After writing about The Black Donnellys’ mysterious soundtrack swap of Arcade Fire for Snow Patrol in the pilot’s closing sequence, an insider wrote us with the scoop:

Ok so apparently Paul Haggis based part of the episode on that Arcade Fire song without getting permission first. Arcade Fire has a very strict anti-licensing policy — I think they gave a song to an AIDS charity recently and they did the Six Feet Under thing but that is the only licensing they’ve ever done. I guess Haggis’ people tried to license the Arcade Fire song for the show and the band kept saying NO. So Haggis actually flew to Montreal to try to convince the band to give him permission and they still said NO, NO, NO! As you can imagine, Haggis could not understand this especially since he had just won the Oscar for best picture, etc. etc. But Arcade Fire stuck to their guns, so good for them.

Gotta admire those principles. That’s exactly what we’d do: Hold out for Grey’s Anatomy! Can’t you just see that meeting? Paul Haggis at one end of a long table, Oscar by his side, looking incredulously across the room. And at the other end of the table…

Comments (38)
  1. Craig  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2007 0

    The talking ham sandwich should have done a little persuading.

  2. Scotta  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2007 0

    Gotta admire the guy’s tenacity though. Still, good for Arcade Fire.

  3. tuna  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2007 0

    …and this is why you should keep your publishing.

  4. pauly  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2007 0

    Could this band be any better?
    I love them!!!

  5. Sean  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2007 0

    Before giving The AF too much credit, we should keep in mind the fact that Haggis is one of the worst people in hollywood today. He makes shitty, preachy, overwrought, overacted shit.

    This is a co-creator of Walker Texas Ranger we’re talking about here.

    If Paul Haggis showed up at my door, I’d spit in his scientologist face.

  6. the biz  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2007 0

    well, let’s see what they do when Outback Steakhouse comes calling! no, for real though, it’s actually good to see them standing up for something. i thought Of Montreal were such pathetic sell-outs after their string of TV commercial hits.

  7. El Payo  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2007 0

    Arcade Fire should hold out for Katherine Heigel’s Anatomy.

  8. Enough of big media corporations demanding stuff for free, but then charging with the RIAA.

    Anyway, it doesn’t really matter, since my preorder of Neon Bible just arrived (Deluxe CD).

    http://www.asourceofinspiration.com/2007/02/28/neon-bible-deluxe/

  9. to bring it back to of montreal for a moment – i thought they were sellouts for about 5 seconds until i realized that they’re people with homes, mortgages, families, equipment, bills… that shit adds up. why wouldn’t they sell a song to outback steakhouse if they were offered the chance. have you seen their live setup lately? they have a bus (bought by that commercial) full of props (bought by that commercial)… so check yaself “the biz.”

    you probably love the new modest mouse and they did a mini-van commercial.

  10. if i were them i’d sell out and sell out big

  11. peabody  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2007 0

    paul haggis is a tool.
    crash is the worst film i have ever seen. no exaggeration.

  12. alan  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2007 0

    word, brian.

    people who get angry about ‘sell-outs’ is a little stupid. changing the lyrics, thats a tough one to swallow, but just using a song isnt that bad (save, the thermals/hummer situation, since it conflicted with their values, etc) but i mean, you guys who are so sharp-tongued about this, just chill out.

  13. Nathan  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2007 0

    The Arcade Fire are fucking awful. The first album was OK, but this new shit is garbage. Hold out all you want Kids, you’ll be an asterix on Canadian Indie Rock within 2 years.

  14. aa bottom  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2007 0

    Nathan has opinions.

  15. Richie  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2007 0

    An Asterix? Like, Obelix’s pal?.. small French cartoon dude that went around beating up Romans?

  16. Finchmeister  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2007 0

    Fuck yes. I love the thought of Haggisfuck getting off a plane and getting a stiff ‘NO’ in the face. He’s a horrible, horrible writer.

  17. e.  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2007 0

    Funny. Cause the Arcade Fire are kind of like Paul Haggis; nearly comically melodramatic, overwrought and very, very comfortable sermonizing on the pulpit.

  18. Jeopardy is for hipsters.

  19. schmod  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2007 0

    Oh, I don’t know. Didn’t a bunch of the of Montreal guys come out straight up front and say that they licensed their song for the money? I seem to remember them being pretty honest about it. I mean, they’re a somewhat large band, and have families and bills to pay — cut them a break.

    There was also the bit where Final Fantasy accidentally had one of his songs licensed by his label. He got a bit angry at the label, but forgave them for the miscommunication, and donated all of the profits to charity.

    Bands have every right to refuse to license their songs, but there’s nothing wrong if they do choose to license.

