An Australian artist is fuming after a massive US rock band revealed its cover for a single that was nearly identical to the artwork he produced for an Aussie band.
In 2010, Brisbane band Dead Letter Circus released the single Cage, with the artwork showing a man holding his own face on a stick as it peers back at the void where his face was, which is replaced with cage bars.
This week Las Vegas band Escape the Fate, and its label Big Noise, previewed the band’s upcoming single H8 Myself on social media.
The artwork used was similar, showing the face held up on what appears to be a stick with a cage replacing the face.
Masking tape over the eyes appeared to be the only change in the theme of the image.
The Melbourne-based artist responsible for the Cage artwork, Cameron Gray, posted the images side-by-side on Facebook and Instagram – with a scathing response.
“Disappointed to find out today of a large band that I’ve enjoyed and admired for years ripping off my art, especially after they approached me to inquire about my album art,” he wrote.
“I always keep these things private, but this one stings quite a lot as it was artwork I created for Warner Bros and Dead Letter Circus, who I have a deep love and respect for since they helped me become who I am today.
“And personally, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become sick of protecting people’s sh*tty behaviour.”
Over his 15 years in the trade, Gray has collaborated with labels; Warner Bros Records, Sony Music, Entertainment One, Sumerian Records, and Nuclear Blast Records.
A frequent collaborator with Dead Letter Circus, his art has also been featured on book covers, animations and band merchandise.
Escape the Fate, and its label, Big Noise, has removed social media posts featuring the artwork in question after massive backlash from music industry commentators.
“Let’s not mince words here – Escape The Fate pretty clearly jacked Cameron Gray’s artwork that he originally did for Dead Letter Circus,” boss of US music publication Metal Injection Greg Kennelty wrote.
Escape the Fate guitarist TJ Bell made attempts to explain the band’s actions, responding to Gray’s comments on Instagram.
“Tried to reach out so that I could explain. I found this image on Google and sent it to the band and artist to be viewed as a reference ONLY,” he said.
“Plagiarism was never the intention. This is a huge miscommunication on our part. We are sorry that this happened. All has been removed.”
Gray told news.com.au he does not plan to pursue legal action given the posts have been removed.
“I‘m not looking to draw it out,” he said.
“For now it looks like the band are doing the right thing and removing the art.”
Escape the Fate, who have amassed hundreds of millions of streams on Spotify, are touring Australia in April, with shows in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Dead Letter Circus’ hometown, Brisbane.
Big Noise has been contacted for comment.