Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

Infobox musical artist
Name = Arcade Fire

Img_capt = The Arcade Fire at Rock en Seine, August 2007
Background = group_or_band
Alias =
Origin = Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genre = Indie rock
Art rock
Post-punk revival
Baroque pop
Years_active = 2003–present
Label = Merge , Rough Trade , City Slang
Associated_acts = Bell Orchestre Final Fantasy
URL = []
Current_members = Win Butler Régine Chassagne Richard Reed Parry William Butler Tim Kingsbury Sarah Neufeld Jeremy Gara Marika Anthony Shaw Colin Stetson Kelly Pratt
Past_members = Howard Bilerman Josh Deu Brendan Reed Myles Broscoe Dane Mills Tim Kyle Owen Pallett

Arcade Fire (often referred to as The Arcade Fire [] ) is an indie rock band based in Montreal, Quebec and fronted by the husband and wife duo of Texan Win Butler and Québécoise Régine Chassagne. The band was formed while Win Butler attended Philips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, United States. The lineup changed and solidified in 2003 and 2004, during the recording of their first full-length album, "Funeral".

The band is known for their live performances and their use of a large number of musical instruments; in addition to the guitar, drums, and bass guitar, the band's members also play instruments such as the piano, violin, and viola. When asked about the name of the band, lead vocalist Butler stated that it refers to a fire that supposedly occurred in Exeter Arcade.cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=|title=Interview: The Arcade Fire|publisher=Pitchfork Media|date=2005-02-14|author=Schreiber, Ryan]

Arcade Fire has won numerous awards, including both the Meteors 2008 Best International Album award and the Juno Awards 2008 Alternative Album of the Year award for "Neon Bible". It has also been nominated by the Grammys for 2006 Best Alternative Music Album for "Funeral" and 2008 Best Alternative Music Album nomination for "Neon Bible".


Formation and early history (1995–2004)

The band formed while Win Butler attended the Phillips Exeter Academy and originally consisted of Butler, Josh Deu, and Tim Kyle (now of Wild Light). [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-29|url=|title=Fire and reign |publisher=The Age ] The band's current lineup formed in Montreal around the husband and wife duo of Butler and Régine Chassagne around mid-2003 and was solidified in late 2003 and early 2004, when their first full-length album "Funeral" was recorded. Before this, an eponymous EP (often referred to by fans as the "Us Kids Know EP") was sold at early shows. The EP was subsequently remastered and given a full release once the band became more well known. [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-28|url=|title=Arcade Fire still burning |work=The Star|date=2007-03-06|author=Rayner, Ben ]

In addition to instrument mainstays guitar, drums and bass guitar, members play piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, xylophone, keyboard, French horn, accordion, hurdy gurdy, harp and mandolin. Arcade Fire takes most of their instruments on tour, and band members switch instrumental duties throughout their shows. The promise shown by the band in their live shows allowed them to land a record contract with the independent record label Merge Records. [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-28|url=|title=David Byrne's Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars |work=Wired|date=2007-12-18|author=Byrne, David ]

When asked about the rumour that the band's name refers to a fire in an arcade, Win Butler replied: "It's not a rumour, it's based on a story that someone told me. It's not an actual event, but one that I took to be real. I would say that it's probably something that the kid made up, but at the time I believed him." The arcade in question was the Exeter arcade and bandstand in the town square of Exeter, New Hampshire, where the Butlers attended Phillips Exeter Academy preparatory school. [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-28|url=|title=The Fire This Time |work=Rolling Stone|date=2005-02-24 |author=Hoard, Christian ]

"Funeral" (2004–2006)

"Funeral" was released in September 2004 in Canada and February 2005 in the UK. The title of the debut album referred to the deaths of several relatives of band members during its recording. These events created a somber atmosphere that influenced songs such as "Une année sans lumière" ("A Year Without Light"), "In the Backseat", and "Haïti", Chassagne's elegy to her lost homeland. [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-28|url=|title= The Listings: Sept. 9 -- Sept. 15; ARCADE FIRE |work=The New York Times|date=2005-09-09|author=Sinagra, Laura ]

