Make no mistake about it, Arcade Fire are as Canadian as they come.
The band sits down with Beats 1 and Zane Lowe for a deep dive on their career and new music. Reflecting on Montreal in the ’70s, the band painted a diverse and lively picture of the city. “The thing that I really immediately loved about Montreal is – the neighbourhood I was living in was the Hasidic neighbourhood and then there was this Greek and Portuguese, French African, and Haitian and these really distinct – and even like the European immigrants in Montreal, like the Italians are super Italian,” they explain.
“There was an Italian coffee shop that was basically like the centre of the Montreal music scene,” Arcade Fire continues. “Where everyone would go and write and it was a really profound – it was like a real scene. It was like an actual music scene where you would see people and have a coffee and play shows.”
Canada is at the forefront of the global music scene these days, but that wasn’t always the case. “And that kind of initial period in the early 2000s, I don’t even think anyone thought that good music could come from Canada. It wasn’t like Canada was synonymous with good rock bands or anything like that. And so there was this kind of movement kind of bubbling up.”
The Indie rock group also reflects on brushing shoulders with legends like David Bowie and U2: “That was actually kind of crazy. I mean on that first record you know Bruce Springsteen covered our song and we played with David Byrne and David Bowie and played with U2 at the end of the Funeral tour.”
The in-depth conversation also dives into the band’s thoughts on how we consume media. “…90 per cent of what we’re ingesting are pseudo events,” they explain. “It’s like someone says Barack Obama is a radical terrorist, which is not true, but saying it creates a false event.”
“So then when Barack Obama comes out and says ‘Hey guys, I’m definitely not terrorist and why are we talking about this? This is beneath us as a people to talk about this,'” they continue. “Instead of it making the original idea recede. It’s just another link in the chain.”
“I mean cause essentially a lot of the internet is essentially like boredom and what we do with our boredom and our loneliness.”