Fiery Furnaces Discuss Radiohead “Feud” at Secret Guelph Show

Over the weekend, CFRUs Peter Bradley kinda surprised the shit out of a bunch of people in Guelph, Ontario by successfully inviting New York’s the Fiery Furnaces to play a secret house show in his attic. After a Saturday night performance in Toronto (and just a couple of days before their new ‘Fiery Furnaces-cover-Fiery Furnaces’ EP, Take Me Round Again was released), Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger, drummer Bob D’Amico, and (Sebadoh) bassist Jason Lowenstein played Guelph at 1:00 PM en route to their Sunday night gig in London and they were really terrific, singing new songs, and utilizing the house Wurlitzer, as well as various pots, pans, and maybe a suitcase for percussion.

Bradley documented the whole thing for his Friday morning radio show, including an impromptu Q&A with the 30 or so people on-hand. I chimed in with a question about the buzz surrounding the recent (and supposed) Fiery Furnaces/Radiohead “feud.” Here’s how the discussion went:

Vish: I keep reading about this feud with Radiohead?

Matthew Friedberger: I’m sure Radiohead is very concerned about it (audience laughs).

V: I hear they’re really concerned. Do you wanna comment on this; it came up again this week.

MF: Uh…yeah, um. It’s just kinda nonsense. In a long interview, I was saying, ‘Can you be negative about other bands? And which bands would you pick to be negative about where it wouldn’t hurt their feelings or influence them?’ And I said, ‘Well, Radiohead would be one. No one would care. It wouldn’t affect them if you said Radiohead sucked.’ And then I went on to say how you might say Radiohead suck (audience laughs). And I actually don’t like Radiohead. Personally, just between you and me. I mean I don’t have any regard for them, positive or negative. Which, I guess is negative.

V: You’re not indifferent but?…

MF: I am indifferent but I suppose that’s really negative. I don’t have any time for them. There’s a lot of music. So, I said that but, of course, that was quoted as an individual story—just me saying those things. And it’s not that I didn’t say them—I did. But once it got quoted, I didn’t wanna say ‘Oh I’m sorry; I was misquoted. It’s all a misunderstanding.’ That’s no fun. You have to say, ‘Radiohead; yes they do stink (audience laughs)!’ But it’s an interesting issue because I think, if you’re in a rock band and you do get interviewed, unlike a politician you can’t be concerned with saying something that might be misquoted. You should welcome being misquoted. You can’t be concerned with trying to control the context or censor yourself or stay on message in such a way that anything you say can’t be embarrassing, unflattering, and inflammatory. You should say things and people can make it their own. Just like when you make a record, people use it how ever they like. That should extend to all practices in your rock-related activities.

V: Have they responded in any way? Is it actually a feud or just things you’ve said?

Eleanor Friedberger: No, it’s not a feud

As the Q&A, went on, Bradley asked about Matthew’s “retraction” amid the Harry Partch/Harry Patch confusion that was part of this whole Radiohead debacle. Eventually Matthew outlined a plan he claimed he proposed to FF’s publicist, where a press release would be distributed stating that he was entering rehab and that his comments stemmed from his state of mind. “Oh, you’ve blown it now,” Eleanor responded to this faux revelation, but Matthew playfully continued on with the anecdote.

It was all somewhat interesting and you can hear this part of the exchange right here.

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6 thoughts on “Fiery Furnaces Discuss Radiohead “Feud” at Secret Guelph Show

  1. king vidor says:

    People should lighten up. It doesn’t help Radiohead that a host of wimps squeal every time someone expresses a negative opinion about these saviors. Talk about making music more important than it already is… sheesh.

  2. Spencer says:

    Holy cow, I wish I could’ve been there! The Toronto show was great. Did anybody capture any of the actual performance?

  3. admin says:

    Hi Spencer,

    Yes, the whole show is gonna be broadcast on Peter’s radio show this Friday morning, between 9 and 11 AM EST and you can download it as an mp3 once it airs. Just go here:


  4. FR says:

    Sorry, King Vidor: Radiohead may have been dogmatically worshiped from 1995-2003, but they’ve since receded into the background, quietly doing whatever they want to do, like all respectable musicians should. They’ll always have a solid fan base, but it’s not like these guys are swinging around their egos like Kanye West, or even Matt Friedberger. Even if they were taken out of context, Matt’s barbs sound rather petty, not to mention unfounded (when was their last “chartbuster?” 1997?).

    What’s ironic is that Matt accused RH of being pretentious. I used to find Fiery Furnaces entertaining, but their empty pretensions really get on my nerves now. Forced alliterations, cheap noodling synth solos, prog. pastiche, etc., all designed to obfuscate the fact that these two don’t have anything to say except that they’re so damn clever. They could get by as a fun, silly band if it weren’t for this penchant to show off, and this recent incident with Matt only solidifies their reputation as insecure, stuck-up hipster assholes.

  5. A says:

    Perhaps Mr. Friedberger is a bit jealous?

    And really, why is this news? I love Radiohead but do I care if someone dislikes them? Nope.

  6. Kingspred says:

    FR, you said it. Just heard about this and was reading up. Thank you for saving me the time. Now I can get drunk.

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