In response to a letter from music executive Steve Stoute, which criticized the Grammy Awards for being out of touch and ignoring the hip-hop community, Arcade Fire manager Scott Rodger has penned a response, defending his band’s Album of the Year win and the fact that they played a second song.
Stoute was inspired to pen his letter in large part due to Arcade Fire’s role in the evening: “As the show was coming to a close and just prior to presenting the award for Album of the Year, Arcade Fire performed ‘Month of May’ only to, surprise, win the category and, in a moment of sheer coincidence, happened to be prepared to perform ‘Ready to Start.’ Does the Grammys intentionally use artists for their celebrity, popularity and cultural appeal when they already know the winners and then program a show against this expectation?”
“Arcade Fire deserved the win this year,” writes Rodger in his response. “They made the best album. If the award was names “Album Sales Of The Year” award, there would be no discussion. Stoutes letter was nice piece of self publicity. Did he see Kanye’s tweets when we won and the praise he gave us?? He needs to tune in. Eminem made a big selling album but it was far from being his best work. Katy Perry made a big pop record that simply didn’t have weight or credibility. Gaga’s repackage, great album but it was a repackage of the main release. I think everyone felt it was going to be Lady Antebellum’s moment having won 5 out of 6 awards to that point. We all felt that way too.
As for the band’s seemingly impromptu second performance of “Ready to Start?” The show’s producer Ken Ehlrich says it was a last-minute decision in a Grammy press conference. “I talked to [band frontman] Win [Butler], I said either way, will you come back? He said absolutely. That was one of the unexpected things.”