David Bowie heard the band while on tour and brought them to the attention of label owners. Still without a major label backing, the success of the band and the album "Funeral" has been acclaimed as an Internet phenomenon. After a 9.7 rating from Pitchfork, Merge Records sold out their inventory of "Funeral" and it became the label's first album in the "Billboard" 200 chart. [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=|title=Pitchfork e-zine tells indie fans what's hot and not|publisher=Honolulu Advertiser|date=2005-05-08|author=Kot, Greg] The band booked small clubs for their 2004 tour, but growing interest forced many venue changes, far beyond the band's expectations, and the tour continued into mid-2005 throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and the SummerSonic Festival in Japan. Taking much of the summer of 2005 off, the band made key festival appearances at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the Sasquatch! Music Festival, Lollapalooza, Reading and Leeds Festival in the UK, Electric Picnic in Ireland and the Lowlands Festival in the Netherlands. "Funeral" made many top ten album lists for 2004, with Pitchfork, Filter, and No Ripcord crowning it the album of the year. With the 2005 release of "Funeral" in the UK, Japan, and Australia, Arcade Fire also made many top lists for 2005. The MTV2 2005 Review named "Funeral" the Album of the Year, and "NME" named "Funeral" 2nd [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=,,1656637,00.html|title=NME defends album of year poll|work=The Guardian|date=2005-12-02|author=Dickson, Andrew] in their list of 2005's best albums, and "Rebellion (Lies)" the 2nd best track behind "Crown of Love". By November 2005, "Funeral" had gone gold in both Canada and the UK, and sold over half a million copies worldwide, [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=|title=Exclusive - Arcade Fire duet with Bowie released|work=NME|date=2005-11-08] a very large number for an independent release with minimal television or radio exposure. It surpassed Neutral Milk Hotel's "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" as the biggest selling Merge Records album to date. [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-28|url=|title=On the Beat: David Menconi on music |work=The News & Observer|date=2007-02-22 ]

Arcade Fire was featured on the April 4, 2005 cover of "Time"'s Canadian edition and hailed as a band who "helped put Canadian music on the world map". On May 1, 2005, the band performed for 15,000 fans at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-28|url=|title=Spreading Like an 'Arcade Fire' |publisher=Salt Lake Community College|date=2007-03-19|author=Batman, Joseph W. ] In May 2005, the band signed a short-term publishing contract with EMI for "Funeral", and in June the band released a new single, "Cold Wind", on "". The BBC used the track "Wake Up" on an advertisement for their autumn 2005 season, and the tracks "Rebellion (Lies)" and "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" on adverts in January 2006. On September 9, 2005, the band appeared on the UK/U.S. television special "Fashion Rocks", on which David Bowie joined them for "Wake Up". This recording, as well as recordings of the band's collaboration on Bowie's "Life on Mars" and "Five Years," were made available on the iTunes Music Store in a virtual live EP. The same trip to New York City took them to the "Late Show with David Letterman" and a concert in Central Park. The Central Park show featured a surprise appearance by Bowie. On September 11, 2005, Arcade Fire appeared on the long-running BBC music series "Top of the Pops", performing "Rebellion (Lies)". The band also performed to a TV audience in Paris for Canal+, and the show was later screened on UK television's Channel 4. The band scored two number one songs on MTV2 (UK) "NME" Chart Show, with "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" and a three week run with "Wake Up". This success followed Rough Trade Records's last-minute decision to release "Wake Up" only on 7"vinyl. [cite web|accessdate=2008-07-17|url=|title=Episodes: Arcade Fire |publisher=PBS ]

