Animal Collective Respond To The Web Sheriff Fiasco, Plan An Apology To Grizzly Bear

Everyone’s sorry! Enough already, we know. A byproduct of leak culture is the inevitable fallout from policing intellectual property rights. This can be interesting. But as suggested by both Avey Tare and in this new interview, the Web Sheriff/Grizzly Bear/”Brothersport” saga has already spiraled out of control, from a silly story about a mismanaged IP-protection campaign to a firestorm for an internet perpetually thirsting for flame wars. No more hypertext need be spilled on the matter. UNLESS we’re talking blockquotes from Animal Collective, who’ve until now remained silent and “unavailable for comment.” Avey’s using this Q&A to clarify his band’s involvement in the Web Sheriff’s tactics, and their response to the ensuing blog chatter. Oh and also, how they feel about Grizzly Bear’s role in all of this. So here we go, one more post.

“It doesn’t bother me that [“Brother Sport” is] out on the web,” says Tare. He adds: “We’re not getting down on anybody for liking the track and listening to it.” What did bother him, though, was the French magazine that truly operated as the “global leak source” for the cut, by including it in a podcast later ripped into an MP3 by fans:

I obviously think it’s a bummer for the fact that a magazine would leak one of our tracks or do that kind of thing because I feel like more often than not, we’re so willing to comply with certain requirements that magazines have, doing things that are almost a little bit hard for us to organise like special photoshoots and stuff like that. It feels like you’re kinda being taken advantage of when you put all this work into something and you’re doing this for somebody else and they go behind your back almost and do that kind of thing.

Avey goes on to to discuss the Web Sheriff’s crackdown on the Grizzly Bear blog, saying he has no problems with GB singer (and track poster) Ed Droste (“I’ve met Ed a couple of times and he’s a really nice guy”) and adding, “None of that stuff came from us personally.” However he acknowledges that having the Sheriff act as their agent fairly led people to believe the band supported those heavy handed tactics.

…[To look like we have no idea what’s going on is a little bit unfortunate. To attack people that just kind of enjoy the music. I think that’s kind of a shame but at the same time, the magazine was also reprimanded. Once it’s out there there’s not a lot you can do. I find it a little intense and almost tabloid-esque that it becomes so newsworthy at this point. I think that blogs or websites like Pitchfork have to take it to that level where it becomes this like they have nothing better to write about. I think it’s a little unfortunate..

That said, he seems to suggest the Web Sheriff’s tactics are out of their hands:

I think it’s the responsibily [sic] of Domino as a label that has invested a lot in putting our records out. They feel like it is there [sic] responsibility to make it known that that kind of thing shouldn’t be happening. How is done is up in the air but it’s up to them if they want to do that kind of thing and not up to us really.

What is in their hands is returning the favor of saying “I’m sorry” to the guys in Grizzly Bear:

I think we are going to apologise to Ed and that crew just cos we feel badly that they were the ones that took the brunt of the whole thing.

Since everybody’s doing it, we will too. Sorry everybody.

So: Animal Collective like that you’re enjoying their music, but the Web Sheriff may still pop in your comments from time to time. It’s not the band that’s personally employed the Web Sheriff; it’s their label, Domino. And as much as the Sheriff’s tactics were disagreeable to Avey, it’s a matter of vested parties protecting themselves. OK, we’re putting this one to bed. This would not be a good thread to post a link to a zip of Merriweather Post Pavilion, btw.