This morning, out of nowhere, Flaming Lips ringleader Wayne Coyne tore the Arcade Fire a new asshole, accusing the beloved Canadian indie rockers of being pompous pricks who treat everybody — crew, fans, Oklahoman psych-pop bands — like shit. Blogging on his band’s site, Win Butler expresses disbelief about the situation. He only met Wayne once years ago, so WTF? Then he drags Beck into it. The full statement…

Via arcadefire.com:

I can’t believe I am actually writing to defend my band’s “real” personality. I wish I could not respond to something like this, but the reality is, is that people will be asking me questions 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 a bunch of 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.


Re: Beck, Win’s referring to a 2003 Guardian interview:

“Beck had issues… don’t print anything bad – actually, I don’t care … I just don’t get it when the slightest thing goes wrong before a gig and the artist is, like, fuck this. … Honey, it was totally disappointing. It’s a total devastation to know that he’s not a relaxed Californian stoner. When you hear his songs, you think he must really have some tender feelings, but then you find out it’s a made-up thing.”

You can read that here. In it he also describes the Verve as atrocious and egotistical and calls Richard Ashcroft a “pompous fool.” Noticing a pattern here.

Comments (159)
  1. Names  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

    Honestly, this settles it for me. That guy there, that’s the Win Butler I know, and his response had far more damn class than Wayne Coyne’s little notice-me rant deserved.

    Nice Guy Coyne shouldn’t feels the need to keep proving that there’s nobody else as nice as he.

    • murph  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

      what a bunch of losers we’ve become as humans. bring on the nukes.

    • adam  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

      Can you all feel that? It’s the 80% agreement with Wayne side now shifting to an 80% agree with Win now the other side has made it’s case. We’re like little kids in a soccer game, all following the soccer ball back and forth across the field.

  2. tell it to the marines, win.

  3. So the takeaway is that our music heroes act like 13 year old little girls on MySpace. I guess I don’t really care.

  4. Jack  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

    I love this feud! Best thing to happen to Stereogum since Ryan Adams!

  5. Bev  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

    Question. Who gives a shit?

  6. lantern  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

    Wayne Coyne doesn’t deserve such a polite and classy response to his accusations. Arcade Fire are truly nice people. They don’t deserve this shit.

    • I don’t know…

      “the reality is that people will be asking me questions about it for the next 5 years”
      “Justin Timberlake (who I am sure he knows intimately as well)”
      ‘I hope I was less of a “prick” than telling RS that a bunch of people I don’t know at all are really assholes”

      … some parts like that came off as pure venomous to me- not exactly classy. He should have cooled off a bit before writing this. I’m just saying- I doubt that Win is an asshole (I don’t think you can easily define people as just asshole/non-asshole), but he does come off as a bit hot-headed in this post.

  7. Jenny Decimal  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

    Nicely measured response from Butler, I think.

    And yes, definite pattern emerging from Coyne. He’s done himself no favours in my eyes.

  8. keekee  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

    They should just fuck , WIN is the pussy bottom

  9. joe  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

    Wayne Coyne is a fool.

  10. yeepers  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

    Win wins!

  11. Ford  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

    Wait Win, Steven Drodz? It’s Steven Drozd. That’s how you know he’s really pompous, he assumes he knows how to spell people’s names. Not even a google search to clear it up, how arrogant. Fuck Win Butler, Wayne Coyne is a national treasure.

  12. All these comments here should start with either “TEAM WAYNE” or “TEAM WIN”, I mean if we’re gonna discuss this juvenile subject, we better get down to that level, right?

  13. Names  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

    I think we should all agree to slap Coyne upside the head with one of those giant novelty hands next time we see him, tell him to stop being such a pissytwat.

  14. who cares?  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

    not me

  15. kurt  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0


  16. Ha. It looks like he deems his post the best, and therefore put “Win” in the end. Anyway, I can see where Win is coming from, but honestly he is also making himself look bad by arguing back and taking backhanded jabs at Wayne. That’s pretty low. He could have been the bigger man and said, this upsets me because I’m a big fan of The Flaming Lips… and kept it at that sentiment. Then we would all feel bad for him and say Wayne was an asshole for saying that to a music publication. Bottom line: I think these are both rock stars with some inherent ego. It goes with the job. You can’t not have some fucking ego when millions of people adore you. I just wish they wouldn’t have any petty little ego fights like this…

    • Names  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

      Danielle, check out the responses in the other article. Nearly everybody agreed with what Coyne said purely because it was Coyne saying it. Win Butler’s a nice freaking dude, believe me, but he and his friends were getting roasted over something somebody else said to a magazine. In the absence of a response, people were losing their damn minds.

