Thursday, March 5, 2009

Win vs Wayne: The Rebuttal

Win Butler, as achingly evidenced by a repetoire's worth of catharsis, isn't one to
suffer in silence.

On his band's website, Win takes issue with He Whose Lips Shall Be Flamed. (After character assassinations on Beck and Richard Ashcroft, maybe their psychedelic band name is more literal than we ever would've supposed.) Here's what Win had to say (his formatting and curse words, not mine):

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 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.


He does pretty well, though- in places- it carries the scent of a victim and the tone of passive aggressiveness. Still, he makes good points. I can just see- if I squint my eyes real tight- all 27 members of the Arcade Fire gathered around the 13th Century abacus that they somehow got Steve Jobs to wire for the internet, (iAbacus?) Win's embossing the message on the iScroll, the band's flaming-by-committee (no pun intended) is angry and raucous and indie gothic. "Win, make sure you say that thing about Justin Timberlake I said..." (Win rolls eyes, hopes no one in the band ever listens closely enough to "Cry Me A River" to realize how he borrowed from it for "My Body Is A Cage.")

I know I'm flip-flopping. But I kind of believe them both. What is this anyway? E! Indie Rock?

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