Back in February we told you about the beef between MGMT and the French government for unapproved use of the band’s song “Kids” as part of a political campaign. Today, in a statement posted on their website, MGMT has come an out-of-court settlement with the French government and will donate the money to “artists rights organizations.” So don’t expect to see MGMT rollin’ around in Navigators and chinchilla coats yet.
Rather than reacting in a “typical American” fashion, MGMT decided that an out-of-court settlement with Nicolas Sarkozy and his pals would be more beneficial to everyone. Talking to Triple J, Ben Goldwasser defended the bands actions. “We didn’t sue them which is what a lot of people were saying. We ended up settling with them and we’re working right now on trying to find some sort of charity that we can donate the money to that we agreed on, to help other musicians that might be involved in some sort of legal battle that they can’t fight on their own.” [See MGMT's official statement below]
Though the band did believe the French government was being hypocritical — pushing strong anti-piracy regulations, while illegally using music themselves — the band also believed that music should be enjoyed by all, and that the use of their song in France helped generate the spread of their music around the globe.
As well as letting the bad taste between the band and the French subside, they are also recording new material for their upcoming album. MGMT told Triple J that they are recording in the Catskill region of New York, as well as California, in hopes of achieving different perspectives in their sound.
“That was part of our idea that we were going to be locking ourselves up in the middle of winter, all cold and depressed,” said Goldwasser. “And then move somewhere where we’ll be out on the beach and enjoying ourselves in the sunny weather, try to get some different influences. Some of the songs are definitely a little more introspective and then there’s definitely some more surfy, beachy stuff going on.”
Official band statement
About two months ago it was brought to our attention (through the MGMT message board) that the UMP French political party was using our song “Kids” at rallies and posting videos of these rallies on their official website. Normally MGMT steers clear of mixing music and politics, but the fact that the UMP used our song without permission while simultaneously pushing anti-piracy legislation seemed a little wack. We believe that access to music benefits both the musicians and the fans, and has undoubtedly helped spread our music around the globe, while also expanding our personal musical collections. We didn’t want to be “typical Americans” and sue, despite the amazing monetary benefit and chinchilla coats and Navigators it would bring. Instead we’re using the settlement fee the UMP presented and donating it to artists rights organizations. Thank you France for the wonderful food. C’est bon. -MGMT