Wally de Backer, aka Gotye, is facing that age-old problem: what do you do with your indie cred when your song becomes an international hit? "Somebody That I Used to Know" was recorded in a home studio early last year, and as of last week, it had topped America's Billboard Hot 100 Chart. Gotye's only the fourth Australian artist to have created such a mega-hit (after Savage Garden, INXS, and Men at Work).
So how's he dealing with the record-breaking popularity from his breakout song? Well, one thing's for sure: he's not too happy about that Glee cover.
In fact, it sounds like he's a little sick of all the covers, being as how he flat-out told his native country's The Sunday Mail, "I don't want to hear any more people doing something with this.'' I don't blame him, really, since there seem to be an endless number of covers floating around the web, and some of the renditions are downright painful.
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I'm not surprised Gotye didn't love the Glee cover, either, but I AM fairly surprised he publicly criticized it. After all, Glee surely contributed to his bank account—it was after the "Big Brother" episode aired on April 10 that "Somebody That I Used to Know" soared to the top of the Billboard singles chart. That song alone has pulled in worldwide sales of $5 million, with half a million U.S. sales in one single week.
Not to mention whatever licensing deal he set up for Glee to use the song in the first place.
However, he's had no qualms about voicing his distaste for the cover, saying,
They did such a faithful arrangement of the instrumentals but the vocals were that pop Glee style, ultra dry, sounded pretty tuned and the rock has no real sense, like it's playing to you from a cardboard box.
He later added that the Glee version "made it sound dinky and wrong."
If you missed the Glee episode, which involved Darren Criss and guest star Matt Bomer performing a sort of brotherly interpretation of the song, here's the clip of their performance:
Personally, I don't like the cover either, but I'm not the guy having gold ingots thrown at me for it. I know it must be challenging to become an overnight mainstream success, but it sure seems tacky for him to publicly slam the TV version that he allowed them to do. Hey Gotye: either decide up front that you're too much of an independent artiste to license the song, or STFU about it when Darren Criss uber-emotes your lyrics. Besides, you know it's only a matter of time until this particular hit is converted to Muzak and piped into elevators nationwide.
Do you think Gotye was lame for slamming the Glee version?
Image via Gotye