Arcade Fire’s Win and Will Butler sat on a panel at SXSW yesterday (19th March), where they discussed the “celebrity economy in music” alongside Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.
Discussing the best ways for artists to make a living in music, their extensive conversation took place at the Austin Convention Center. Win Butler - Arcade Fire’s frontman - claimed that musicians would be “selling out” if they agreed to work with bands, as Stereogum reports.
Nielsen’s Tatiana Simonian claimed that bands and brands association was a necessity, before Win Butler replied: “It is selling out though, just for the record.” He went on to say: “Essentially, artists have been getting screwed over at pretty much the same rate, but now slightly different people are screwing us over.”
Win’s brother, Will Butler, offered a more compromising view: “I’m fine as long as the product is good , the only shame is to me that it allows so much boring music to be made!” Butler recently recorded five songs in a week for The Guardian, based on breaking news headlines.
Another topic came up when addressing musicians’ reliance on parents for a leg up in the industry. Win Butler said: “I think a lot of artists will make money from their parents. I don’t know if you know, but that’s a giant way that a lot of bands make money these days and it’s great… As the rich get richer, their kids can do whatever the hell they want! Big up parents, wherever you are.” Sarcasm, by any chance?