Arcade Fire have been pretty grumpy about dance music lately, which has led to the extremely popular DJ Deadmau5 lashing out on Twitter. This seems to be a response to something started a few weeks ago during the Arcade Fire’s headlining set at the first week of Coachella, when Win Butler shouted out “to all the bands playing instruments this weekend.” The next weekend, the band featured what seemed like a guest appearance by Daft Punk, but who were in fact impersonators playing a mangled and mockingly bad version of “Get Lucky.” Deadmau5 took to Twitter, asking the band, “dafuqs yer problem?” It’s easy to argue that Arcade Fire were being dicks with the Coachella business, although it’s worth pointing out that Deadmau5 doesn’t seem totally on-base asking, “Do you even score bro?” to a band whose members who were nominated for a “Best Score” Oscar. Still he makes a pretty good point here in a good-humored way (finishing it off with that Richard Kiel scene from Happy Gilmour was great) and you can read all of the tweets below and weigh in in the comments.

(via Spin)

Comments (90)
  1. Whyyyyyy are Arcade Fire turning into dicks?

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  3. 2 or 3 tweets would have been suffice. Point taken though.

  4. You know, I’ll actually listen to Deadmau5′ opinion once he makes some electronic music that’s actually interesting to listen to.

    Seriously though, I’m not gonna pay hundreds of dollars to watch people fake it on stage. The fact that people try to back raves up by saying, “It’s all about the experience!” is bullshit in my opinion. If you have to be rolling on drugs to truly enjoy something, then it’s probably not really all that enjoyable.

    Win had a real point too. I stopped going to Sasquatch after 1/3 of the festival-goers were just ravers. They kind of really divided the whole demographic and the original point of having a predominately indie-rock festival to and end. I would have loved to go to the dance tent at the end of the night at the Gorge, but I’m not interested in essentially going to rave. I’d much rather listen to a DJ like Girl Talk, who puts one of the best live shows you can possibly go to and dance my ass off to that.

    Festivals are all about making money though, and who can blame them? EDM sells tickets. Lots of tickets. And the fact that people are willing to pay a total of over 500 dollars for a weekend is enough evidence to back that argument up.

    I’ll see you soon Bumbershoot. It’ll be refreshing to see lots of local acts and then a fair share of big ones.

    • I lost you at Girl Talk…

      But really why can’t there be room for both? I can throw down with a Skrillex or Deadmau5 set and then still get chills watching Arcade Fire. There’s too much unnecessary self-segregation going on here

      • Agreed. EDM is pretty much good for one thing only: making white people dance. And it does that REALLY well. I’ve ended up at festivals watching EDM acts because a friend or someone wanted to and I’ve actually had a LOT of fun a few times. I’m not gonna say it was “good” because they weren’t really “playing anything” but god damn if I didn’t walk away sweaty with a smile on my face. Music can be fun and enjoyable without being capital G “Good.” I can’t see the point in putting a brostep record on at home while I’m doing the dishes or something, but in the right setting I can get down with it.

  5. I want everyone to shut up and play, however at the same time I can understand where the backlash toward button-sample triggering and level adjusting “live” playing comes from. Watching a video of a DJ watching a turntable and intermittently looking like he’s curing cancer by twisting a knob is, granted, hilarious. But, it’s putting playlists on a pedestal and I could see how this is inferior to watching someone putting more effort into playing a traditional instrument and not having the obvious comfort/structure of a pre-recorded track.

    THAT SAID, none of this is the DJ’s fault. At the risk of sounding old (I’m 40), the celebrity culture/emphasis on the individual has resulted in the camera being pointed on the DJ, rather than the crowd, despite the fact that the DJ isn’t scratching shit. Again, not the DJ’s fault.

    In conclusion, Arcade Fire are misguided in their “prank” and come across like a assholes we’ve known them to be for some time. But I get where they’re coming from (empathy).


