Drag Me Out-min
[Photo via Drag Me Out]

On Oct. 30, Drag Me Out released their new single “The Watch Of The Buried.”

Now, the band, which is fronted by former Asking Alexandria vocalist Denis Stoff, have been accused of stealing artwork for the single’s cover art.

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Earlier this week, Maxime Taccardi took to Instagram to reveal that Drag Me Out’s new single cover art is a “total rip off” of a painting called “Ebola” Taccardi previously created in 2014.

“Total rip off of my art, not only they didn’t ask my permission to copy my painting, they did not even mention me as the source of inspiration. Scroll to see my painting… People are disrespectful @dragmeoutband singer is @denisstoff That shit pisses me off.”

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Both of the artworks feature a distorted figure with bright red eyes and hands resting on its face. Although the perspectives are slightly different, the images are pretty much identical.

Taccardi’s wife reportedly reached out to Drag Me Out’s drummer Chris Nokia about the situation. In a screenshot shared by Taccardi on Facebook, Nokia says that Stoff originally presented the cover art to the band.

“Our singer presented it to us as it was something he created,” Nokia says. “And we believed him. I’m glad you messaged me about this, it’s really bad. To be 100% honest, me, the bassist and guitarist had no idea about it, we are mostly just going with the flow of what our singer is saying, so I’m not arguing with you at all. I’m totally your friend and support you since this is a copyright infringement.”

Drag Me Out
[Photo via Maxime Taccardi on Facebook]
Stoff himself then released a statement regarding the situation. He says that he bought the artwork from a freelance artist and didn’t know it was stolen from Taccardi’s original painting.

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“I need to clear this up for those who’ve been commenting about our single artwork – we bought it from the freelance artist and we had no idea about the similarities with a different artist,” Stoff says. “I reached out to the guy directly and I promise, we will figure it out. That’s what he should’ve been doing in the first place instead of sending all of you to spam my comment section. That’s called maturity.”

Taccardi, however, isn’t buying Stoff’s explanation. Taccardi says that Drag Me Out’s stories don’t match up.

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“So now, this band @dragmeoutband is trying to make up with their bulshit telling that I started the drama,” Taccardi says. “But look right now they say it was a freelance artist who did the art but earlier they told my wife it was their singer who told them he did it. Just liés, I did not send anyone riot on their page, people just backed me up and now they’re trying to blame me and telling me I lack maturity. What the fuck? Also second Pic they say they sent me a message, they didn’t. Fuck that.”

Soon after, Taccardi shared another update regarding the situation. Drag Me Out have reportedly offered Taccardi compensation for the artwork used. However, Taccardi says the $250 offered isn’t enough for what has been done.

“After trying to say I’m immature, how about you don’t insult my wife,” Taccardi says. “You guys lie, I got screenshots of your drummer saying your singer did the art, now it is a mysterious freelance artist with no name of course. They said they bought it from that freelance guy but to me they say now it was gifted to them.. They can’t even come up with their lies straight. Oh and yes, the singer after telling me that I should not have sent people (which I didn’t) to their page offered me 250bucks, fucking charity. How disrespectful can they be? Right? and now their stupid fans going off on me, fuck this.”

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It seems as though the situation has still not been fully resolved. However, all of the Drag Me Out merch with the single artwork on Sumerian Records website has been taken down. As well, despite all of this, Taccardi has acknowledged all of the support and comments received this week.

“This the original artwork I did in 2014 partially with my own blood entitled “Ebola” to show how horrifying this virus can be. I stand for my art and I don’t allow people to talk Down on me or try to bribe me and make me look like the bad one. My art speaks better than words anyway. Thx to those who support my work and integrity.”

What are your reactions to the situation? Do you think Drag Me Out ripped off the artwork? Let us know in the comments below.