In one of the more surprising stories of the day, the New Jersey Devils are being sued by some band named Black Water Music. According to the New York Post, they wrote the song "Rise" that is heard over the P.A. system before puck drop and they feel they've been robbed of credit. They're demanding quite a lot of money for damages and already have sneered at whatever the Devils were offering. I guess there's something to be said for aiming high? What that is, I don't know. I'm too busy snickering at the fact they feel they're owed $30 million. To steal a phrase from our British users: "They're having a laugh."
What makes this more interesting (and possibly sad) comes from this post by Travis Hughes at SBN-NHL about the news. Hughes went ahead and did quite a bit of research, showing that A) the Devils do have a license for the song and B) the band totally knew about "Rise" being used by the Devils last year and didn't complain. Hughes calls it "curious," which is a nice way to put it. Especially since the band is trying to argue their use of the song was dramatic as opposed to all of the other songs they use. However, without further news, there's no evidence to suggest that the band is looking for a payday by settlement or promotion through the lawsuit; so I'll leave it at that.
UPDATE: Hughes brings up the matter with an ASCAP representative over at SBN-NHL. The conclusion: Black Water Music doesn't appear to have much of a leg to stand on unless something new comes to light. Thanks to Travis Hughes for bringing this to my attention.
Given that Hughes' article was so well-researched, I want to ask this far more interesting question instead: What pre-game song should the Devils use in 2011-12? I can't imagine that the Devils will want to still use "Rise" after the lawsuit. I don't think fans really want to hear the song either. Sure, people at the Rock got excited before the game last season, but that's largely because the game was about to begin. The Devils could be playing smooth music by the likes of Kenny Loggins and fans will get amped before a game. I don't know about you, but "Rise" didn't exactly make me want to check out who wrote it or listen to it outside of the game or whatever. Nor did it want me want to go to more Devils games; after all, the Devils are the draw, not whatever It really wasn't that good of a song. If the Devils wanted to make a change, now's the time.
Fortunately, they have several directions they can go for a new pre-game song. Here's just a few: They can go back on nostalgia and play "Hells Bells" by AC/DC followed by Metallica's "Seek and Destroy." They can recognize that heavy music has improved by leaps and bounds since those years, going with something more modern in genres of metalcore, easycore, something by a newer thrash metal group, or even some of the more progressive metal out there. They can go cheesy and pick something by Manowar (e.g. "Carry On"). They can be snarky and use other songs by other bands and artists that are titled "Rise" (e.g. Herb Alpert's "Rise," Bad Brains' "Rise") They can pick some other metal classics like Judas Priest's "Painkiller" (my personal choice). The team could just stay local by selecting various songs by various New Jersey-based bands. Or just pick different songs by AC/DC and Metallica (For Whom the Bell tolls? Damage Incorporated?). It doesn't even need to be a rock song, even. My main point is they have options beyond standard hard rock dreck like "Rise," and they would be wise to take one of them.
Therefore, I want to know your suggestions. What should be the Devils' pre-game song for 2011-12? Leave your suggestions and other thoughts about this lawsuit in the comments. Thanks to KovyisLove for putting up a FanShot of this earlier today on the site; and thank you for reading.