Win Butler from the Arcade Fire, called out for pomposity by supposed good guy Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, fired back late yesterday what’s shaping up to be the Musical Beef Of March 2009. (It’s at least on par with some of the great beefs of the past, like Canibus vs. LL Cool J, Canibus vs. Eminem, and Canibus vs. relevance!) Butler says he only met Coyne once briefly and found him “a hard guy to get a read on.” He doesn’t recall any jerkiness, but he does say the band was jetlagged from a trip to Brazil. He also says that “Steven Drodz” [sic] was nice and is a big fan (as well he should be) of Clouds Taste Metallic.
The full statement is here as a screen capture because the Arcade Fire has a fancy-pants site.
I can feel Win trying to hold back the anger here. There is thinly veiled snark: “So… I am not sure if 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).” To be fair to Wayne, JT did join the Lips onstage as a dolphin, which is the type of bond between men that can never be undone. Then he turns the tables a bit and calls out Wayne for talking smack to Rolling Stone, which is a valid point. He even brings Beck back into it! Finally, he defends his band’s treatment of audiences, which is something I’ve never heard a bad word about myself. In fact, they often bring people from the audience up onstage to sing with them!
Though I am bad at taking my own advice, I usually say don’t respond to this kind of stuff, but with people lining up behind Coyne and the stories getting more ridiculous online (he made his wife cry onstage!), it’s probably for the best he responded in as measured way as he did. There are some jabs there, but none of them see too out-of-bounds given the nature of the first accusation by Coyne. I think the ball is definitely back in Wayne’s court. Should he apologize or keep on ranting? As a writer, I hope for the latter.
Arcade Fire [Official site]