Chvrches and Linkin Park have exchanged shots in what Australia’s Faster Louder has dubbed “the great indie-pop vs nu-metal battle of 2014.” As Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry admits, “It’s not the world’s coolest musical feud.” Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda initiated the conflict by calling Chvrches (as well as Haim and Vampire Weekend) “Disney commercial music” in a recent Faster Louder interview. He also had this to say about the state of rock music:
It’s like everything that’s going on out there is like some combination of Mumford & Sons, M83, MGMT, Arcade Fire and maybe like four or five other bands. I feel like every time I hear a new — quote, unquote, “new” — rock band it’s just some derivative version of that stuff. And that’s the thing that annoys me. I like those bands that it’s coming from, all those bands I just named I will listen to their album, but the stuff that rips them off just makes me bored. I get tired of hearing this watered-down imitation of the originator.
Chvrches responded in a video interview with the Swiss TV network joiz. Mayberry’s take: It’s not a coincidence that his band has a record to sell and he mentions several bands that people are writing about. But if you’re going to go into it I don’t really like being called a sell-out by the guy who wrote the music for the MTV VMA’s. Just saying.” She added, “Live and let live. I will continue to probably not buy Linkin Park albums … I just think it’s really tacky when bands slag off other bands. If you don’t like it just don’t talk about it.” Keyboardist Iain Cook also seemed to call Shinoda a “pointless dick,” but he actually described Shinoda’s comments as a “pointless dig.” Here’s the interview, which also covers lots of other topics over 14 minutes:
In a blog post, Shinoda said his comments were taken out of context and pointed out that he was not slagging groups like Chvrches but rather pointing out a need for aggressive groups like Refused and At The Drive-In to balance out the indie rock scene. Apparently he hasn’t heard Savages, Cloud Nothings, METZ, etc., but still, his assessment seems at least somewhat fair. Unfortunately, he then undercut his case by ending the blog post with another apparent insult:
And a big thank you goes out to CHVRCHES and all the bands whose names I’ve mentioned, for helping us find direction with this album. Because sometimes, knowing where you don’t want to go is all the direction you need.
Alas, it seems no Collision Course-style Linkin Park/Chvrches collab is on the way.