One mention of the word “Radiohead” is enough to generate a few column inches, as Fiery Furnaces multi-instrumentalist Matthew Friedberger has proven. Friedberger was being interviewed by the U.K. arm of AOL’s Spinner website, when he let slip that he wasn’t very impressed by the band’s tribute to Word War I veteran Harry Patch.
“Oh, please listen to our new song about Harry Patch,” he said. “Fuck you! 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.”
Unfortunately, a publicist for the Fiery Furnaces later confirmed that Friedberger thought the song was about avant garde composer Harry Partch. But it doesn’t matter, because it’s drawn some much-needed attention to the Fiery Furnaces, who have an excellent new album out titled I’m Going Away. Clearly, dissing songs about World War I veterans is just the latest in a long line of publicity stunts from the Friedberger siblings.