      Somebody even suggested – with absolutely no basis in this reality or any other, I promise you – that Win Butler once assaulted his wife on stage in full view of an audience at a well attended show, and this has somehow never surfaced before ever. Seriously. That’s beyond reasonable tolerances, tjhat’s ludicrous. And whatever about what Coyne thing, the guy has a right to defend his hard-earned good name from a bunch of internet weirdos letting their imaginations run away with them.

      • Point taken, and I agree. I had actually only read the first ten or so comments on that original post, and the wife comment did make me scratch my head but since it got so many thumbs up’s I assumed there must be some truth to it. So yeah, you’re right… and I can understand why Win would try to defend himself. He could have done it a little better, but then again he could have done much, much worse. He is being himself in his post- you can tell- and I respect that.

      • Peyton   |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

        I WAS THERE. IT happened. He literally poked her off stage with a bass. It’s amazing that, through fandom, people forget about it, that it didn’t matter because the rest of the show was great. But, it happened. Period.

      • Bassist in reality  |   Posted on Mar 6th, 2009 0

        He did shove his wife with a bass. I just watched the video of it right now.

  17. Names  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

    TEAM WIN – At the end of the day, I know for a fact that Win Butler would never, ever have said this about Wayne Coyne if roles were reversed, and that’s all I need.

    And Coyne should get off right here about pretending he’s some martyr for Arcade Fire’s beleagured audience. Dude, WE’RE Arcade Fire’s audience, and you know what, they’ve always done right by us as far as I’m concerned. Douche.

  18. Lorna  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

    I feel Win’s pain to even have to comment on this crap. But atleast he did it with class and didn’t sink to Coyne’s level. Well done, Win.

  19. A pretty mature response. I feel most artists would have done an all caps myspace blog.

  20. It annoys me that both of them make an effort to say, “Don’t get me wrong. I love their music.” Nuff with the civility.

  21. Chris  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

    What Wayne said. I’m altogether serious in saying that I met Win on one unfortunate occasion and would hope that he was having one of the worst days of his life or else he’s an intergalatic douche helmet. Apparently Mr. Coyne met him on another occasion and shares my impression.

  22. Valid reasoning. Hopefully Coyne’s ego has been sufficiently stroked after Win’s praise.

    on an aside, i don’t think him being a big music name justifies his condemnation of all of these artists, AKA, shut the fuck up and make a record

  23. onceler  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

    its just kinda funny whenever someone acts like a complete asshole in their attempts to inform people that they think someone else is an asshole.

  24. TEAM WIN:
    Coyne seems like even more of a cunt now. Bands needing to “let the world in” on how douchey other bands are? Why? Did he really feel he was doing the right thing in that case, even if he HAD a good reason to (because meeting someone once is not even close to sufficient).
    Don’t get me wrong, I love every band ever. But win does win.

  25. corey  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

    here’s the real question: can win tell the difference between then/than?

  26. megaindiedouche  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 0

    Celebrity feuds? That’s awfully Us Weekly, Stereogum.

  27. Joe  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

    Win’s post was passive-aggressive (see: ‘i’m sure he knows Justin Timberlake intimately”) while Wayne’s was just flat-out aggressive — so I guess I admire Wayne’s ability to just call someone an asshole and leave it at that, without these little backhanded “i’mthevictim” insults.

  28. thank you win butler for your boring condescending response to an impassioned and likely self-knowingly hilarious part of an interview.

  29. alex  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

    haha. its like the indie equivelnt to some hollywood star feud.

  30. i’m thinking robert smith and win butler faceoff against thom yorke and wayne coyne in doubles tennis. it really seems like the only way.

  31. Ryan  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

    Anyone else notice Win’s use of the word then, instead of than? Twice.

  32. Alright, I’m officially past the point of caring on this one.
    Flaming Lips have released many amazing records over the years, Arcade Fire have released two (this isn’t a game of numbers because this would mean Arcade Fire have 100% success rate), and I love and appreciate what both bands are doing.
    It’s like having your parents fight.
    Let’s say one of them has a more formal style of dress and professionalism to them. They seem a bit distant but in the back of your mind you don’t care because in the end you love them because when you need someone to have a serious discussion with on a very intellectual level, their input is uplifting.
    The other parent is a little goofier, likes to have fun and is very socially active. You know they have a past with substance abuse but it helped build their character. It’s hard not to like them because they have such a warm and inviting personality but when someone rubs them the wrong way, they can be very vocal about it. Their sense of humour is offbeat but charming and they aren’t afraid to make a mess to have a good time. They offer a different kind of therapy than the other parent.
    You’re driving somewhere with one and they outright attack the other one after a bad experience or a stressful day or whatever. The other, not being the one who launched of offencive, gets off on a high and mighty rant about how petty the other one is.
    You can’t help but remember the reason why you love both of them but in the end you feel they’re both being incredibly childish and you wish they would stop it. Even if they can’t come to a conclusion, at least not fight in front of you because they just look like assholes.

