The Arcade Fire give new singer-songwriter David Bowie his first big break
Riff Raff Interviews the Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire Stream #1: “Wake Up”
Arcade Fire Stream #2: “Neighborhood #2 (Laika)”
A year after their 2004 debut Funeral LP launched them into the indie rock forefront, Montreal’s the Arcade Fire are now set to take the Central Park Summer Stage tomorrow, September 15–by far the city’s most park-oriented venue. The band also just played with David Bowie at the Fashion Rocks show last Thursday, which apparently left Bowie with a black eye. Riff Raff talks to AF bassist Tim Kingsbury about the Bowie scuffle, the Facebook, and the band’s future plans.
Hi, this is Tim.
Hold on one second, I’m on the Facebook and listening to the Warlocks.
It’s my normal Sunday morning routine. I see you guys haven’t changed your Facebook profiles recently.
I don’t think we’re on it, no. Maybe somebody put us there. But I don’t think so.
I’m like friends with six different Arcade Fire members on facebook. You’re kidding, that’s not you? You didn’t go to University of New Hampshire?
I am on Friendster.
And Facebook, right? I’m looking at your profile right now. Your favorite music is Arcade Fire.
No you’re not. Not me. Really?
Before I forget, is it OK if I record this?
Yeah, it’s fine.
I’m probably not going to record this but just in case.
So you guys are at a fashion shoot right now?
No, not a fashion shoot. We’re doing some band photos. We’ve been using the old ones for a long time.
Listen, let’s cut to the chase. I saw you guys on television. Did one of you give David Bowie the black eye?
He and Win had a bit of an argument beforehand and Win ended up punching him in the face. It’s kind of a mess. Win owes him a lot of money.
What is Bowie’s status in the band right now–band leader? Band owner?
Not officially, no.
But you’re doing the next album with him.
That’s up in the air. I don’t know yet. Probably won’t.
There are plenty of celebrities trying to ride the Arcade Fire boat here, but it’s weird that so many of them are named David. Like, there’s David Bowie, David Byrne, I guess there’s David Reed, Dav–
Who’s David Reed?
Oh I’m sorry, I meant Lou Reed. Nevermind then. Are there any people you really want to collaborate with, not just these random dudes?
I know there’s people we’ve talked about. Nobody’s really coming to mind right now. There are definitely. I’ll get back to you.
I was listening to this new Warlocks record this morning. I think it might be a good fit. Have you guys thought about the Warlocks?
I’ve heard of them, but haven’t heard their record. Where are they from?
I have no idea. Actually don’t collaborate with the Warlocks.
But just to bring things back here, when you guys were prepping for Funeral. And Win and Regine, they had just gotten married?
They got married two years ago. We had just started recording the record when they got married. And then it came out just over a year after they got married.
So was the marriage just sort of a business decision?
For like saving money on taxes and tours?
Oh! Maybe, I don’t think so though. I think they actually genuinely love each other.
When you guys get mad at Win, do you yell back at him using his voice?
The guy with the voice.
No, we’ve never done that.
It’s been a year since Funeral, and since you played CMJ in one of the smaller venues. Now you’re playing at SummerStage, which is by far the most prominent spot for any band this week. Are you guys going to quit while you’re on top?
How do you know Sound Team, the band that’s opening up for you?
We played with them and the Unicorns. The last time we were on tour we were driving through Texas and we were driving to Dallas, and we were in Waco and our van broke down. So we were stranded, and we called up a friend, and she knew Sound Team, and she called them up. They were kind enough to come and pick us up in the middle of nowhere with all our gear, and then they drove us up to Dallas in time to make it for our show.
Any surprises for your show tomorrow?
I can’t really say much. I think it might be a bit different because we have some extra people in town, but I can’t say exactly what’s going to happen.
That’s fine, I’m just trying to figure out whether I should go to that or Lady Sovereign.
It’s hard for me to even tell what people even think of the band. It seems like people like it.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 14, 2005