FLAW Kick Out Guitarist Over Plagarism Accusations; Guitarist Offers Weak Apology
This Flaw thing seems like the funniest thing ever, if I actually cared one iota about the band. But I don't. The band was initially accused of ripping off a Youtuber's song. Then more Youtubers came forward with more credible accusations of theft.
It seemed pretty obvious that most if not all of the blame laid on guitarist Tommy Gibbons, who was even caught bragging about a song he "wrote" that has been established as one that was plagiarized. So, Tommy had to go.
Today, Flaw made that announcement. Why they waited so long is news to me, but here is the official statement:
“It is with a heavy heart I have to announce that we have parted ways with guitarist/bassist Tommy Gibbons. I know most of you have seen the bad press over the past few weeks and know the situation I have been put in, I really had no choice but to let him go.
“I can not and will not tolerate unauthorized use of any artists material whatsoever, no matter the excuse. The integrity of Flaw and every project I have ever worked on is extremely important, and I can not accept any form of plagiarism or misuse of other people’s material. I have worked too hard and sacrificed too much for the past 20 years to let anyone ruin that.
“Flaw will persevere through this and we will come out stronger in the end. We wish Tommy the best in his future endeavors and hope he has learned a valuable lesson from all of this. He’s not a bad guy and is an amazing string player so I hope he can realize the severity of his actions, correct this behavior, make it right with all parties involved, and move on. I can not in good conscience continue to work with him or have him as a representative of the Flaw crew.
“That being said, we are currently accepting video auditions for a new bassist, please send video of live performance play-a-long to our songs ‘Payback’ and ‘Whole’ to: chrsvolz@(my name without the ‘i’) and we will get back to you for a full physical audition. Thank you all for your understanding during this difficult time and we can’t wait to see you all soon on the next tour!”
Meanwhile, Gibbons, rather than just apologizing and hoping everybody moves on, instead offered a pretty convoluted explanation for how he could possibly plagiarize anything.
“As many of you know, I am the current bass/guitar player for FLAW. I was tasked with writing the music for our most recent album, VOL IV: Because Of The Brave. To clarify, this is the only record I’ve recorded with FLAW and I had no hand in previous recordings.
“I have been writing and recording music for over 15 years. I, like many other musicians, look to YouTube for inspiration and creative ways to challenge myself and learn more. Over the years I have listened to and re recorded hundreds and hundreds of songs online. I also have hundreds and hundreds of songs recorded on my studio computer which have been compiled over the last 10 or so years, some of them mine and some of them taken from other inspiration.
“I regretfully did not label and differentiate the music I wrote and recorded from a blank slate versus the inspiration I found and re-recorded as I was trying to further myself. As I was going through hours and hours of previously recorded material to present to Chris for the new album, clearly a specific style in my catalog stuck out to me. These are things I re-recorded years ago and did not label where they actually came from.
“This is where I went terribly wrong. I took the tracks I re-recorded not knowing their true original source and presented them to Chris which in turn he worked tirelessly to write and record original lyrics and vocals to. He entrusted me with something that I thought I was going to truly impress him with and I let him down.
“I take full and all responsibility for the accusations and bad press that has been flooding social media recently. None of the other band members had any knowledge or reason to believe these songs were written by anyone else, they are free and clear of any responsibility or wrongdoing.
“To all my friends and fans, I want you to know that this was a royal mistake on my part, and by no means did I intentionally try to steal or plagiarize any other musicians music. I will do what I can to rectify this situation including any compensation for the original writers. We have made contact with him and are working on an agreement.
“Again, I am sorry to those I have let down including my bandmates who had no participation in writing the music for these recordings. I understand and respect whatever decision has to be made by the band because of this and I hope I will continue to see all of you along the way. I’m sorry and thank you.”
Ahh, it was all just a labeling error. Nothing to see here, folks!