  33. I think I figured out the problem.

    Wayne, he isn’t declaring victory at the end of his blog posts. That’s really his name.

    It’s okay, you guys. Just a misunderstanding.

    • Hahahahah

    • I lol’d

      I can’t really even understand Wayne’s motives in the first place. Win can’t be a bigger prick than/then Thom Yorke has been reported to be so I’m inclined to not care too much.

      Sorry Wayne, but you lose…. unless this shit goes around again.

      WAT! Is this the new BLUR vs. OASIS!!!!! BEATLES vs. STONES!!!!! ????

  34. Coyne is right, Arcade Fire are pompous assholes. I remember a couple of years ago they play the Much Music awards (I believe it was when Funeral came out) and after the performance they were complete assholes refusing to give any interviews, and I mean c’mon Much music had supported them and everything. Fuck them. And this is comming from a Canadian! Broken Social Scene is way better anyway!!

  35. everyone that’s saying this is a classy response should remember this was a deliberate response. Win is answering the charge on his own terms. Wayne said this in an interview and I doubt he thought that day “Fuck Arcade Fire, I better call Rolling Stone”

    • beat muffin  |   Posted on Mar 7th, 2009 0

      I agree with Tandrew. Arcade Fire are pretentious and stale. They are nasty cause no self respecting Canadian will buy their music.

  36. Lonnie Pigford   |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

    If Wayne had said this about Radiohead everyone would be going shitless on Wayne calling him a no-talent hack. And if Robert Smith or Billy Corgan had said this about Arcade Fire…fuhgeddaboutit

    • FlimFlam  |   Posted on Mar 8th, 2009 0

      Actually, if you go ask any Radiohead fansite message board youll mostly find that Radiohead fans know Thom can be a pissy jerk, but people are willing to accept that as part of the puzzle. Same goes for John Lennon fans or Dylan fans.

  37. Beck   |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

    Wayne’s got a firm ass, that’s for sure. Real, real firm.

  38. Mark  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

    Well there go our chances of Arcade Fire ever coming to OKC….

    • Lane  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

      That’s cute, you think Arcade Fire would set foot in OKC. Adorable. Really. For some reason, some artists seem to think Oklahoma is a myth or something…it doesn’t exist, so why perform there? I call bullshit.

      • Jesus. I hope this ISN’T how Arcade Fire is, because it would totally prove Wayne’s point. Not really sure who to side with on this (leaning towards Wayne, more asshole reports on Win), but hopefully Win isn’t as a big a douchebag as you.

  39. Skip  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

    My nipples haven’t been this hard for a feud since 2Pac said he fucked Faith Evans. I seriously can’t wait for the drive-by.

  40. JMAC  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0


  41. Cherry_Ghost  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0


    I’m going to assume his brain is fried beyond salvation and everything he’s said to anyone over the last two decades is JIBBUH-JABBAH. You know, like your grandpa.

  42. Jim-Bob  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

    Again, more to the point is the fact that the Flaming Lips don’t even make music anymore, do they? They’re like the indie rock Celine Dion, getting by on reputation and live shows in which they’re too concerned about everything besides the music and end up sounding like complete shit. Yoshimi was, what, six years ago now? I mean, jesus, really. You idiots have me up to -20 on my previous Wayne-dissing comment, but you’re clearly homers, because the fact is his band is more or less shit at the moment. Seriously Wayne, you’re about the last person to be calling anyone out on anything music related.

  43. THE MAN  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

    Hey, can anybody tell me, I’m trying to find this Arcade Fire song. It starts off quiet, but then as the song goes along, it builds into a crescendo and the strings start to swell, and the singer really starts to sing loudly, and it climaxes. What song is that? I heard it on the radio and I’m dying to hear it again.

    • liamz  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

      Oh man can anyone help me? I’m trying to remember that one joke about that one band where you somehow refer to one song by describing basically every song by that one band… how does that joke go again?

    • If you aren’t joking, it’s probably “My Body Is A Cage”

    • FlimFlam  |   Posted on Mar 9th, 2009 0

      I don’t know. They have three or four songs like that. It should be easy to pick out of the rest

  44. kurt  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

    billy corgan, ryan adams, robert smith, wayne coyne, and many more need to learn the whole “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” concept

  45. Joker's Lady  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

    I heard though that arcade fire are ,or at least Win is really arrogant and thinks he is the best thing ever, like royalty or something. I remember reading the rolling stone article and Win making the reporter get off a cab/ limo in the middle of a street because he had “some business” to take care of.

  46. This, for me, is like the indie rock version of The Rock vs Stone Cold.

  47. Alex  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0


  48. Alex  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

    I hate when mom and dad fight like this :(

  49. Alex Hudson  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 0

    Wayne’s always had a weird thing for singing about fighting. I thought it was a schtick. Guess not.

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