Three days after music-industry vet Steve Stoute took out a full-page ad in The New York Times to blast the Grammys for being out of touch and vaguely evil, the manager of one of the bands he singled out responded, calling Stoute's missive "a nice piece of self publicity."
In an e-mail to industry insider Bob Lefsetz, Scott Rodger, manager of Album of the Year winners the Arcade Fire, ripped Stoute for calling into question not only the validity of the band's triumph but also their show-closing second performance. While the encore served as a de facto victory lap for the band, to Stoute it appeared to be proof positive that the Grammys were rigged and in need of a serious overhaul.
"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," Rodger wrote. "[There was] no big plot. We had no guarantee of air time, but it was simply to play out the end-credits of the show. ... 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 bastardized because they cut our ads/sponsor messages completely. It was a bit of a farce."
Rodger also defended his band's AOTY win — which Stoute took issue with in his Times open letter, and then again in a follow-up interview with The Hollywood Reporter, — because, well, they "deserved" it.
"They made the best album. If the award was named 'Album Sales of the Year,' there would be no discussion," Rodger wrote. "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 ... was a repackage of the main release.
"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 fanbase," he continued. "The band make great albums, they're not a radio-driven singles band. ... Things couldn't be better."
Rodger closed his e-mail by taking a final shot at Stoute, saying that his protests were myopic — since Arcade Fire's triumph was actually celebrated by big-selling artists — and that "he needs to tune in."
"Did he see Kanye's tweets when we won and the praise he gave us?" he wrote. "I'm proud of this band and what they have achieved."