In Latest Stunt, Arcade Fire (Sorta, Not Really) Apologize for Bizarre Media Campaign
After drawing criticism for the publicity stunts surrounding their current album Everything Now, for which they launched one of the more bizarre social media campaigns in recent history, Arcade Fire are apologizing for the tactics — in a statement that reads like the rest of the campaign.
Leading up to the release of their LP last month, the band created a fake brand management company, Everything Now Corp., to bear responsibility for a series of what many consider faux pas: absurd merchandise like $100 fidget spinners and T-shirts with the likenesses of Kylie and Kendall Jenner, promoting a formal dress code for their concerts, over-the-top riders for their late-night television appearances and series of fake news stories, including one where a fictional writer discovers removable jihadi beards had been on the table as possible merchandise options.
The band goes on to say that they've spent weeks sorting through the contractual obligations with Everything Now Corp. that tie them to Wright, and have finally come to an amicable resolution to the situation. "The band will regain control of its own social channels, marketing, and publicity, and will no longer be working with Mr. Wright on this campaign," they said.
In a recent interview with Exclaim!, the band's multi-instrumentalist Richard Reed Parry commented on the wisdom of the campaign. "If it was me doing a solo project, I would not be taking this tack. I think it's loud, and it is obnoxious and noisy," he said, adding however that "I don't think that is completely inappropriate, given the circumstances and the time period, and I think it does a good job of reflecting aspects of culture that are noisy and bombastic at this point in time."
Responding to the idea that the media campaign actually overshadowed any legitimate information about the album, Parry noted that idea is exactly what led to the tactics they used. "It feels like every generation for the past multiple generations has felt like media saturation was at an all-time high, but it really feels like that is more true than ever, with the Trump-mania and Facebook, the endless sharing of things true and false over social media. I think doing something that interfaces with that, on a bigger cultural scale, as well as interfaces with [the band] in a way that is amusing or fun… I think we just wanted to approach it in a way that spoke on both of those levels."
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