Wayne Coyne: “Who does Arcade Fire think they are?”


Probably the most entertaining thing I’ve read today (and definitely a pick-me-up from that cat-shoved-in-a-bong story):

So, last week, our buddy and colleague Andy Greene is on the phone with the Coyne, when they started talking about some of the movers and shakers in the music world. They talked about Brian Eno, and Radiohead, and then got on the subject of Arcade Fire, which set Coyne off. (Just to clarify, Coyne is not comparing Eno to the Arcade Fire — Eno was just a talking point.)

“I’m a fan of them on one level, but on another level I get really tired of their pompousness,” says Coyne. “We’ve played some shows with them and they really treat people like shit. Whenever I’ve been around them, I’ve found that they not only treated their crew like shit, they treated the audience like shit. They treated everybody in their vicinity like shit. I thought, ‘Who do they think they are?’ I don’t know why people put up with it. I wouldn’t put up with it. I don’t care if it’s Arcade Fire or Brian Eno. If either of them walked into a room and treated people like shit I’d be like, ‘Fuck you, get outta here.’

He continues, “People treat Arcade Fire like they’re the greatest thing ever and they get away with it. Those sort of opinions change my view of their music. They have good tunes, but they’re pricks, so fuck ‘em. Who does Arcade Fire think they are? I’ve been around groups. I’ve been around the Edge from U2 and he’s the fucking sweetest guy ever. I was around Justin Timberlake when he was young and he was just a normal, nice, kind person. Anyone can be polite and kind and people who have the privilege and money and attention should understand that. If they don’t, then fuck ‘em.” (source)

Hailing from Oklahoma, and the Flaming Lips being my admitted favorite band (no fooling: the original, very first, aged cheddar “old haircut” post I wrote on Losanjealous was about the Lips) I am just going to side with Wayne now, who is beyond nice 100% of the times I’ve interacted with him, and above no task (ask yourself: what other front man out there today works longer and harder than any roadie to set up his own show? Dude’s running around stage with gaffer tape, talking to the audience and testing the lighting, I’ve seen it time and again.) Win Butler and his wife might be nice part or most of the time; hell, I readily admit I have no clue as to their level of niceness. You can only really judge a person based on personal experience and the way they present themselves to you and the people around you while you are present, so I can’t say for sure. Still, if Coyne says they’re dicks, I’ll believe it or, at the least, believe that he believes it based on his experience, and I respect that. And I have faith that he had no real motive behind saying it other than perhaps reminding people everywhere not to be dicks, because the guy is the epitome of frankness, it was an informal telephone interview and, according to the article above, this is the only band in a laundry list of bands that really set him off. So I’ll believe it just as I believed all those post-Beck-tour revelations (massively enjoyed those as well). Mind you, I enjoy music, movies and literature created by all manner of raging assholes on a daily basis, so it’s not like I’m going to stop listening to Arcade Fire anytime soon even if it’s true. But either side of the fence you fall on this one, my word, is it entertaining and refreshing to read such blunt words. Nothing like a good, public rock rivalry that starts with a phrase like “They have good tunes, but they’re pricks, so fuck ‘em.”

I’ll spare you the poll this go-round, but let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Is Wayne on or off the mark here? You already know my opinion. All we are talking about, end of day, is how nice people are regardless of music, wardrobe, or stage show.

UPDATE: Win responds, same day.

Top photo by Jeannette. Ridiculously lengthy Coyne quote hat tip: Jeannette’s facebook wall…via Pitchfork…Pitchfork via Stereogum…Stereogum via the original Rolling Stone flippant phone interview

» The Flaming Lips Poolside @ The Palms Hotel And Casino, Las Vegas, NV, 9/16/07
» The Flaming Lips @ The Petco Park Parking Lot, San Diego, 8/25/07
» Mr. T Visitor Guide: Wayne Coyne Incident, SXSW (2007)
» Ten Songs, Five Dozen Dancers, 18,000 Glowstick Hurlers (The Bowl, July 2006)
» Photo Op: Yoshimi Battles the Bank of America Plaza, 333 S. Hope

» Arcade Fire @ The Greek Theater, 5/29/07
» Arcade Fire & LCD Soundsystem at the Bowl, 9/20/07
» Canadians on Canadians: Arcade Fire @ Hollywood Bowl, 9/20/07

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