Feist has opened up regarding her decision to leave Arcade Fire‘s European tour last year after frontman Win Butler was accused of sexual misconduct.
The allegations, which were made by four people in a Pitchfork report, surfaced just days before the tour was about to kick off in Dublin. Feist played the first two shows on the trek before deciding to leave, while Arcade Fire finished out the rest of the tour as scheduled.
“It took me until the second show where all of the practical discomfort of having to dismantle this crazy machine and fold it back up and lose what I had invested in being there [on tour],” Feist tells The Irish Times. “The whole thing was made so clear to me. I couldn’t continue.”
For those first shows, Feist announced that her merch sales would be donated to the Women’s Aid organization, though she felt that wasn’t enough.
“Even being like ‘Hey guys, look … .’ It was as if I was trying to excuse myself of my real responsibility,” she says.
Ultimately, Feist decided that leaving the tour was the only way forward.
“It was like, actually, no … ‘I can’t avoid my responsibility here,'” she says. “Not to mention every word that came out of my mouth, I was hearing through an ear that wasn’t my own. I was hearing how twisted and skewed … In the context they were in, the songs weren’t safe. And neither was I … It was deeply difficult.”
In responding to the allegations, Butler acknowledged having relations with the accusers, though he maintained every encounter was “mutual and always between consenting adults.” Butler was later accused of sexual misconduct by a fifth person.
Following the European tour, Arcade Fire went on with their U.S. tour, though opener Beck similarly dropped off the bill.
If you are affected by abuse and needing support, or know someone who is, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). You can also chat online at thehotline.org or online.rainn.org, respectively.
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