Gary Marshall of The Guardian recently attempted to explain how a METALLICA spoof turned into a hugely effective viral marketing campaign for an obscure Canadian rock band.
"When news of METALLICA's latest lawsuit hit the web, music fans across the globe were outraged," he writes in an article published today (Aug. 4). "Already notorious for their legal action against file-sharing network Napster, the rock band were seemingly trying to stop musicians from using the guitar chords E and F.
"Announcing the band's decision to sue the obscure Canadian outfit UNFAITH, the drummer Lars Ulrich said: 'We're not saying we own those two chords, individually — that would be ridiculous. We're just saying that in that specific order, people have grown to associate E, F with our music.'
"It was a classic David and Goliath story — obscure, unsigned band picked on by rich rockers - and it was widely reported. As UNFAITH singer/songwriter Erik Ashley explains: 'Within minutes, literally hundreds of message boards lit up, including those of legitimate music news sources.'
"It turned up on Ananova and on DotMusic, on MSNBC, MacDailyNews and on weblogs. Industry insiders expressed their outrage in mailing lists, and music fans filled internet message boards with anti-METALLICA diatribes. Radio stations played UNFAITH's music in anti-METALLICA protests, Rolling Stone magazine got in touch, and The Onion sent a message of support." Read more.