Last year, Arcade Fire closed out Summerfest with a performance at The American Family Insurance Amphitheater. The show was the Grammy-winning indie rock band’s first Milwaukee show in 14 years. The lengthy gap between appearances could be enough to cause some people to question the band’s affinity for our fair city. Though the jury is out on that, Arcade Fire singer Win Butler went on a basketball podcast earlier this week and briefly referenced Milwaukee in a less-than-flattering way.
Butler—who is apparently a huge fan of the New Orleans Pelicans—was a guest on The Ringer NBA Show podcast. During his 20-some-minute appearance on the popular basketball show, the Arcade Fire founding member spoke about the ongoing saga between the Pelicans front office and star center Anthony Davis. While speaking about Davis’ apparent issues with playing in a small market locale like New Orleans, Butler took an admittedly small (yet entirely unnecessary) shot at Milwaukee.
“It’s like, New Orleans is an amazing, culturally rich city,” Butler said shortly after the 40-minute mark. “It’s not like we’re in Oklahoma City or, like, Milwaukee or something. There’s worse towns to live in and play basketball.”
To be fair, Butler seemed to be defending New Orleans with the mark, but he didn’t really need to mention Milwaukee (or Oklahoma City, for that matter) in doing so. Add it to the list of Milwaukee jabs. But those two cities weren’t the only ones he referenced. Later in the interview, Butler also gives a backhanded compliment to the passionate fans of the Utah Jazz, saying “It’s not like Salt Lake City is a great city.”
The four-time NBA Celebrity All-Star Game participant (and 2016 MVP) also took 2019 All-Star Game host city Charlotte to task when explaining his decision to sit out this weekend’s festivities.
“I kind of got lucky the first four years I did it. It was, like, New York, L.A., New Orleans, and Toronto. And Charlotte, I was like ‘Am I really going to fly to Charlotte right now?'”
However, Butler says the main reason he couldn’t partake this year is because Arcade Fire is currently in the studio working on new material. He didn’t elaborate on when an album (or a subsequent tour to various underwhelming American cities) could be expected. You can listen to the podcast below. Butler’s interview starts around the 38-minute mark.