"Wake Up" was played immediately before the Irish rock group U2 opened their concerts on their 2005–2007 Vertigo Tour; Arcade Fire subsequently opened three shows for that tour, and at the third they appeared on stage during U2's encore to join them in a cover of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart". [cite web|accessdate=2008-07-17|url=|title=Arcade Fire invited for U2 tour support |work=NME ]

"Funeral" and the single "Cold Wind" were nominated for Grammys in the best Alternative Rock Album and Best Song Written for Television, Film, or Other Media categories ("Six Feet Under, Vol. 2: Everything Ends"), respectively. On April 2, 2006, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Arcade Fire received the Juno Award for Songwriters Of The Year for three songs from "Funeral": "Wake Up", "Rebellion (Lies)", and "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)". [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=|title=Songwriter Of The Year (sponsored by SOCAN)|publisher=Juno Awards] The band was nominated for three BRIT Awards: Best International Group, Best International Album, and Best International Breakthrough Act. [cite web|accessdate=2008-07-17|url=|title=Arcade Fire, Feist, Buble earn Brit Award nods |work=Toronto Star ]

Arcade Fire made an appearance on the BBC show "Later with Jools Holland" on May 12, 2005, performing "Power Out" and "Rebellion (Lies)". On December 27, 2005, "Funeral" was ranked #1 on MTV2's "50 Greatest Albums of the Year" in the United Kingdom. On October 22, 2007, "Funeral" was ranked #8 in Bob Mersereau's book "The Top 100 Canadian Albums". [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-26|url=|title=The “Top 100″ Canadian Albums of “All Time”|publisher=Bumper Shine|date=2007-10-22]

"Neon Bible" (2006–2008)

During the downtime between "Funeral" and the beginning of recording sessions for "Neon Bible", the band purchased a defunct church in the small Quebec town of Farnham, approximately 70 kilometres (45 miles) outside of Montreal, and spent the early part of 2006 converting it into a recording studio. [ [ "Inside the Church of Arcade Fire"] , "Paste", April 11, 2007.]

On June 26, 2006, Win Butler announced on the band's journal that work had been progressing on their new album and the band had committed 15 tracks to tape using a variety of new instruments, including a pipe organ, and that some recording had taken place in the couple's living room. [cite web | accessdate=2008-04-26 | url= | title=Arcade Fire Spill Droplets of Album Info | publisher=Pitchfork Media] Butler announced in his online diary, Win's Scrapbook, that the new album would be self-produced, saying, "after trying to decide if we should work with any producers we kind of realized that we already know how we want things to sound so we should just run after that sound as fast as we can and not rely on someone else to guide the good ship Arcade Fire." He also announced that the band was working with engineers Scott Colburn and Marcus Dravs. [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-28 | url= | title=New Arcade Fire album: producer revealed | publisher="NME" | date=2006-07-18 ]

The first track officially released from "Neon Bible" was "Intervention" in December 2006 on iTunes. Proceeds from this release were dedicated to Partners in Health. [cite web|url=|title=Intervention On iTunes + Partners In Health Charity|publisher=Arcade Fire|accessdate=2008-04-28] An error resulted in a second song, "Black Wave/Bad Vibrations", appearing on iTunes for a short time. The album was leaked to peer-to-peer networks on January 26, 2007, and was officially released March 5, 2007 in the UK and March 6 in North America. "Neon Bible" premiered at number 1 on the Canadian Albums Chart and the Irish Album Charts, and number 2 on the U.S. "Billboard" Top 200 charts and the UK Top 40 Album Chart for the week of March 12, 2007. [cite web | accessdate=2008-04-28 | url= | title=Arcade Fire's Neon Bible Debuts at #2 | publisher=Pitchfork Media ] The album was also number 1 on the Rock and Indie album charts. The first proper single, "Black Mirror", was announced in January 2007. Displaying echoes of British band Echo and the Bunnymen, "Black Mirror" reached the #1 spot on CBC Radio 3's "R3-30" chart for five consecutive weeks, from March 22 to April 19, 2007, and was the first single by any band ever to spend more than two weeks atop the chart. The album gained much critical acclaim (even being mooted as a strong contender for album of the year), and because of its success saw the band proclaimed the most exciting act on the earth by British music magazine "Q". "Paste" voted it one of the five best albums of 2007. [ Paste Magazine issue #38 ] "Trouser Press" writer Jason Reeher ranked "Neon Bible" "among the best indie rock recordings of all time." [cite web|accessdate=2008-07-17|url=|title=Arcade Fire EP (Can. self-released) 2003 (Merge) 2005 |publisher=Trouser Press ]

