Trouble in the indie music online world. Bon Iver called out Beyoncé for doing a Pepsi ad. Robin Peckinold from fireside acoustic indie types Fleet Foxes took to Instagram to point out that Bon Iver himself inked a deal with Bushmills whiskey. In the since-deleted ‘gram, he wrote: “Is Pepsi and Bushmills a drink?” A savage blow, as the indie world cleaves itself in two. But it’s not the first time such musicians have clash online. Behold! The Most Indie Online Spats In History.
Blood Orange V Devendra Banhart
“The music of devandra banhart is so insufferable I feel sorry for the entirety of Los Angeles, you deserve better.” The words of Blood Orange, aka Dev Hynes, who apparently didn’t think much to Banhart’s song ‘Saturday Night’, which was released around the time of this devastating missive. The tweet has since been deleted, but the words will live online forever. When a fan asked, “What exactly is the point of being so insufferably rude?” Hynes was unapologetic in his response: “You should all know by now that I don’t attack people for no reason…”. No rebuttal from Banhart, whose Twitter is run by a third party that simply plugs his music.
Winner: Devendra Banhart. The man doesn’t get involved in indie Twitter spats, which immediately elevates him above everyone on this list.
Sleaford Mods V Blossoms
Sleaford Mods, the middle-aged (it’s relevant to the context of this spat), ranty hip-hop/spoken word duo from Derbyshire, are opposed to a lot of things, including the Tory Government and Alex Turner. So it was no surprise when they took on Manchester indie-pop band Blossoms.
“Boardroom kiss arse blue tick wankers” is a truly exceptional insult, but props to Blossoms for landing a hefty blow with a photo of a character from Steptoe and Son, a 70s sitcom that literally none of their young fanbase will get.
Winner: It’s Blossoms. Pop infamously fetishises youth, so they’ve got Sleaford Mods by the kahunas here. In ain’t right, but it’s true.
Grimes V DIIV
At least headline writers had fun with the fact that Grimes and Diiv were engaged in a “vegan beef”. Yes, this was the news that Vancouver’s wonky pop purveyor Grimes had a falling out with Brooklyn indie rockers DIIV back in 2013.
She had posted on Tumblr that was about to enjoy some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and said: “1 day hiatus from veganism is being had starting now.” She also lauded the company, claiming that it treats its cows ethically and minimises its impact on global warming.
This irked DIIV, who tweeted (now deleted) that “grimes’ version of veganism is called ‘NOT vegan’, even if a dairy cow is ‘treated ethically’ doesn’t mean u aren’t consuming/exploiting her”. If tweets could kill, this would have caused Grimes some mild irritation.
Winner: Grimes. No point crying over milk that’s been frozen and turned into delicious ice cream for someone who is free to make decisions about their own diet, without fear of appraisal from an indie band’s Twitter account.
Taylor Swift V One Of Grizzly Bear
“Met a celebrity I always speculated was terribly calculated and mean, and they exceeded all my expectations of rudeness and arrogance. HATE.” Ed Droste of New York indie rockers Grizzly Bear posted and deleted this tweet, which he later admitted was about Taylor Swift. He also called her “the monster” and wrote that “she frightens me genuinely”.
What has Taylor Swift ever done to Ed Droste from the band Grizzly Bear? We may never know, as his tweets remained vague, though she did respond in an interview with GQ: “Here was someone taking a positive thing – the fact that I think about things and that I care about my work – and trying to make that into an insinuation about my personal life. Highly offensive.”
Winner: Taylor Swift. Mainly, yes, because she frightens me genuinely.
Pendulum and Knife Party and Chase & Status V Bastille
Rob Swire from electronic acts Pendulum and Knife Party did not enjoy the pop group Bastille’s take on the 90s dance banger ‘Rhythm of the Night’ and was not shy about tweeting his opinions:
Then his electronic mates Chase & Status waded in:
It’s a triple electro dance tag-team smackdown against Bastille, who must have been dizzied and bruised and searching for the referee here. Perhaps that’s why there was no word from them on matter.
Winner: The dance thugs, of course. Bastille didn’t stand a chance.
The Kooks V One Direction
2013 was, it seems, a vintage year for abrasive, since-deleted tweets. Luke Pritchard of mid-noughties indie scamps The Kooks wrote: “5 Little Things We Learned From One Direction’s iHeartRadio Album Release Party… stop this malfunction. world realign please. artists dying.” When confronted by a hurt fan of both bands, Pritchart responded: “i’d rather anyone who likes one direction never follow me… how can you be a fan of something that has no life. i honestly feel so depressed that you are into kooks.” He also referred to the music of The Kooks as ”real music”. There was no word from global pop success story One Direction, who must have been offline at the time.
Winner: One Direction. Anyone who uses the phrase “real music” is already sliding to defeat in any debate at any time.