The Crystal Method have released a statement objecting to the use of their song “High Roller” as the soundtrack to drone footage that Russia’s state broadcaster released. The sleek footage, embedded below via The Telegraph, surfaced online Monday and claimed to depict Syrian forces moving into Jobar, a Damascus suburb controlled by people rebelling against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“It has come to our attention over the last 24 hours that the Kremlin via Russian state broadcaster VGTRK have used our song ‘High Roller’ as the soundtrack to some shocking drone footage from Syria,” the electronic-music duo, who released the tune in 1997 on their debut album Vegas, wrote in a statement. “The use of our music in this context is in no way authorized and the Crystal Method do not condone the use of violence for the resolution of any conflict. Our hearts go out to the people of Syria affected by this terrible war and their friends and families.”
The Crystal Method also offered an exclusive statement to Rolling Stone. “Upon being made aware of the video we immediately issued take down notices to YouTube (on Tuesday evening) via our publisher BMG Rights who issued the take down notice,” the duo says. “By Wednesday the video had appeared across numerous websites outside of YouTube, including the Daily Telegraph and CNN and it became impossible to control how it spread.
“At this point we, the Crystal Method, just want to make certain that people know that we in no way endorsed this usage of our music as the soundtrack to this appalling footage,” the group added. “Whether or not there is anything else we can do about it that is meaningful is quite honestly questionable, as, at this point, the footage along with our song has basically gone viral.”
The Telegraph contends that the Russian military and government may have created the video as propaganda to convince the country’s citizens that they should intervene in Syria. It reports that since Russia began airstrikes three weeks ago to accompany its Syrian ground attacks in support of al-Assad, alongside Iran and Hezbollah, the effort to take over Jobar has ramped up. The United Nations claims that some 120,000 Syrians have been displaced since Moscow began its airstrikes, according to The New York Times.