Did King’s X Rip Off the “Groove Machine” Riff from a Texas Band Called Monsterdog?


Doug PinnickEarlier this week we received the following email from a MetalSucks reader known as “Odie the Roady:”

In 1996; Syracuse NY band Monster Dog went into the studio to record a 6 song demo….

That same year, upon the release of the demo, the band attended a Kings X show. (Ear Candy tour)

That evening the band gave their promo-pack to KX, for possible tour-support consideration. A CD was obviously included.

Two years later… KX released their “Tape Head” CD. The opening track was called ‘Groove Machine’.

The song was undeniably similar to Monster Dogs track called ‘Slacker’.

Why bring it up now, you may ask? After reading a rather arrogantly worded interview with Dug Pinnick, bassist of Kings X on ‘LondonGrooveMachine.com‘….Dug states his feelings on song writing as well as his methods. It became obvious that Monster Dog was indeed victim to his writing skills.

If this were about money.

The band would have found the resources to pursue the matter years ago.

Lesson….Don’t EVER give your music to another creative entity. Regardless of how universally respected they may be. Monster Dog does hold a copyright on its demo…But, let the public decide.

“Imitation is not flattery when it is not credited or unrecognized.”

Here’s the interview quote from Dug Pinnick to which the above reader is referring:

And there is an anxiety that happens also when I sit down to write. I’m going, ‘Oh God, what am I gonna come up with?’ And then all of a sudden the floodgates fly open, because I start thinking of all the music I’ve listened to for the last 60-some years. And so I just find the things that I love, steal them, change them around a little bit, and call them my own. Basically what all of us musicians are is just plagiarists. We just write what we’ve heard. We never come up with anything original. The more information you get, the more you can make music that will fool everyone to think that it’s original. Get what I’m saying?

Now let’s compare the tunes. Here’s “Slacker” by Monsterdog:

And here’s “Groove Machine” by King’s X:

Even as a HUGE King’s X fanboy and a lover of all things Dug Pinnick forever and always, it’s pretty hard to deny the similarities there, especially in light of the Monster Dog anecdote and Dug’s quote. But you know what? Even if Pinnick did steal that riff, he not only changed it up and made it his own, but he made it better; his version has a subtle complexity that the original just doesn’t. And, as Pinnick said above, pretty much all musicians do this sort of thing on a regular basis.

What do you think? Is it plagiarism or is it different enough to stand on its own? Chime in below.

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