From the success of 2005’s ‘Funeral’ through to last year’s hugely acclaimed Number One album ‘Reflektor’, picking up awards, scoring films including ‘Her’ and counting David Bowie and David Byrne among their fans, Arcade Fire have become an indie institution and a theatrical stadium presence too. Now the Montreal band have made a film of their own: ‘The Reflektor Tapes’. We caught up with the band’s guitarist, bassist, percussionist and lovely bloke Will Butler to dig up some essential Arcade Fire knowledge.
1. They brought in a film director who’d never heard of them.
‘Kahlil [Joseph] had never met us or heard an album or anything. We had just seen his films: mostly short films and stuff he did for Flying Lotus. He came in and was like: “Who are you guys?” So [the film] is kind of him discovering our band as much as it is us discovering “Reflektor”.’
2. Their giant papier mâché heads have really caught on.
‘Those heads predate “Reflektor”. Before we even started working on the album we were wearing them: they’ve been creeping everyone out for ages. Last summer I toured my solo album and people were still coming to shows with the heads.’
3. They’ve got big love for London.
‘We’ve been to London so much over the years that I feel very at home there. We used to stay in Chiswick, which is a funny place. I like going to fancy department stores to get bits and bobs for people. I’ll be in Liberty, thinking: Where can I find a ladle for my mom?’
4. …but it’s complicated with Toronto.
‘Toronto and Montreal are so different. We’re more frenemies than friends. Canada has such vast wasteland in between all its cities so Toronto is not quite home.’
5. They know exactly what to look for on tour.
‘My old method of navigating cities was to Google for a used bookstore because it was normally in the best neighbourhood. But now it’s more likely to be a teashop – sometimes they’re in the trendiest part of town, sometimes the immigrant part, sometimes the really weird part. So teashops are my new jam.’
‘The Reflektor Tapes’ is released on Fri Sep 25.
Joe Presley, 26, is an actor/waiter. Follow him on Twitter @JoePresley7.