Hayley Williams of Paramore unleashed the unholy fury of the Kermit-sipping-Lipton’s meme on Twitter last night, as noticed by the ATRL boards. The subject of her social media disdain was the boys of One Direction, whose new single “Steal My Girl” — which, full disclosure, we kind of love here at the SPIN offices — is built around a crashing piano hook, which she accused of being a rip-off of New Found Glory’s 2006 single “It’s Not Your Fault.”
Williams has a vested interest in the purported thievery, being the longtime girlfriend of NFG guitarist Chad Gilbert, who originally pointed out the similarity before backing off his comments somewhat in the interest of self-preservation.
— hayley from Paramore (@yelyahwilliams) September 29, 2014
After examining the evidence, as presented in Hayley’s tweet, she definitely has a point. The piano hooks running through the 1D song and leading off the NFG track are distinctly similar in pattern and melody, and after listening to them back to back, you can get the two twisted in your head pretty easily.
However, as clearly as “Steal My Girl” appears to echo “It’s Not Your Fault,” neither group (nor Hayley herself) should lose sight of the fact that both tracks are pretty obviously inspired by the same rather obvious and iconic source: the devastating piano hook to Journey’s 1985 smash “Faithfully,” a classic rock standard that any member of a touring rock band should be innately familiar with from their first gig. ’80s arena rock is hardly virgin territory for 1D either — the title track to last year’s Midnight Memories was a similarly obvious homage to Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”
We don’t doubt Williams’ good intentions here, but it’s a lesson well-heeded: people who date people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw copyright-infringement implications.