Last month, Arcade Fire took the time to apologize to fans for their long, convoluted rollout for their most recent LP Everything Now. Now, the band's Win Butler has admitted that the band's fake news story scheme was a "misstep."
Speaking with Vulture, Butler said the rollout strategy was inspired by the question of "'how do you release a record post-Donald Trump?'" He said that the band felt like it was "a real moment to try and address subjects like fake news and how the media works" since they were releasing a record titled Everything Now following the United States' 2016 presidential election.
"The other part of it is that when you make a record in this modern context, it instantly gets refracted in the media," Butler added. "There's all this side content, this trail that follows everything. So we thought that maybe we'd just make all that content, as opposed to just making the art. That stuff was going to get made anyway, so why not make it ourselves?"
Butler told the publication that he and his bandmates "just wanted to see where fake news articles about the band would go," saying that, "I feel like I now understand on a much deeper level why Trump got elected. Negativity is what travels."
Stunts on the band's campaign included fake news stories about scrapped merch ideas like "kama sutra gummy bears," "glow stick walking sticks" and "removable jihadi beards."
"Maybe there was a certain amount of naïveté on our behalf about how things would be received," Butler continued. "I guess at the very core of it, we were hoping that, at least among our fans, we could contribute to a conversation about thinking about what you read, not taking things at face value, critical thinking. Maybe certain parts of that got away from us."
Arcade Fire recently shared a cover of John Lennon's "Mind Games," and are currently working their way through a North American tour.