Arcade Fire’s Win Butler Responds To Critics: “I Do Not Rap”

Win Butler recently sat down for an interview with Zane Lowe spanning Arcade Fire’s full career from Funeral up to Everything Now. The interview went online today, and one of its central threads is Butler decrying his critics. “For pretty much every record, when you’re in a band, you can kind of write on a napkin what the critical response is going to be,” he remarks at one point, flashing back to a review of Neon Bible that complained about album closer “My Body Is A Cage”: “You just read this dismissive stuff of something that you know is really good.” As for the career-worst reviews for Arcade Fire’s new album, Butler singles out one specific point of contention: He doesn’t agree that his vocal performance on “Signs Of Life” constitutes rapping, as it has been described by multiple writers:

Every piece of negative criticism that I’ve read of the record mentions that I rap on a song, which is just not true, unless people don’t know what rapping is. Unless, like, Bob Dylan raps, I do not rap on an Arcade Fire song. It’s not a thing that happens. But it’s just kind of like a phrase that’s been copy-pasted from one initial thing from like six months ago, and it’s just kind of the nature of how this stuff works. It’s been really interesting to see, like, this becomes the truth. Some pseudo-fact becomes common knowledge, when everyone who knows what rapping is knows that me saying the days of the week is not rap. It’s not what rap is. But if you repeat it enough, then it’s true.

For what it’s worth, our own Everything Now review did not describe Butler’s vocals as “rapping,” and I’m relatively certain Butler read that one.

Watch the full interview below.