The War Between Musicians

By Will Oliver, March 5th 2009 MP3 News

(photo thanks to stereogum)

What is going on lately? Ever since the Grammy’s there have been various musicians taking stabs at each other. Pop star vs. Pop Star, Indie Star vs Indie Star, Pop Star vs Indie Stars. First, we had Chris Brown beating the shit out of his girl, Rihanna. (and apparently they are back together now…wtf?) Then we had Kanye complaining that Thom Yorke “snubbed” him backstage at the Grammys. Which resulted in him “sitting the fuck down” once Radiohead took the stage.

Well yesterday Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips reportedly ripped on Arcade Fire. During a phone interview with Rolling Stone Wayne Coyne had the following to say about Win Butler and the rest of the gang:

“I’m a fan of them on one level, but on another level I get really tired of their pompousness … We’ve played some shows with them and they really treat people like shit. Whenever I’ve been around them, I’ve found that they not only treated their crew like shit, they treated the audience like shit. They treated everybody in their vicinity like shit. I thought, ‘Who do they think they are?’ I don’t know why people put up with it. I wouldn’t put up with it. I don’t care if it’s Arcade Fire or Brian Eno. If either of them walked into a room and treated people like shit I’d be like, ‘Fuck you, get outta here.’

… People treat Arcade Fire like they’re the greatest thing ever and they get away with it. Those sort of opinions change my view of their music. They have good tunes, but they’re pricks, so fuck ’em. Who does Arcade Fire think they are? I’ve been around groups. I’ve been around the Edge from U2 and he’s the fucking sweetest guy ever. I was around Justin Timberlake when he was young and he was just a normal, nice, kind person. Anyone can be polite and kind and people who have the privilege and money and attention should understand that. If they don’t, then fuck ’em.”

Then later that night, Win Bulter responded to Wayne with the following message on the Arcade Fire website:

I can’t believe I am actually writing to defend my band’s “real” personality. I wish I could not respond to something like this, but the reality is, is that people will be asking me questions for the next 5 years. I also fear that people will base their opinion of our band on the media quotes of a guy who doesn’t even know us.

The only time we have ever shared a stage with the Flaming Lips was our last show on the Funeral tour at a festival in Las Vegas (over 3 years ago)…we arrived the morning of the show from Brazil, slept all day and awoke into some kind of surreal Vegas jet-lag dream in which we were playing after the Flaming Lips…how strange…I was really excited to meet Wayne. Clouds Taste Metallic was a huge record for me, and growing up in the weirdness of Houston, I always imagined Oklahoma City to be in the same universe. I was really nervous to meet him and I felt a little weird that we were playing after them. We traded a little hello, but he was a hard guy to get a read on. Steven Drodz was super nice, and I felt good after talking to him…

So…I am not sure Wayne is the best judge (based on seeing us play at a couple of festivals) if we are righteous, kind and goodhearted people like The Edge and Justin Timberlake (who I am sure he knows intimately as well). I can’t imagine a reason why we would have been pompous towards The Flaming Lips, a band we have always loved, on that particular night, all those years ago. Unless I was way more jet-lagged then I remember, I hope I was less of a “Prick” then telling Rollingstone that a bunch of people I don’t know at all are really a bunch of assholes.
As a closing note, the main point that I am offended by in this whole thing is for Wayne to say we treat our audience like shit…

At times like these I am comforted by knowing that even though Wayne slammed Beck all those years ago, he seems like a really nice guy to me. I guess everyone has a different idea of what being pompous means.


Ok let me say that I am a fan of both bands. Arcade Fire are one of my true favorites though. Despite that, I think Wayne sort of came off as a douche. Win followed up with a appropiate response.

Lets get back to Radiohead. Apparently people (a.k.a. big name artists) are not done ripping on the beloved Radiohead. It isn’t Kanye again, rather it is….Miley Cyrus. She actually had the nerve to go on the radio and say that she is out to “ruin Radiohead“. Apparently the disney star loves Radiohead so much that she would freak out and cry if she got to meet them. Wait…she loves Radiohead??? I guess I need to re-evaluate her music. I missed the Thom Yorke influences in her tunes. Her manager tried to get Miley a special “chill session” with Radiohead and when the band declined her offer saying “We don’t really do that”. The pop princess probably hasn’t heard no in a decade so now she is going to whine about it. If she admires the band so much she should know how private Thom and the rest of the band can be. I am sure they really care about what she thinks.

Gotta love drama huh?

[mp3] : Radiohead -Videotape

[mp3] : Arcade Fire – Intervention

[mp3] : Flaming Lips – The W.A.N.D.

[mp3] : Kanye West -Robocop (VH1 Storytellers)

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