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Feist opens up about exiting Arcade Fire's 2022 tour: "I can't avoid my responsibility here"

Feist briefly toured with Arcade Fire in 2022 but left when frontman Win Butler faced allegations of sexual misconduct

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Leslie Feist
Leslie Feist
Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

After exiting Arcade Fire’s 2022 tour in the wake of several sexual assault allegations against frontman Win Butler, opening act Leslie Feist is publicly opening up about the difficulty of the decision for the first time.

“I was having an out-of-body experience,” Feist tells The Irish Times. “Not to mention, I had brought all of these new songs. I thought, ‘Okay, maybe I’ll go do this tour and workshop how to play these songs in a bigger context.’”

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Shortly after Arcade Fire kicked off their tour promoting the album WE, Pitchfork detailed several allegations of sexual assault from young women, who allege Butler continuously crossed boundaries and used his celebrity status to assert power over them. Feist opened for two shows in Dublin, donating all merch profits to Women’s Aid Dublin, before departing the tour altogether.

“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].… The whole thing was made so clear to me. I couldn’t continue,” Feist continues. “It was like, actually, no... ‘I can’t avoid my responsibility here.’ 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.”

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Feist is set to release her newest record, Multitudes, on April 14. Soon after, she’ll set out on a headlining tour through the States and Canada. Ahead of the album’s release—her first since 2017's Pleasure—Feist has shared singles “Borrow Trouble,” “In Lightning,” “Love Who We Are Meant To,” and “Hiding Out In The Open.”