In an interview with The Independent, Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler opened up about the band’s involvement with Jay Z’s Tidal and the PR fiasco that ensued after its widely-panned launch. The streaming service, which promises to give bands a higher-royalty rate and subscribers exclusive content and premieres from some of the world’s biggest names (though doesn’t specify how this is different from the old pay-for-play tertiary radio model), has been slow to gain momentum despite the large cache of big names it has backing it, and Butler knows why.
“The major label music industry has completely ruined every aspect of their business,” Butler told The Independent. “They dictated that Tidal has to cost $20.”
He continued, suggesting that corporate label ignorance goes well beyond Tidal:
At every step of the way they’ve had the tools offered to them to create an industry that works, and they’ve completely blown it. That’s why we never had any interest in signing a contract with one of these companies because they’re clearly completely clueless.
Arcade Fire’s 2013 album, Reflektor, was released by the seminal indie label Merge, but, as AV Club points out, was distributed via Universal. Much like tertiary radio, this is a throwback to a time when majors would hide their involvement in smaller labels so as to avoid any backlash. Rarely, however, does the backlash come from an employee.
And like any good major label release, Reflektor is getting the deluxe treatment with a reissue of the two-year-old album on September 25, including five unreleased songs and a remix. Of the unreleased songs, two—”Get Right” and “Crucified Again”—will be released on a 7-inch, and all will be released on the cassette-only version of the album, The Reflektor Tapes, on October 16. Of course, “Get Right” and “Crucified Again” can be streamed now on Tidal, and you can watch a trailer for The Reflektor Tapes below.