'I will forever give him credit', says frontman

Arcade Fire‘s Win Butler has praised U2‘s Bono for “engaging” with George W Bush over Aids relief in Africa.

Butler, whose band are appealing to fans to donate to the Haiti Kanpe charity, said that although Bono often got stick from musicians and fans he believed he was having a positive effect.

The Irish rocker described the then-US president as “bold” in 2003 for increasing the US’ Emergency Plan for Aids Relief budget in Africa and the Caribbean.

“As much as people slag Bono, I will forever give him credit for engaging with George W Bush when he was president,” he said in this week’s exclusive NME cover story interview. “Even though it was a deeply unpopular move, even in his own band. The HIV medications in Africa, every aspect of the US foreign policy – it was a hell of a lot more than any president before had done.”

He added: “Bono was engaged in the work even though the situation wasn’t ideal. That’s not my path, but I will never fault someone for trying to be engaged in the world.”

Get this week’s issue of NME for more from Arcade Fire and their new album ‘The Suburbs’, on UK newsstands from Wednesday (July 28), or available digitally worldwide.