    I say we put mustard on it!

  20. Matthew  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2007 0

    Oh goody, another overhyped indie band crusading for “artistic integrity” against the oh-so evil marketing machine of the evil, nasty world.

  21. Pat  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2007 0

    This is from an film student point of view,

    I know Haggis is a douche and all and its fair to say no to him,

    but,

    When I think of ideas for shorts/movies/whathave you, Licensing or getting permission to use a song that you desperatly like and have planned and has meaning and signifigance, is the
    SCARIEST THING.
    When your artistic vision is based around said song, calling up the record label (especially the big ones) is nerveracking. Not only is there a chance your gona have to pay to use it, but theres also the chance that they upright say “No, never,” which means BLAM there goes your awsome idea or whatever, that is now not gona happen or have the same importance.

    Lets imagine for one second that haggis isnt after ratings with a hit song- they said no, and one persons artistic vision/idea/whatever is sacraficed for one band or companys “Integrity.”

    replace “haggis” with “student” and you get “Crushing confidence blow”

  22. kevin  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    impeccably put pat

  23. The only principal I admire is Belding.

    You know why?

    Here’s why

  24. cmca  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    “If I let contracts rule my life, I’d still be doing The Facts of Life rather than hang with my [Oscars].”

  25. KingHater  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    Okay, Stereogum — let’s call Time Out on the Win Butler Handjob Party for a second.

    It’s precisely this kind of nauseating overpraise of every single piss and bowel movement made by any member of Arcade Fire that’s going to make this otherwise remarkable band feel like they’ve overstayed their welcome by the time the album actually, officially, hits shelves.

    Personally, I read this site to AVOID that kind of gushing. Leave that to the Pitchfork.

  26. HAHAHA i can say from personal experience that Paul Haggis is an unimaginable asshole. good for them not be swayed by piles of cash.

  27. johnsy  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    I say an American band has every right to license their songs, they get no support from the government, but Arcade Fire have Canadian Artist Association to support them, the government gives them the money to tour, make videos, live, etc. so they don’t need to rely on licensing or touring to make money.

  28. Dan  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    I just hope everyone who praised AF for not “selling out” has actually paid for their albums … they won’t seem so noble working at guitar center in 15 years

  29. elton  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    why do they care so much about not being on that show? it seems so stupid. that guy just likes them and thinks it would be good.

  30. the biz  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    this new “it’s okay to sell your soul to shitty corporations” attitude is fucking nuts! it’s not okay. of montreal are greedy sell-outs. all to tour around in a big rock star tour bus. get a van, you babies! now, if it was a cool film or something the band genuinely believed in that wanted to use the music, then go for it. but outback? fucking nasdaq? i think this is the first generation of “art” bands (and fans) that think this shit is okay.

  31. hootie  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    wait a minute, if we move to Canada the government will give our band money?

  32. Nate  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    Crash was the best film of 2005 and Funeral was the best album of 2004.
    It’s sad these brilliant artists couldn’t find enough common ground to create the best television montage of 2007.
    The people too lazy to change the channel after “Heroes” deserved it.

  33. cm  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    Arcade Fire have not kept their publishing; it’s with EMI.

    Two previous licenses does not a “no-licensing-policy” make.

    DIY mythologizing is soooo last decade.

  34. Joe Mama  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    I love the props that AF gets from a site that got flown to Seattle by Microsoft to write a puff piece about the Zune.

  35. blue  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    awesome. fuck paul haggis and the lame-ass movie he road in on.

  36. Bertha Pullman  |   Posted on Mar 6th, 2007 0

    Scientologist Haggis should ask fellow Sciento Beck Hansen, who seems to have fallen off the map after conversion to this evil U.S. intelligence-shaped organization. (Manson was recruited to Scientology in prison, ya’ll. Google his deliberate involvement in helping destroy the “hippie” era by terrorizing Hollywood’s young groovesters in 1969.)

    But I guess the sheen is suddenly off Hansen even for fellow culty Haggis. This celebrity-obsessed heap of Manchurian Candidate cult hoodoo can magically take Gold and turn it into Lead.

  37. Fry  |   Posted on Apr 5th, 2007 0

    “this new “it’s okay to sell your soul to shitty corporations” attitude is fucking nuts! it’s not okay. of montreal are greedy sell-outs. all to tour around in a big rock star tour bus. get a van, you babies! now, if it was a cool film or something the band genuinely believed in that wanted to use the music, then go for it. but outback? fucking nasdaq? i think this is the first generation of “art” bands (and fans) that think this shit is okay.”

    This faggot has got to be fucking kidding us with this statement. One of the stupidest comment I’ve seen anywhere on this site.

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