Toronto, Canada, Sep 1 (EFE).- Canadian singer Leslie Feist, known professionally as Feist, has quit a tour supporting Arcade Fire following allegations of sexual misconduct against the band’s frontman, Win Butler.
In a Pitchfork investigation published at the weekend, three former fans accused Butler of inappropriate sexual interactions during 2016-2020 when they were aged between 18-23 and he aged 36-39. Another claimed Butler sexually assaulted them twice in 2015 when they were 21 and he was 34.
Butler denied the claims, saying the interactions were “mutual” and “between consenting adults,” adding in a statement that “it is deeply revisionist, and frankly just wrong, for anyone to suggest otherwise.”
The allegations emerged on Saturday as Arcade Fire were kicking off their tour in Dublin. After playing two concerts, Feist said she was “going home.”
“To stay on tour would symbolize that I was either defending or ignoring the harm caused by Win Butler and to leave would imply that I was the judge and jury,” she wrote in a statement on social media on Thursday.
“It can be a lonely road to make sense of ill treatment, I can’t solve that by quitting, and I can’t solve it by staying. But I can’t continue,” Feist added, saying she was distancing herself “from this tour, but not this conversation.”
“The last two nights on stage, my songs made this decision for me. Hearing them through this lens was incongruous to what I’ve worked to clarify for myself through my whole career.”
Arcade Fire said the band was sorry to see Feist leave, but understood and respected her decision.
The rest of their United Kingdom and Ireland tour was going ahead as planned.
Since Pitchfork’s story was published, a number of Canadian radio stations have stopped playing Arcade Fire’s music.
Butler acknowledged to Pitchfork that he had “consensual relationships outside of [his] marriage” to band member Régine Chassagne, but added “I am very sorry to anyone who I have hurt with my behavior.”
Chassagne also issued a statement to Pitchfork, saying she has known Butler since college and “I know what is in his heart, and I know he has never, and would never, touch a woman without her consent and I am certain he never did.”
“He has lost his way and he has found his way back. I love him and love the life we have created together.”
The indie rock band was formed in Montreal in 2001 and, made up of Butler, Chassagne, Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury and Jeremy Gara, has become one of the world’s most recognized and popular groups.
Their album “The Suburbs” won an album of the year Grammy in 2011, and in 2013 they were nominated for an Oscar for best soundtrack for their score for film “Her,” starring Joaquin Phoenix. EFE