Arcade Fire played on "Saturday Night Live" on February 24, 2007, performing "Intervention" and "Keep the Car Running". [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-28|url=|title=SNL Archives Episodes|publisher=SNL Archives|date=2007-02-24] Owen Pallett was not present because he was recording for his own project, Final Fantasy. During the performance, one of Win Butler's guitar strings broke, prompting him to rip the strings from his acoustic guitar and smash it on the floor until it shattered. On this guitar, "sak vide pa kanpe" was written in duct tape across the front. A Haitian proverb meaning "An empty sack cannot stand up" in Creole, this was a reference to the extreme poverty of Haiti, the country of origin of Régine Chassagne. [cite web | accessdate=2008-07-17 | url= | title=Singing for the Poor in Haiti: The Arcade Fire and Partners in Health | publisher="Indy Bay" ]

On July 10, 2007, "Neon Bible" was named to the shortlist for the 2007 Polaris Music Prize. Patrick Watson was announced as the winner at a gala ceremony on September 24, 2007. [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-28| url=|title=Arcade Fire, Feist on Polaris short list |publisher=CBC] [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-28|url=|title=Feist, Fire get Polaris noms|publisher=Canadian Online Explorer] [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-28|url=|title=Arcade Fire, Feist And The Dears Among Polaris Nominees|publisher=Chart] However, due to the band's preference not to participate in compilation albums, they were the only nominee not to have a track on the Polaris promotional compilation "2007 Polaris Music Prize". Some media initially reported that the Polaris committee had snubbed the band by excluding them, leading the band and the committee to issue a joint press release confirming that the band chose not to have a track included on the album. [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-28|url=|title=Joint Statement by Arcade Fire and the Polaris Music Prize|publisher=Polaris Music Prize]

The "Neon Bible" tour continued into September 2007 with 25+ dates scheduled in North America and Europe through mid-November. The band toured Australia and New Zealand for the first time in early 2008 as part of the 2008 Big Day Out festival. On October 14, 2007, Win Butler and Régine Chassagne made a surprise guest appearance at a Bruce Springsteen show in Ottawa, playing "State Trooper" and "Keep the Car Running". [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-28|url=|publisher=Bruce Base|title=Brucebase 2007] The band committed to give Partners in Health $1.00, £1.00, or €1.00 of every ticket sold on its 2008 European and North American tours. [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-28|url=|publisher=Partners In Health|title=Arcade Fire sparks support for PIH – Canadian band raises issues and funds]

Present (2008–present)

In February 2008, Win Butler announced on the band's journal that the "Neon Bible" tour had come to an end, after one year of touring and a total of 122 shows (including 33 festivals) in 75 cities and 19 countries. [cite web|accessdate=2008-07-17|url=|title=Neon Bible Tour Is Over |publisher=Arcade Fire ]

Win Butler has been a vocal supporter of Barack Obama since the end of the New Hampshire Primary. [cite web|accessdate=2008-04-28|url=|title= Arcade Fire's Win Butler Disses Hillary, Backs Obama |publisher=Pitchfork Media] Arcade Fire performed two free concerts for Obama in Cleveland and Nelsonville, Ohio on March 2, 2008 and March 3, 2008 before the state's March 4 primary. The band, with Superchunk, performed another two free concerts for Obama on May 1 in Greensboro, North Carolina, and on May 2 in Carrboro, North Carolina before the state's May 6 primary. [cite web|accessdate=2008-07-17|url=|title=Spending Heavily, Obama Attempts Knockout Blow |work=The New York Times ]