    • “like a assholes” lmfao sound like my son who can’t talk good yet lol

      • i never understood why anyone would go see a DJ. not just because i don’t like the music, i honestly dont get hat there is to actually see. if the reason is ‘i like the music and i want to dance and with lots of people’ then i get it. but otherwise, it is just a guy hitting play more or less, right? i can appreciate that the music a DJ is playing had to be composed somewhat but as a live act it’s as engaging as watching someone “gig on his phone”.

        so i think arcade fire has a point and everyone can get on their high horse and call them assholes for calling out EDM (in a live setting at least), but man, i don’t blame them. and for several reasons:

        rock n roll is steeped in the spirit of ‘fuck you’
        paying to see someone merely play and not perform their music is a fucking ripoff – learn how to perform it
        having and voicing an opinion that’s negative toward something is ok. it’s ok! i know that makes you a dick today, but it is ok to think and say ‘ya know what, fuck that garbage’

        • For more DJs then I care to name it’s more then “hitting play”. There are a ton of DJs/producers that care deeply about reading the crowd, playing and mixing the right songs, and getting interesting and new things out of what they play, every time they play.

          That being said, there are a LARGE number of big name DJs that I’m fairly sure “just press play” and let their live show go off. I saw Calvin Harris at coachella (the group made me do it!) and my buddy and I had a long conversation debating whether or not he literally just pressed play and told us to GET OUR HANDS UP. Which is annoying as all hell.

          I, personally, like the fact that Arcade Fire (read: Win) spout off their opinion whenever they feel like it. It’s, like you said, rock n roll. However, If you want to see some quality DJ’ing get out of the festival scene and go see them in a club setting.

          • Totally agree with the first point

          • I also saw that CalHar set at Coachella and had pretty much that exact same conversation with a friend of mine. It struck me as weird that none of the guest vocalists came out to sing their parts, despite the fact that many of them were there (Ellie and Florence to name two). Maybe it wasn’t possible because he was just hitting play. Meanwhile Pharrell was definitely playing live and brought out what seemed like every artist he’s ever worked with.

        • Well, I think part of the thing with dance music is not to “see” the DJ. It’s to hear a mix, preferably over a few hours, that, on the fly, presents songs that are unfamiliar and those that are familiar in a new way, so that people dance and have a good overall experience. Before about 15 years ago, it was fairly rare for the DJ to be extremely visible in a club. You saw him or her somewhere but the focus was the people in the club. The DJ played for those people, because he or she could see them and how they were responding to the music. This still happens.
          With “EDM” at a festival, you have a guy or girl who is now supposed to be “seen,” who only plays for an hour or two, and plays to a sea of heads that is beyond comprehension. He or she usually plays some original compositions that are premixed, with a heavy and distracting light show. He or she may also be constantly travelling and playing 100s of shows per year, and not just on weekends, and so can’t be certain to be on point at a huge event. People seem to want to pay for what results and they can.
          I think the DJ experience is suited to smaller clubs and festivals are suited to acts who perform in a more interesting, challenging, and visual way than a DJ, but if people want to pay for a DJ, Why not? They also paid to see Arcade Fire in this case. Why all the hate? It seems ridiculous for Arcade Fire to take a significantly more electronic, DJ-influenced, curatorial style on their new album and then turn around and say this. But it does get people talking, which seems to be Arcade Fire’s point.

    • Holy buckets. Mr. D-to-the-illa is 40? And has a freaking kid?
      Much respect.

  6. can’t stand EDM, and their fans.

  7. Arcade Fire should stop mocking other people, it’s unprofessional. They make good music using the medium they chose, why should they try to ridicule others that do differently? I’ve seen Arcade Fire and Daft Punk live and enjoyed both. Stop thinking about the instruments/tools and focus on the experience! Art is not a technique, it is a moment of communion and beauty, if some people feel that with cymbals, computes, guitars, theremins, moogs, etc, does it really matter?

  8. As much as I sympathize with Arcade Fire’s sentiment, I feel like at a fundamental level it’s pretty unjustified. If audiences enjoy EDM and electronic music, who are artists who don’t make that kind of music to criticize the artists that produce EDM/electronica? I do think it’s great when a group like Disclosure reproduces their sound with live instruments, I think that’d be ideal, but people are going to listen to what they like.

  9. What is going on with Canadian music? Its most popular indie band and DJ are feuding, its teen pop superstar is going through a rough patch to say the least, and its most notable rapper is accusing people of eating fondue and lint rolling his pants at NBA playoff games. Has Rob Ford contaminated Ontario’s water supply with crack? What would the Tragically Hip have to say about all of this? Dark times up north.

