The Grammy Awards went down nearly two weeks ago, but, magically, somehow we’re still talking about them. Good job, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences! Vulture assumes you did not intend to whip up this kind of bedlam. But you have, and it might be good for ratings next year.
The latest aftershock comes via Scott Rodgers, Arcade Fire’s manager, who responded to Steve Stoute’s open letter (which was a reaction to some of the stranger choices the Grammys made this year) with an open letter of his own. Basically, Mr. Rodgers takes Stoute’s Grammys attack as if it were an attack on Arcade Fire copping Album of the Year. Rodgers responds to specific critiques Stoute had brought up, like the fact that Arcade Fire got to play two songs right at the very end, when they received the award. And he makes some good points. The important bits:
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 and 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. [Ed note: true.] 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.
Arcade Fire are now one of the biggest live acts in the world. It’s not all about record sales.
Your move, Stoute.