Filmmaker Vincent Moon on Arcade Fire: "They're not good people"
Arcade Fire may have just completed its most successful year yet by releasing a chart-topping, Grammy-nominated, critical-favorite album, but the inevitable flipside of success is that it has a tendency to create distance or even resentment among the people who knew you when. And rarely do you see that “You’ve changed, maaaan” sentiment expressed as bluntly as Vincent Moon did in this interview with Eye Weekly, where Moon—while explaining his current disinterest in any and all music from the U.S. and UK—addresses the Take-Away Shows he filmed with the Arcade Fire, saying that they “went really bad” and adds, “They’re not good people, that’s it.”
Moon clarifies his remark, saying, “And I don’t mean the whole band—I mean the leaders of the band and their management”—although it’s fairly clear that by “leaders of the band” he’s referring specifically to Win Butler, at least, considering he once commented that Butler “manages everything, knows everything, watches everything, and hears everything.” He then expounds on his problem with Arcade Fire, which also includes that age-old complaint of “selling out”:
“What I hate about the band now is that people call them an indie band and they’re not an indie band, they are a mainstream band. Maybe they’re on an indie label but that doesn’t mean anything. Those guys are just making things on a very big level, a very mainstream way of thinking. The way they deal with their business is really disgusting for me. The way they deal with things is awful. Their management are awful, awful people, and I know what I’m talking about. I have some really terrible stories with them.”
Moon’s chief complaint likely stems from Butler exerting control over the feature-length documentary Miroir Noir, a film that Moon tellingly decries as “edited by way too many people.” But his comments do seem to align with what The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne told Rolling Stone in 2009, when he called Arcade Fire out for their “pompousness,” said “they really treat people like shit,” and concluded, “They have good tunes, but they’re pricks, so fuck ‘em.” Of course, Coyne later apologized, echoing Moon in saying he wasn’t necessarily talking about the band members, but rather their management. Still, maybe you don’t get a No. 1 album and a Grammy nomination without surrounding yourself with a few assholes?