Wayne Coyne is sort of like the 50 Cent of the indie world (minus millions of albums sold, washboard abs and nine bullet holes): The dude loves beef.
A few years back, he made waves when he blasted former tourmate Beck in an Esquire magazine interview, calling him a diva who needed someone “to put on his pants for him.” Then, over the course of a single interview with the London Observer, he managed to take potshots at Beck, Richard Ashcroft and Radiohead (now that’s bang for your buck). Needless to say, he’s not afraid to run his mouth. And now, he’s set his sights on the Arcade Fire.
In a RollingStone.com interview published on Wednesday, Coyne tore into the band.
“We’ve played some shows with them and they really treat people like sh–,” Wayne told the magazine. “Whenever I’ve been around them, I’ve found that they not only treated their crew like sh–, they treated the audience like sh–. They treated everybody in their vicinity like sh–. 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 sh–, I’d be like, ‘F— you, get outta here.’ ”
Oh, snap. And Coyne didn’t stop there, either, throwing U2 guitarist the Edge and Justin Timberlake into the mix.
“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 pr—s, so f— ’em. Who does Arcade Fire think they are?” he continued. “I’ve been around groups. I’ve been around the Edge from U2, and he’s the f—ing 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 f— ’em.”
Harsh words, indeed. So, of course, the Arcade Fire shot back. Sort of. In a post on the band’s official site, frontman Win Butler took issue with Coyne’s statements, primarily because the two groups had only met once, backstage at the Vegoose Festival in 2005.
“I wish I could not respond to something like this, but the reality is that people will be asking me questions about it for the next five years,” Butler wrote. “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 ever shared a stage with the Flaming Lips was our last show on the Funeral tour at a festival in Las Vegas (over three years ago). … We arrived the morning of the show from Brazil, slept all day and awoke into some kind of surreal Vegas jetlag dream. … [Coyne and I] traded a little hello, but he was a hard guy to get a read on. Steven Drozd was super nice, and I felt good after talking to him.
“So I am not sure Wayne is the best judge if we are righteous, kind and goodhearted people like the Edge and Justin Timberlake (who I am sure he knows intimately as well),” he continued. “I can’t imagine why we would have been pompous towards the Flaming Lips, a band we have always loved … unless I was way more jetlagged then I remember. … The main point I am offended by in this whole thing is for Wayne to say we treat our audience like sh–.”
Double snap. While both parties have maintained radio silence since trading initial barbs, we don’t think this beef is gonna be settled anytime soon, which means only one thing: Dis tracks, here we come!