Godspeed You! Black Emperor won the Polaris Music Prize last night, but it isn’t all that thrilled about it. While the award dubs the band’s record, Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!, the best record out of Canada this past year, handing out those sorts of awards is something the band feels is counterproductive to the culture of “righteous music” as a whole.
In a statement released today, GY!BE says that, while it’s humbled and grateful for the award—especially as it feels it’s been “plowing our field on the margins of weird culture for almost 20 years now”—it also sarcastically notes, “'This scene is pretty cool but what it really fucking needs is an awards show,’ is not a thought that’s ever crossed our minds.” While the group—which, obviously, did not attend the ceremony—says it’ll use its $30,000 cash prize to fund music education in Quebec prisons, it will be foregoing its other prize of a touring van, saying that Toyota’s sponsorship of Polaris “IS FUCKING INSANE.... when the melting northern ice caps are live-streaming on the internet,” and that getting involved with the auto company “comes across as tone-deaf to the current horrifying malaise.”
The band’s whole statement is here. Those who can look past the malaise and their hatred of Toyota can also watch the whole show (which includes performances by bands like METZ , Purity Ring, Metric, and Colin Stetson) in the video below.