ACL Music Festival Interviews

ACL Music Festival Interviews

Arcade Fire

Sunday, 4:30pm, Cingular stage

"The lineup is wicked," enthuses Arcade Fire's full-time violinist Sarah Neufeld, contemplating the 2005 edition of the ACL Music Festival.

Neufeld and her Montreal-based band are riding their bus into Edinburgh, Scotland, in the midst of a successful summer tour. As hectic as the road has been, the group seems stunned that they've come such a long way precisely one year since the release of their smash debut, Funeral. It's a journey that's taken the group from clubs like Emo's to festivals like Lollapalooza and ACL, where Arcade Fire has become one of the premier acts of any "wicked" bill.

"It's kind of mind-boggling," Neufeld marvels. "We're a lot more exhausted this summer than last summer."

Even more mind-boggling is the fact that the hottest indie rock band in America is from Franco-friendly Quebec. Plus, Arcade Fire brought global attention to other acclaimed Montreal groups such as Stars, the Dears, the Stills, and more.

"We didn't start the trend, Neufeld is quick to point out. "We've only been around for a little bit."

Her take is that Montreal is a lot like Austin, in that artists flock from around the world to find like-minded musicians. While the band is not looking forward to the winter months, they have no plans to leave their home. In fact, they recently purchased an old church and will convert it into a private studio for the second album. Don't expect a fistful of new songs making it into the remaining live shows.

"It's been difficult to find the time," says Neufeld about songwriting, "but we're finished [touring] in November, and that will be 'new music time.'"

For their thousands of new fans, that sounds wicked.

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