Flaming Lips and Arcade Fire Engage In War of Words

Flaming Lips and Arcade Fire Engage In War of Words

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne takes Arcade Fire to task.

Imagine what it’d be like to be slagged by one of your musical heroes? That’s what happened to the Arcade Fire’s Win Butler, after Lips leader Wayne Coyne was asked about the band during an interview with Rolling Stone:

“I’m a fan of them on one level, but on another level I get really tired of their pompousness,” ranted Coyne, who generally comes off as a pretty nice guy. “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.’
Win Butler wasn’t having any of that. He posted a lengthy, reasoned response on Arcade Fire’s website, which we’ll reprint in full:
Wow, I can’t believe I am actually writing to defend my bands “real” personality. I wish I could not respond to something like this, but the reality is is that people will be asking me questions about it 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 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.

Win

Indie rockers who hurt other Indie rockers…can’t we all just get along?”

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