Released yesterday, the Eels’ new music video for ‘Are We Alright Again’ off their latest LP Earth to Dora, has been accused of plagiarising the ‘Sophie’ music video treatment from NZ band Goodshirt.
Goodshirt frontman Rodney Fisher told The Industry Observer, “We were absolutely shocked to see the video! As fans of The Eels ourselves this is particularly buzzy.”
Meanwhile, ‘Sophie’ video director Joe Lonie told The Industry Observer he found the Eels’ version “hammy” (a punny dig at the Eels’ video star Jon Hamm).
“I find this version corny, hammy and unsatisfying,” said Lonie. “I don’t believe for a second that Jon Hamm wouldn’t notice the burglars. They aren’t even making an effort to be quiet, and they are throwing shadows across his face throughout. Who wouldn’t notice that?”
Now, Eels member E (Mark Oliver Everett) has taken to social media in an effort to clear things up. Read his full post below:
“It’s been brought to our attention that our new video for the song ‘Are We Alright Again’ is eerily similar to one made by the New Zealand band Goodshirt. We were not familiar with the band or their video. It seems to be purely coincidental.
Love Classic Rock?
Get the latest Classic Rock news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
Director Greg Barnes explains the origin of his concept: “It wasn’t a burglary to begin with; I wanted the protagonist to wear headphones and to make some toast, and put a pot on the stove, play the track and completely forget the world around him – then – in the background the toast would set fire, the pot would bubble over and the entire kitchen would burn and break behind him. After talking with the production designers they told me that was way beyond our budget. Then, in an email conversation with my producer, I came up with the idea that it would be so much cheaper to turn it into a burglary – where items needn’t be destroyed but instead simply removed.”
My sincere apologies to Goodshirt for the similarities. It’s a crazy coincidence that we ended up with something so similar. The nice thing about this being called to our attention is now I know the band Goodshirt. They’re awesome. Check them out.
It’s been brought to our attention that our new video for the song “Are We Alright Again” is eerily similar to one made…
Some Eels fans are graciously accepting the statement – Brent Risby said, “Hands up if you’ve just added Goodshirts Sophie to your playlist?” – others, not so much.
One fan, Tom Paton, replied to the Eels’ statement on Facebook, saying:
“Yeah nah, your “original” concept doesn’t make sense at all. I mean what’s the FIRST THING anyone notices when burning toast? (I’ll tell you now that it’s not the sound of burning toast) it’s the smell, then followed by sight of the entire room filling up with smoke not to mention the feeling of intense heat that a kitchen fire would emit.
“The fact that you or your producer failed to recognise any of the glaring plot holes makes this seem like an excuse you’ve just made up,” he continued. “If there’s an ‘email conversation’ about this then I guess you have proof or vindication of your blatant plagiarism?”
We already have a favourite comment on the post, and it’s this one from Kevin Crisp: “Maybe get them as a support act when you tour next???”
Check out both clips below and make your own mind up. Is there plagiarism at play here, or was it just a coincidence?