Coyne-Butler Tit-for-Tat Tête-à-Tête

 

A/k/a Yoshimi battles
the black mirrors, round one…

 

By Fred Mills

 

 

As Pitchfork reported yesterday and then, with an update,
today, the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne and Arcade Fire’s Win Butler are in the
middle of a pissy little, er, pissing match. First up: Coyne, who in an
interview with Rolling Stone‘s Andy
Green somehow got off onto a tangent about Arcade Fire, and then out of the
blue made this statement:

 

 

“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.”

 

 

According
to RollingStone.com, the Arcade Fire’s publicist was presented with the
offending quote but the band initially declined to comment. Then, apparently
having had more time to mull things over, last night Win Butler posted a
comeback at his “Scrapbook” blog section of the Arcade Fire website. Titled “I
still like clouds taste metallic,” the posting read thusly:

 

 

“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

 

 

Wow. Meow, guys! Can’t we, like, just get along? Or do we
need to send some L.A. cops over to Oklahoma and up to Canada to administer some
attitude-adjusting beatdowns?

 

 

Stay tuned for Round Two, coming up after this message from
our sponsors…

 

 

 

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