With their new album ‘The Suburbs’ due out on Monday (August 2), Arcade Fire grace the cover of NME this week.
Read our track-by-track guide to ‘The Suburbs’ – complete with notes from the band themselves.
In the new issue Arcade Fire discuss why they’re planning to give away a million dollars of their own money to the Haiti earthquake relief programme – despite having “no money in any of our bank accounts.”
We also review the new album in the new issue. Emily Mackay describes it as “their ‘Automatic For The People’; an album that combines mass accessibility with much greater ambition.”
Find out more about how Arcade Fire wrote ‘The Suburbs’ by watching our video interview.
One of the themes of the record is suspicion of technology. Apparently, while recording the album, Win Butler was so spooked by the steady encroachment of the internet into his life, he made himself a den where he could read books and not be distracted by the online world.
The band also took a hands-on approach to making the album itself. Instead of relying on a fancy studio, they built studio areas in their own houses – Will Butler’s was in a kitchen cupboard.
A lot of people who’ve heard the new album have said it’s reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac – an observation the band take as the highest compliment.
Arcade Fire are keen to promote their involvement with the Haiti charity Kanpe. They recently announced onstage that if they can raise a million dollars from the public, they’ll match that with a million dollars of their own.
In the NME interview, Win Butler sticks up for Bono, recognising him as a fellow rock star with a social conscience: “As much as people slag Bono, I will forever give him credit for engaging with George W Bush.”
Win Butler also reveals that his favourite author is George Orwell – and aspires to emulate that writer’s political intent with the music of Arcade Fire. “The more escapist aspect of what we do,” he says,” whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, is all an attempt to connect with something true.”