  10. So get this. True story.

    At weekend 1 of Coachella…after Neutral Milk Hotel ended I had some extra time before Beck started. On stage before Beck…Calvin Harris. Playing to the biggest crowd of the weekend I believe.

    Watching in amazement at the crowd, I looked next to me and see a huge guy that looked like Win Butler. He was wearing a mask and a hat trying to conceal his identity (but that dude is fucking tall). It was obviously him. But only my friends and I noticed since we weren’t on molly watching Calvin. We didn’t go up to him because it would’ve been messed up to blow his cover, but he watched all of Calvin Harris’ set, by himself, and throughout it he was just shaking his head with a pissed off glare. Pretty funny he would be on that exact same stage in 2 hours to headline and make the comment about real instruments.

  11. I think the point of Arcade Fire’s rant is that technically anyone could be up there conducting a Daft Punk or DangerMaus set…the fact that their public personas are hidden behind masks renders this explicitly so. I like Daft Punk, and would pay to see them perform live, but I also have to take into account the possibility that it might not really be them behind their masks. There’s a lack of authenticity…

  12. Am I the only one that didn’t think they were mocking Daft Punk? Seemed like they were having fun and playing off of the every fucking year request that Daft Punk play.

    • I felt it was that, too. Plus, I think they were just mocking the whole “Look who made a surprise guest appearance at Coachella!” trend that annoyingly seemed to be the major focus of weekend 1 media coverage instead of who actually played full sets. Also, Daft Punk played real instruments on Random Access Memories (and probably because they wanted to distance themselves from push-button DJ culture,) so it would be pretty silly for anyone to assume they were mocking them as being the same as the Martin Garrixes and Skrillexes of the world.

    • Yea, I really doubt they have beef with Daft Punk; more with the EDM day-glo bros and skanks who go see bass-dropping ipod pushers. I mean, James Murphy produced their last album and last time I checked LCD Soundsystem was EDM.

      • LOLZ at ” last time I checked LCD Soundsystem was EDM.”

      • Although LCD has electronic components to their music and you can certainly dance to a lot of it, I’m pretty sure it’s not “EDM.” I am pretty sure, however, that James Murphy is a pretty big Daft Punk fan and LCD’s music is heavily influenced by the robots so I don’t think Arcade Fire would’ve asked him to work on their album if they had beef with Daft Punk.

  13. And what instrument does their tour opener Dan Deacon play? This is pretty hypocritical and I expected Arcade Fire to be more open-minded about music,

    • Pretty sure he has a rather complicated set-up built around a midi synth.

      it’s not like Win was like “yo, fuck electricity and all instruments that use it”

  14. People shouldn’t take Win so seriously, he’s just taking a piss. I mean – come on, Kid Koala and Dan Deacon are Arcade Fire’s support on Reflektor tour….

  15. Funny thing about this story is that I’ve always, at some core level, basically thought the same thing as Win B – until I read this and saw how remarkably dickish it sounds when actually said out loud.

  16. I’m sure Win acknowledges you can make great music on a computer or whatever Kraftwerk uses. I think he’s just dissing all the bad EDM acts that got booked at Coachella. Beck dissed the “four on the floor” too.

  17. Here’s my theory on EDM shows: without the crowd it doesn’t exist – YOU are the most important part of the show, actually to YOU it’s all about YOU. It’s not important seeing someone perform, it’s about being in the centre of the universe. It’s not “Calvin Harris kicked ass”, it’s “we kicked ass at that Calvin Harris show”. #selfie #blog

    Of course that’s going to upset rock stars of the old school, it used to be all about them.

    (I’m more “here I am, entertain me” so EDM shows are not my Blur Brittania cup of tea)

    • I hope a lot of people read this because it might have been one of the smartest things I’ve ever written. So insightful, where did that come from? If this was a new me or if it was the high point of me commenting on the internet I guess only the future knows. (“it’s the latter” – the future)

  18. I remember reading an article, i think from this very site that tried to give an explanation why rock music is currently taking the backseat to electronic/pop non rockband acts. The comments were heated and lots of stereotypical “rock isn’t dead!! it’s a phase” etc. It’s weird to see a genre as big as rock so backed in a corner that a band as big as Arcade Fire has to resort to tactics like this. Personally i think it’s embarrassing but the fans in here don’t seem to think of it that way.

