With the exception of a joking reference during a recent Nissan Live Set at Yahoo! about plagiarism claims from one “Moe Batriani,” [artist id=”1111141″]Coldplay[/artist] have remained mum about claims from guitarist [artist id=”15680″]Joe Satriani[/artist] that their song “Viva la Vida” bears a striking resemblance to his 2004 tune “If I Could Fly.”
“With the greatest possible respect to Joe Satriani, we have now unfortunately found it necessary to respond publicly to his allegations,” the note reads. “If there are any similarities between our two pieces of music, they are entirely coincidental, and just as surprising to us as to him. Joe Satriani is a great musician, but he did not write the song ’Viva la Vida.’ We respectfully ask him to accept our assurances of this and wish him well with all future endeavours.”
The response from Coldplay came a day after an interview with Satriani was posted by Music Radar, in which the guitarist said the first time he heard the title track to the band’s album, he felt like “a dagger went right through my heart. It hurt so much. The second I heard it, I knew it was [my own] ’If I Could Fly.’ ”
Satriani told the magazine that his inbox was flooded in June with e-mails from fans who also thought the then-just-released Coldplay single was eerily familiar to his instrumental, recorded in 2003 as a tribute to Satriani’s wife, Rubina.
Until the comments posted on Tuesday, Coldplay had not officially confronted the controversy. But during the Yahoo! appearance — which was filmed before the suit was filed — singer Chris Martin obliquely referred to the claims by saying, “When we finished the song ’Viva la Vida,’ our only hit single, we knew that was good. … And I will maintain that till my dying day, that it’s not that bad. Although we are being sued by about 12 people who say that we stole it, though I promise we didn’t. Including … I probably shouldn’t say. [Laughs.] I can’t tell you, I can’t tell you, but it rhymes with ’Moe Batriani.’ ”
A spokesperson for Coldplay had no comment about whether the band will pursue a countersuit against Satriani or how it will respond to the allegations.