Food fight averted as Japanese Breakfast laughs off Machine Gun Kelly’s similar album art

Photograph via Stefan Brending (Wikimedia Commons)

Japanese Breakfast lead singer Michelle Zauner has brushed aside the recent album cover controversy between her indie-pop band and Machine Gun Kelly. Japanese Breakfast’s 2021 record, Jubilee, quickly became a fan-favorite and spawned the hits “Be Sweet,” and “Posing In Bondage.” The intriguing album cover features Zauner seated among dangling persimmons, and earlier this week, it almost became the source of an industry beef.

On Monday, Rolling Stone suggested there was a striking similarity between Jubilee’s golden backdrop and Machine Gun Kelly’s pink punk album art for his new project, Mainstream Sellout. Zauner, however, wasn’t at all sold on Rolling Stone’s suggestion; the singer mockingly tweeted “2022 feud of the year,” along with the link to their attentive piece.  

Subsequently, in a Pitchfork interview, Zauner confirmed that she saw no evidence of the allegations.

 “I don’t actually think it looks anything like my album cover at all,” she said. “But I think it’s very funny that Rolling Stone put up an article about it just because there’s a circular fruit in the foreground. I mean his is people throwing tomatoes at him, and mine is persimmons peacefully hanging around me, so I think they’re very different concepts.”

Zauner, 32, also took the opportunity to highlight that the claims were not only absurd, but ill-founded, as her overall style greatly differs from what is depicted on MGK’s album cover. “Yeah, it’s a very contemporary Avril [Lavigne] aesthetic, which, as much as I stan Avril, is an aesthetic I don’t really embrace for myself.” 

Confirming that they’d never even met, she rubbished the resulting clickbait headlines and the idea of industry ‘beef.’

“I’ve never met Machine Gun Kelly. He seems like a fine person,” she stated. “I can’t imagine having rock beef with anyone, but if I had to choose, it would probably be Machine Gun Kelly.”

MGK has since responded, insisting that he too had no ill-intent and like Zauner seemed more amused than annoyed by the “ ‘journalist’ reaching this hard.”

“So should we beef over tomato’s or…should i thank them for introducing me to your album, because i just listened and i really like it,” he tweeted in response to Zauner.

Meanwhile, MGK is set to release the album on March 25. The 16 track suite will feature rap/rock fusions with Iann Dior, Young Thug, Willow, Gunna, Bring Me the Horizon, and half of the new it-couple, Pete Davidson.