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…
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.