Yesterday (January 19), Arcade Fire released their first new track in two years with Mavis Staples collaboration ‘I Give You Power’.In a new interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1, frontman Win Butler opened up about why they released the track one day ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration.
“The song was made to come out now. That’s one of the beautiful things about the times we’re in — you can just put something out. It’s the eve of the inauguration and I think it’s easy to get sucked into sitting on the couch and checking your news feed and watching things on CNN, and we’re just musicians and the only thing we really have to offer is our music,” he said.
“I talked to Mavis last night and she said, ‘Now more than ever we have to come together and hold onto each other.’ For us it’s a feeling of solidarity—to not feel powerless and focus on what we can do as individuals and try to do our part.”
On whether ‘I Give You Power’ could inspire other musicians to make similarly-minded protest music, he said: “With every artist, you have to do what’s in your heart. It’s such an instinctive thing. You have to listen to the little voice. It’s really crazy times — naturally, a lot of art comes out of that.”
The track was recorded at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival last year. On the collaboration, Butler said: “Mavis Staples is one of my favourite people on Earth and I’ve been fortunate enough to sing with her a couple times, and we just have a really beautiful relationship with her as a band. We’re just really honoured to sing with her… There’s a familial feeling, singing with her. We just wanted to try and put something in the world.”
He remained tight-lipped on a new album, however. Asked about the band’s future, Butler replied: “The future is unwritten.”
Listen to ‘I Give You Power’ above.