Arcade Fire Manager Defends Grammy Win

Arcade Fire manager Scott Rodger has written up his own letter about the indie rock band’s album of the year Grammy win as a response to music executive Steve Stoute’s New York Times piece.

Stoute was so fed up with the Grammys that he took out a full-page ad in Sunday’s New York Times as an open letter to the Grammy Awards, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and NARAS president Neil Portnow.

In the letter he complained that the Grammys “has become a series of hypocrisies and contradictions.” Stout explained why Justin Bieber deserved the best new artist award (rather than Esperanza Spalding) and wrote that he’s still upset Steely Dan stole the 2001 album of the year win from Eminem, whom he calls “the Bob Dylan of our time.”

Stout also took issue with the fact that Arcade Fire performed songs both before and after winning album of the year, which he sees as evidence of the win being a big set-up.

Below is Rodger’s response, which was posted on industry analyst Bob Lefsetz’s website:


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. 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

Best regards

Scott Rodger