Fiery Furnaces' Matthew Friedberger Gives Radiohead the "Fuck You" Over WWI Vet Song, Then Backpedals
Published Nov 05, 2009For all the rabidity Radiohead garners from fans, both on the Internet and off, they're still not immune to criticism. Sure, it's been hard to come by, but when it rains, it pours.
In an interview with Spinner, Fiery Furnaces singer/instrumentalist Matthew Friedberger decided to give one lucky journalist a piece of his mind regarding Radiohead's "Harry Patch (In Memory Of)." The song was recorded as a tribute to Harry Patch, the last living soldier from the First World War, who passed away last July.
"Fuck you," Friedberger directed at Radiohead. "You brand yourself by brazenly and arbitrarily associating yourself with things that you know people consider cool. That is bogus. That's a put-on. That's a branding technique and Radiohead have their brand that they're popular and intelligent. So they have a song about Harry Patch."
The Fiery Furnaces' publicist has since gone on record saying that Friedberger misread the song title, thinking it was about 20th century composer and music theorist Harry Partch.
Not that we don't love the Furnaces, but Matthew really should've checked himself before he uttered such a bold statement. Despite the flimsiness of the band's excuse (apparently Friedberger not only misread the song, but neglected to read any context around the song or, say, listen to it), Friedberger could have saved face had he not venomously added, "[My wife] doesn't like me insulting Radiohead. She's afraid they will send their lackeys through the computer to sabotage us."