Montreal art-rock sextet Arcade Fire has entered into the most curious phase of every massively successful band’s existence: forging a path through uncertainty and decline in praise. Creatively stalled on their fifth full-length, July’s Everything Now, the album – once again steeped in electro-funk and disco – will be its own redemption during live reiterations.
“We made this record in a very small studio in New Orleans that we built up in [my brother] Win and Régine’s backyard, called ‘The Boombox,’” explains multi-instrumentalist Will Butler. “It’s four layers of synths backed up against a step stool. You’re in a 10 by 15 square foot box, so when there’s a distorted bass, you really feel it in your bones.”
The grand-sounding sociopolitical album delves into larger issues, including how humans relate to interconnectedness in the age of social media. When asked how a member of one of the biggest bands in the world maintains any semblance of balance or individuality, Butler wonders about his own connectedness.
“My reaction has always been to try and live my life in a very connected way to my community, my neighbors, and to my 5-year-old son and his friends and his friends’ parents,” he explains. “I just try to plug into the people around me.”
Naturally, he’s aware of the limitations of this class-specific silo he’s peering out of, illustrating an understanding of blind spots within his fame and economic status.
“I’m less worried about Trump voters. I know some, but it’s like, I don’t know many undocumented workers [for example]. I don’t know people that need help because my friends and my son’s friends’ parents are doing great.
“But how do you extend outside of that?”
Wed., Sept. 27