  19. Deadmau5 is great fun live.i am not a fan, but it´s fun. he´s a producer by the way, not a dj. so he plays his music live with a big dead maus on his head. kind of like arcade fire use big heads maybe that´s why this beef. because deadmau5 may think he invented big heads.i think both deadmaus and arcade fire have limited social skill , both just complain and moan about no thing. they are all mere musicians, and i think they overrate their own importance. best they enjoy what they do, but stop the bitching already. if i want to see that, i ll watch ru paul´s drag race. which i don´t

  20. music needs nothing more than sound. everything else….arcade fire’s live show, lazers, dancers, drum sets on rollercoasters….is all unnecessary.

  21. #doyouevenscorebro


  22. i DJ and was in an indie rock band for a years so ive seen both sides of it but honestly why cant they just both exist? the molly taking populous would never be the audience for rock music anyways so what does it hurt? i stand intensely watching people play their instruments and get enjoyment that way, and then i dance my ass off and not really worry about whats going on on stage for djs and i get enjoyment that way…

  23. This was me trolling DeadMau5 one day. Safe to say it was at least the highlight of that day for me

  24. why is it so hard for me to do the easiest things

  25. If you are a musician who plays an instrument and you work hard to rehearse, learn how to play that instrument, and learn how to play your music live, it is definitely disheartening to see someone else only have to create music one time (via a recording), music that they can create in thousands of little parts, often by the pushing of a button or the drag and drop of a sample, and “perform” that same recording live. It’s less work for the latter, but you get the same fanfare and buckaroos these days. That would piss anyone off.

    • clearly you’ve never created or performed music using a computer.

      • Clearly you’ve never played an instrument.

        See how easy that lazy and snarky comeback is? I’m not taking sides, I’m just stating the viewpoint from a non-computer-DJ musician.

        • I have (and do) play multiple instruments, as well as compose music on a computer. Your viewpoint as a “non-computer-DJ musician” is just that: one-sided and ignorant, which is the point of my comment.

          It takes just as much time to learn a DAW or any other component of electronic composition as it does to master a “real instrument” and anyone that thinks it’s as easy as “pressing play” should give it a try sometime. I have a feeling they will be humbled by the experience.

          Obviously the “performative” aspects of live electronic music vary and some do leave a lot to be desired, but to claim that electronic music takes less work or skill is extremely narrow minded.

        • I’ve done/do both. Playing an instrument is much more difficult. So, there’s your answer.

      • I HAVE created and performed music using a computer and it is ridiculously easy, particularly the style of EDM that’s popular today which involves either 3 or 4 chords per song, a boring bass synth, and cut-and-paste sequencing. Learning to play and recording real instruments, then mixing them so they all sound great together is a lot harder than using a keyboard, some patches, and a I-III-V chord progression. And that’s with my set-up, which is amateur and fairly dated. I can only imagine how much simpler it is in an expensive studio.

        I like some EDM songs but there’s no contest when it comes to the amount of skill it takes to create that kind of music vs. rock, jazz, or anything with actual instruments. Like many people have put more eloquently above, EDM isn’t about the music, it’s about the molly and jumping up and down.

    • One could also lament on how easy it is to play three chords on a guitar and look sexy compared to composing on a computer. Or one could say that classical composers have it easy as they only have to draw little notes on paper (hey ! it’s only a pen and a paper for chrissakes!). Your reasoning is flawed and based on caricature.

  26. Looks like we got a regular Mods vs. Rockers lifestyle battle on our hands!

  27. i dont think af were taking shots at electronic music at all, i think this is nothing

  28. Who gives a shit how technical the performance is? I want to to go to shows by artists that move me. Move my feet or move me emotionally. I dont care for Van Halen or Bach, though both are masters of their craft, so why would I care that it is technically easier for a DJ to play a set than an indie rock group?

  29. Went to Moogfest in Asheville, NC this past weekend. Saw Keith Emerson, Bernie Worell, and Chic. Also saw Sasha, Green Velvet, M.I.A., Egyptian Lovers, Mixmaster Mike , Kraftwerk and Darkstar among others. Awesome festival. There is certainly room for both computer based and instrument based music.

  30. Can we just get like 5 new James Blakes? That’d be tight.

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