Hozier, Feist Writer Spar, Threaten Lawsuits Over ‘Take Me to Church’
A week after singer-songwriter Chilly Gonzales implied that Hozier plagiarized the hit “Take Me to Church” from a Feist song, both sides appear to have reached détente. “There are no hard feelings on my part,” Hozier wrote in a statement on Facebook following Gonzales’ retraction of his comments.
The issue arose in an episode of BBC Pop Masterclass, when host and Feist collaborator Gonzales (whose real name is Jason Beck) compared the Hozier hit to Feist’s “How Come You Never Go There,” a track that appeared on her 2011 album Metals. After pointing out similarities between the two tunes in the since-deleted video, he highlighted that Feist’s track had come out prior to Hozier’s song. “‘Take Me To Church?’ Maybe Feist should take him to court,” Gonzales quipped.
After Hozier announced his intention to pursue a defamation case against Gonzales, the video was removed and Gonzales issued a statement. “I would like to fully retract any and all implication of copyright infringement in last week’s Pop Music Masterclass “Take Me To Church” and sincerely apologize to Hozier whose work I respect,” he wrote in a statement, according to Complex.
Hozier, whose full name is Andrew Hozier-Byrne, replied with his own statement indicating that he was no longer planning on suing Gonzales. “There has been some talk in the press of legal action and I’d like to clarify my position and the goings-on of the past week for fear that gossip runs unchecked, as it often does,” he wrote. “What was sought from my end was an apology and redaction of an unfair inferral [sic]. This has been issued by Jason Beck [Chilly Gonzales], which I very much appreciate. I will continue to follow and respect his work and look forward to moving on from this issue. Jason Beck has been co-operative and understanding.”
In a Rolling Stone interview earlier this year, Hozier said the unique sound on the gospel- and folk-influenced “Take Me to Church” likely was a result of having little exposure to other kinds of music. “We lived far out in the Irish countryside,” he said. “We had a very, very bad Internet connection.”