This is remarkable – and not in a good way. I saw this posted on Facebook several times today from Port Townsend band Solvents. They found by some happenstance a musician named Aron Lyrd who is passing off their song “Tangerine,” among others, as their own and selling them. The band says on its website (sic throughout):
Heres a basic rundown of the story…..
I joined a website called sonicbids.com because I wanted to submit an application to Bumbershoot. I was looking around the site, checking out other services they had to offer. I came across this company that helps artists submit their music to television and movie producers. I was interested so I started looking a little deeper. I noticed that at the bottom of their page, there are comments from artists that have submitted. For some reason or another, I noticed this guy, Aron Lyrd. His profile picture was him in a ninja suit with some nunchucks!
…….he just made me laugh for some reason. I had to check out his music…
so I click on the featured song “orange ambititon” on his E.P.K. (electronic press kit) and…..MY SONG CAME ON!!!
I thought my computer was fucking up or something…I tried again and again…it was my song “tangerine”…there was my wife and musical partner, Emily Madden’s voice…my sisters voice singing back up…..my voice and piano…
What are the chances of me finding out about this???? Its CRAZY! It really blows my mind that I even know this guy exists! The fact that I randomly clicked on some dipshit’s profile and MY SONG started playing is almost unbelievable!
Check out his myspace page. I think the guy might be some kind of genius computer hacker. Theres just no way that he has gotten 35,000,000 song plays!
I kinda became a bit obsessed with the guy and started looking a bit deeper into what he does.
After listening to a bunch of samples of “his” songs and finding band of horses, The Searchers: LOVE POTION #9 (!!), The drifters, belle and sebastian, math and physics club, I realized that Aron Lyrd had quite the scam going….Making fake albums with other peoples songs and selling them on I-tunes, Amazon, etc. The vast majority of the songs he is selling seem to be by unknown (to me at least) indie artists…..
Here is Aron’s Amazon page where he sells mp3s that dont belong to him:
Heres a list of stolen music I’ve found. Im pretty sure that every single track he has for sale is not his. (he is offering multiple versions of my song with a different titles)
track 2: aron lyrd orange dreams= solvents “tangerine”
track 14: orange ambition= solvents “tangerine”
track 17: cold road, life node= band of horses “ghost in my house”
track 23: orange ambition= solvents “tangerine
track 33: “love potion # 9″ !!!!!
track 44: whats the color of tangerine?= solvents “tangerine
track 21: gut feeling, low ceiling= the drifters!!!(not sure of the name)
track 46: life worn, heart scorn=band of horses (not sure of the name
Heres his “album” on i tunes where he is selling our song:
The whole thing is pretty fucked up. This guy is STEALING SOUND RECORDINGS and selling them as if they were his. Its upsetting on many levels. It makes me wonder how many of these pricks are out there doing shit like this. It also REALLY bums me out on Amazon and I-tunes. They obviously dont give a fuck about what they are selling…
One thing I haven’t been able to verify, though, is whether or not Aron Lyrd actually exists.
Lyrd has this amazing story behind him. His bio reads:
Redefining traditional musical formulas and blowing away the typical four piece alternative bands is just another day in the talented, vast world of Aron Lyrd. A complete one man show, Lyrd pulls off a variety of musical styles while single-handedly writing and recording everything from guitar to percussion to vocals. While the quality would suffer for many using this approach, he manages to build a full, dynamic sound which is demanding the attention of thousands across the world.
With millions of plays and numerous fans on his MySpace page, Lyrd’s songs are catching fire at the speed of light, garnering the interest of critics, magazines, and websites. He was selected by the illustrious Alec Promotions as a featured artist, and successfully received airplay on Indie 104 iRadio in Los Angeles, California. His brilliant alternative rock jams are drawing comparisons to Matchbox 20, Oasis, The Killers, and David Bowie, while fans feverishly spin his infectious songs over and over.
A story of true inspiration, the singer songwriter is no stranger to adversity. After contracting transverse myelitis in 2004, which causes swelling in the spine, and suffering a stroke from a blood clot, Lyrd was paralyzed. Through ironclad determination and arduous work, he regained the use of his arm, and started writing poetry, which eventually led to music. Fast forward to 2010, and Lyrd has rapidly become a dramatic force in the alternative rock scene.
Aron Lyrd has more than 123,000 friends on MySpace and more than 20,000 “likes” on Facebook, plus his songs have been played 35,000,000 times on MySpace, yet I can find no interaction between him and a fan. On Twitter, where his account has 3,300+ followers, you won’t find any interaction between him and a fan. For someone to be that popular and not have their fan base grow through interacting with fans seems a bit unusual.
The Aron Lyrd Twitter page links to something called “Musicproof” as a thanks for helping generate over 35 million song plays on Facebook. When you follow the link to musicpoof.com, you’ll see it’s a service that you can use to inflate things like Facebook likes and MySpace friends artificially, for a price. For example, 30,000 Facebook likes will cost $279. In politics, generating artificial support that doesn’t really exist is called “astroturfing.”
When you search “Aron Lyrd” on Twitter, you’ll find a lot of identical tweets that say “Hi guys, check out Aron Lyrd , lots of great tracks on their site,” with the misplaced comma a space after “Lyrd” and a link to follow a page supposedly directing you to his music. One of the Twitter accounts to do so is called “Hip Hop Encounter,” even though the music Lyrd has used as his own is not remotely hip hop.
Hyperbolic platitudes aside, for someone whose “songs are catching fire at the speed of light, garnering the interest of critics, magazines, and websites,” there are not a whole lot of critics or magazines or websites that have even acknowledged his actual existence. The only press I could find that didn’t copy the bio from his MySpace and Facebook profiles is from an interview he allegedly did with the online site Skope Magazine in 2011. There are six questions that seem to be generic questions that could be asked of anyone, so it looks like the interview could have been conducted through e-mail and it repeats the story of Lyrd being paralyzed from transverse myelitis. I e-mailed the piece’s author, Diana Olson, and Skope editor Michael Friedman for clarification. I will update this post if they respond.
My guess is that Lyrd is something of a hoax and someone who doesn’t actually exist. I don’t know what the end game is or how someone would benefit through selling songs that aren’t their intellectual property through online avenues like iTunes and Amazon, but that appears to be the case. Lyrd looks to be a fake account that had some popularity automatically generated to sell mp3s of songs to someone who might run across his music by the same happenstance that Solvents did, just with a much different result. I e-mailed Solvents through their band’s e-mail address to ask if they had any contact with Lyrd or asked iTunes and Amazon to remove Lyrd’s music that he’s selling as his own, and I reached out to Aron Lyrd through his Facebook account for comment (though I’m obviously not expecting a response), but what I’m confused about is just how prevalent this is and how much worse it will get.
UPDATE: Diana Olson and Mike Friedman of Skope Magazine both returned my e-mails. Friedman passed on the contact info he had for Lyrd (which I will e-mail for comment) and Olson, who conducted the only interview with Lyrd I could find said, “I don’t remember if Aaron Lyrd (sic) came thru Skope or contacted me directly thru myspace or e mail. I would have done the interview over e mail. The piece is very short, which makes me think he might of contacted me directly by e mail. Can’t believe someone would stoop so low.”