The band was rumored to be working with producer Markus Dravs on the soundtrack for the upcoming Richard Kelly film "The Box". [cite web |url=|title=Arcade Fire Scoring Donnie Darko Dude's New Movie|publisher =Pitchfork|accessdate=2008-05-14] Win Butler denied the claims, but stated that he and Owen Pallett "may do an instrumental piece or two" for the film. [cite web |url=|title= Arcade Fire Not Scoring The Box, Enjoying Wolf Parade|publisher =Stereogum|accessdate=2008-05-20]


In addition to founders Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, members include Richard Reed Parry, William Butler, Tim Kingsbury, Sarah Neufeld and Jeremy Gara. Touring members include Marika Anthony-Shaw, Colin Stetson, Kelly Pratt, Owen Pallett, and Pietro Amato. [cite web|accessdate=2008-07-17|url=|title=One Very, Very Indie Band |work=The New York Times ]

Howard Bilerman, who played drums on "Funeral", has since moved on to other projects. During the "Funeral" shows, the touring band included horn player Pietro Amato and violinist Owen Pallett. Neufeld, Parry, and Amato also play in the instrumental band Bell Orchestre. Pallett, though not listed as a band member on the band's official site nor in the album sleeve notes, has been a member of their touring lineup, and, according to the album sleeve notes, he did the orchestral and string arrangements with Regine Butler for both albums. Other members of the touring band are Marika Anthony-Shaw – a violist and former Lindsay Place High School strings teacher who played on "Recording a Tape the Colour of the Light" with Bell Orchestre and "Set Yourself on Fire" by Stars – as well as horn players Colin Stetson and Kelly Pratt, who have also played with Beirut. These musicians bring the "Neon Bible" touring band to ten onstage members. [cite web|accessdate=2008-07-17|url=|title=Arcade Fire: Art-Rock Fueled by Eclecticism and Pain |publisher=NPR ]


* "Funeral" (2004)
* "Neon Bible" (2007)


ee also

*American rock
*Bell Orchestre
*Canadian rock
*Music of Canada


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Arcade Fire Forum]
* [ Polish website]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Arcade Fire — à Stockholm en 2005. Pays d’origine …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Arcade fire — The Arcade Fire Le groupe The Arcade Fire, Stockholm 2005. Pays d’origine …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Arcade Fire — Concierto de Arcade Fire en Estocolmo, 2005. Datos generales Origen …   Wikipedia Español

  • Arcade Fire — Основная информация …   Википедия

  • Arcade Fire (EP) — Arcade Fire EP Album par Arcade Fire ArcadeFireEP.jpg Sortie 2003 Enregistrement août 2002 Mount Desert Island, Maine Durée 32:47 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Arcade Fire — Arcade Fire …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Arcade Fire (EP) — Infobox Album | Name = Arcade Fire Type = EP Artist = Arcade Fire Released = 2003 Recorded = August 2002, Mount Desert Island, Maine Genre = Indie Length = 32:47 Label = Merge (2005) Producer = Richard Parry Win Butler Régine Chassagne Reviews =… …   Wikipedia

  • Arcade Fire discography — This is a discography of Arcade Fire, an indie rock group from Montreal, Canada. Arcade Fire has released two studio albums, one studio extended play (EP), one live EP with David Bowie, and ten singles. Their material has been released by North… …   Wikipedia

  • The Arcade Fire — Arcade Fire Arcade Fire, Stockholm 2005 Gründung 2002 Genre Indie Rock, Art Rock Website …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • The Arcade Fire — Arcade Fire The Arcade Fire Le groupe The Arcade Fire, Stockholm 2005. Pays d’origine …   Wikipédia en Français