rolling Stone
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Coldplay Drummer Responds To “Viva la Vida” Plagiarism Claims

With a pending lawsuit already filed by Joe Satriani and Yusuf (the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens) waiting anxiously on the sidelines to see how that court case fleshes out, it’s as if everyone’s laying claim to Coldplay’s infectious “Viva la Vida.” Satch thinks the song sounds litigiously similar to “If I Could Fly,” and Yusuf believes the band used his 1973 tune “Foreigner Suite” for inspiration.

In an interview with, Coldplay drummer Will Champion addresses the most recent plagiarism claim from Yusuf, humbly defending the band and what has become a massive radio hit. “It’s tough when people accuse you of stealing something when you know that you didn’t,” he says. “So, we accept that it’s part of the territory and know it is only for some reason, God only knows why, the successful songs that seem to be the ones that are accused of being stolen. So, you go figure it out.”

Champion feels the matter is very subjective, and agreed with the interviewer that similarities can found between so many different songs, especially if you’re listening for them. “There are elements of our music that I’ve heard in other people’s music but it’s kind of… I don’t know,” the drummer reflects. “There are only eight notes in an octave and no one owns them. And there are probably about 12,000 songs that feature the exact same chord progression. I think it lies on an intent to steal, which we certainly have never done and never would.”

Ultimately, Champion concludes, “We’re confident we haven’t done anything wrong.”

Do a lot of songs sound alike? They sure do. Here’s a list, as voted by the RS readers: The Twenty Craziest Soundalike Songs

Related Stories:

Coldplay Say Satriani Lacked Originality as “Viva la Vida” Fight Hits Court
Joe Satriani Sarcastically Roots for Coldplay at the Grammys
Cat Stevens Considers Lawsuit Over Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida”

In This Article: Coldplay


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