Rings of Saturn’s Lucas Mann Accused of Riff Plagiarism
Rings of Saturn band leader Lucas Mann has found himself under fire from the metal community several times over the course of his career as a professional musician.
In 2011 Mann was accused of recording some of his guitar parts at half speed and then revving them up to full speed using studio magic, a claim which was backed up by a former member of the band but which Mann and his recording engineer denied.
Two years later, Mann released a playthrough video with audio from the guitar tablature program Guitar Pro, not his actual performance. He would refute the criticism for that video with a clever one of his own, this time with clocks on the wall to prove its authenticity.
After a good run without any controversy, Mann posted a long, heartfelt message on social media earlier this year accusing MetalSucks, among other sites, of bullying him and causing a decline in his mental health. The subtext: “All of those accusations were false, and I was needlessly targeted.”
But now it seems as if Mann is up to his old tricks again.
We Are the End, a band with which Mann briefly collaborated in 2014, are alleging that he stole several riffs the other members wrote during that era and used them in the new Rings of Saturn song, “The Husk,” which came out last week.
In a post to Facebook, We Are the End announced their displeasure with Mann:
“Everyone please be sure to congratulate Lucas Mann on his new song “THE HUSK” that he stole from us & put on the new Rings of Saturn album.
“Lucas you’re a bitch!!!
“But it brings us joy to be such an influence.
“The song you stole is light years ahead of what we taught you back in 2014 when you & Miles Dimitri Baker were apart of our project. We’re not even mad just disappointed that a musician of your caliber would be so desperate & ruin our gold with your turd video game noise.”
But accusations are just that unless they’re backed up by some kind of proof, right? Wouldn’t some side-by-side audio clips be useful for comparison?
A YouTuber known as “someblackguy” (who has more than 400k subscribers!), put together exactly such a comparison on one of his alternate channels, “black metal.” The video is hosted by Derrick Pilot, who played drums in We Are the End until 2008, so his involvement in this situation certainly isn’t impartial even if the alleged infraction took place long after he left. Still, comparing clips of the Guitar Pro session renderings the band sent Mann to learn in 2014, side-by-side with certain sections of “The Husk,” displays more than a passing resemblance. The riffs are just way too close-sounding to one another — and all three in the same song! — to pass off the similarities as coincidence.
Have a listen below, and skip to 4:48 if you just want to hear the audio comparisons:
But We Are the End didn’t stop there. Since the riffs they’re alleging Mann stole never made it into any recorded music, how can they prove they did indeed write those riffs back when they claim they did? A 2017 Instagram post by a former We Are the End guitarist practicing one of those riffs should help, as it establishes the band had the song written a full two years before Rings of Saturn would get to them, even if it doesn’t stretch all the way back to 2014:
As should this screen shot of a recent text message exchange between Miles Baker, who played guitar in Rings of Saturn from 2014 until last year, and an undisclosed member of We Are the End:
Not that you should need any additional proof outside of the comparison video and your own ears, especially given Lucas’s history with regards to shady guitar shenanigans. But Rings of Saturn fans will surely come to the band’s defense anyway.
Tell us what you think in the comments. Did Mann rip off We Are the End or is it just coincidence?