Arcade Fire responds to Steve Stoute
February 25, 2011 - 11:08
Steve Stoute, recording industry executive, took out a full-page ad in the New York Times. The letter was addressed to the Grammy Awards, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and NARAS president Neil Portnow. You can read that here
As you'll read, he's upset that Justin Bieber didn't win Best New Artist over Esperanza Spalding. He's also upset that in 2001, Steely Dan won Album of the Year over Eminem, whom he called "the Bob Dylan of our time."
He also took to task the Grammy's for scheduling Arcade Fire both directly before and after their Record of the Year win.
Arcade Fire manager Scott Rodger wrote his own letter in response to Stoute. Here it is:
Arcade Fire had the final slot on the Grammys as the ratings are low at the end of the broadcast. It really is that simple. We were one of the least known acts on the bill for a network audience. Don’t you think I wanted a better slot for the band?
The reason we got a second song was also simple. No big plot. We had no guarantee of air time, but it was simply to play out the end credits of the show, if we’re even had that much. The show never runs like clockwork to an exact time so the end is always loose. As it happened, the broadcast was covered by sponsors messages and the end credits.
For the Grammys international broadcast our main performance, along with that of Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers was completely cut from the show. Our end title performance was bastardised because they cut out ads/sponsor messages completely. It was a bit of a farce. You’d think we’d be given a little more after the fact.
Arcade Fire deserved the win this year. They made the best album. If the award was names "Album Sales Of The Year" award, there would be no discussion. Stoutes letter was nice piece of self publicity. Did he see Kanye’s tweets when we won and the praise he gave us?? He needs to tune in. Eminem made a big selling album but it was far from being his best work. Katy Perry made a big pop record that simply didn’t have weight or credibility. Gaga’s repackage, great album but it was a repackage of the main release. I think everyone felt it was going to be Lady Antebellum’s moment having won 5 out of 6 awards to that point. We all felt that way too.
I’m proud of this band and what they have achieved. We didn’t lobby any organisation for this nor did the band play the game. We paid our own overhead to do the event, thus the lack of on stage gimmicks. No label picked up the tab.
Arcade Fire are now one of the biggest live acts in the world. It’s not all about record sales. It’s about making great records and it’s about building a loyal fan base. Ther band make great albums, they’re not a radio driven singles band. On top of that, they own their own masters and copyrights and are in complete control of their own destiny. Things couldn’t be better.
Excuse any typos as I’m on my blackberry
The letter was originally posted on Bob Lefsetz' website