By Philip Cosores
With Kanye West‘s irreverence for religious icons, it isn’t surprising to hear that he sometimes offends people. But, with word hitting that a Portland metal band is upset with the rapper, things are a little different.
See, the band Christian Mistress isn’t upset at the religious implications of Kanye West using an 800-year-old image for the promotion of his upcoming album, So Help Me God, and its single, “All Day” (see the image below). The band is upset because they used the same image first for the cover of 2010 full-length, Agony & Opium. In an interview with The Village Voice, the band’s singer Christine Davis revealed where they originally got the image from.
I don’t know what book, but he found it and thought, ‘Wow, this is really beautiful, and it represents the Virgin Mary, and our band name is Christian Mistress.’ So we thought it would be cool to use this and never tell anyone that it represents the Virgin Mary — keep it a secret and that way this can be ours. In that way we made it ours in our hearts. Like, you have this ridiculous band name everyone always asks us about, and we never once mention in any interview that that symbol represented the Virgin Mary because we like having that be more of a secret.
The band also set up exactly why it is problematic for the band that West is using the art for his “All Day” single.
Because time will go on and people will forget about the whole reverse-confusion type of situation. We’ll end up losing control of our reputation as original artists. And that’s just something that’s too valuable to just passively say, ‘That’s OK,’ because it’s really not OK and he’s using the symbol in a manner that will confuse people in the future and now… [West is] using it on iTunes, he’s using it on places where we also sell our music, and if it’s intentional and willful that’s hurtful to us and we’re just really confused and disappointed, basically.
To be fair, if a band really wants a unique image for their logo, they should create their own art. Then, they would at least have the legal right to ask people not to use the same art as them.