Final Fantasy Wakes Up With Some Awkward Bedmates

Are Brands Stealing Band Cred More Than Before?

By Published on .

According to Pitchfork, a Vienna-based public works company named Wiener Stadtwerke asked Final Fantasy's Owen Pallett if they could use one of his songs in an ad -- "This Is the Dream of Win & Regine." He said no, but the company went ahead and sorta used it anyway, with some different lyrics, a different band, and a slightly different arrangement. But really, the song was easily recognizable. Witness:

and now the original ...

Pallett, possessing neither the legal might of a big music act nor the stomach for serious litigation, was ready to let the matter slide. And then the Wiener approached him again and asked if he wanted to curate a festival with his European booking agent. Thus, next year's Maximum Black Festival was born, with Dirty Projectors, Frog Eyes and Six Organs of Admittance signed on for all three dates in London, Paris and Berlin.

Sounds great, right? This story of corporate plunder has a happy ending, and Wiener might have been smart to head off bad publicity at the pass, but in a week where Camel and Greyhound have been accused of stealing band prestige for their own profit, it seems a troubling sign of things to come.

More than ever before, indie bands are now willing to lend their music to brands, but artists are still just as scrupulous about who they're working with: Band of Horses pulled out of Wal-Mart, artists are angry about being associated with Camel, Dan Deacon thinks Greyhound is a poorly run company, and in this latest case, Pallett didn't want to license his song to Wiener because they are a private company that offers public utility services.

For many of the same reasons that bands avoid the Big Four labels, they also won't accept money from just any marketer that throws it at them. If a band doesn't want to work with you, maybe they know something you don't about your brand; listen to what they have to say.

[Via Pitchfork]
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