White Stripes vs. Air Force Reserve ad: Musician addresses controversy: 'It's my responsibility'
With the White Stripes threatening “strong action” against a U.S. Air Force Reserve Super Bowl ad that they say ripped off their song “Fell in Love With a Girl,” both the Air Force Reserve and the company that produced the spot have denied knowingly copying the Stripes’ tune. Now a musician who worked on the ad, which has since been pulled from TV and the Web, is taking the blame — but he, too, insists any wrongdoing was unintentional. “It’s my responsibility,” Kem Kraft tells EW. “I’m the one who composed the music. And I had no idea it was like that [song].”
Kraft, 56, who earns his living in Salt Lake City composing and recording music for advertisements and films, was hired to work on the Air Force Reserve ad around last Christmas. “They said they wanted some high-energy music, and I gave them three demos, all of them a little bit different. They asked me to tweak the one that they preferred, so I beefed up the drums or whatnot, added some echo to my guitar part.”
Kraft says he was “absolutely” surprised to hear of the Stripes’ accusations this week. “I went to the website and I go, ‘Yeah, that kinda sounds close.’ [But] I don’t even listen to those guys.” Asked if he had ever heard “Fell in Love With a Girl” prior to the controversy, Kraft replies, “God, I might have somehow or somewhere. I don’t know. That’s not the kind of music I listen to.”
Now Kraft says he’d like to speak with Jack White to clear things up. “I would say, ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it sounded like your song. I had no intention whatsoever of copying you. If you need me to pay the money back that I made, which was 2,000 bucks, to you, I will do that if you want me to.’ This has gotten way out of proportion.”
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The White Stripes