A Boston-based band is questioning whether Irish rock gods U2 ripped off one of their hooks.
Battle House’s “Wolves,” was released in 2012 and has a similar chorus to that of U2’s “Raised by Wolves,” which features on their recent album Songs Of Innocence, which was released for free on iTunes last week.
As first reported by Boston.com, Battle House band member Doug Harry wrote on Facebook:
“There’s an off chance that U2 ripped off my band on their newest single. So that’s kind of crazy. Decide for yourself. Listen to our song Wolves, and listen to their song Raised By Wolves. I have a hard time imagining a world where this is possible, but the hooks are nearly identical.”
Over the phone, Harry, who plays guitar, sings and arranges samples for the band, called the situation “funny and kind of fascinating.”
“The chorus is similar,” he said. “None of the rest of the song is, but in the chorus, it’s same words, same rhythm, he repeats it the same number of times, pretty close to the same melody.”
A graphic designer by day, Harry says his band has been around for about five years, during which time they made two EPs and an LP. Battle House tries to tour once a year and usually practice in Allston, he said.
He said he might not have heard of the U2’s new song if it hadn’t been for the band surprise free release on iTunes. Anyone with an iTunes got the album, a tactic the Somerville resident called “invasive.”
“So what now if you have your iTunes on shuffle you’re going to get some random U2 song?”
He added, “I don’t actively listen to U2. I like the song ‘Stories for Boys,’ but no, none of us actively listen to U2. I wouldn’t have listened to their new record if it hadn’t been for this.”
He said lawyers had contacted him about possibly taking U2 to court, but he has no plans to sue.
Asked point blank if he thinks U2 ripped off his band, Harry demurs.
“I wouldn’t say that. How would they have even heard of us?”