Reflektor season is officially in full swing, and as part of their promotional campaign Win Butler and Jeremy Gara sat down at CBC Radio One with Jian Ghomeshi to talk about their new album. The interview ranges from flippant to dead serious, with Butler joking about his “acting career” and dropping knowledge about the theories of philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in practically the same breath. He also takes time to offhandedly diss our Kardashian-filled media landscape, only to (almost) take it back a second later. Read choice excerpts from the interview and stream it in its entirety below.
On how Haitian performers made them feel:
Why am I getting paid to do this when these people do this for free just for love, anonymously, and it’s more accomplished, or more visually stunning, or more creative, or more scary?
On the difference between appropriation and influence:
The difference is allowing yourself to be changed by that music.
The idea of going to Ibiza and being surrounded by a bunch of rich kids on ecstasy and trying to dance is about number 1 trillion on the list of things I’d want to do in my life. But being on a beach in Haiti, and someone gets out a drum, and then kids come out of the forest and come dance until three in the morning, and then you jump in the ocean, I’m like, ‘Okay I can relate to that.’
On finding the right tempo:
Out of nowhere these two Jamaican security guards just like waltz into the room and just start throwing down like dancing like they’re like at a nightclub… Just like started throwing down and we were like I think we’ve found the right tempo. And never saw them again the whole rest of the time.
On keeping their “weird world” intact:
We’ve never one time thought about whether something was going to play on the radio…No one has ever said anything about that at any point.
On the media landscape:
When I was a kid… it was possible to have these artistic experiences through more traditional media, and now it really isn’t the case. You’re competing against the Kardashians, you’re competing against stuff that’s actually trying to suck that feeling out of the world. And so it becomes, ‘Okay, how do you do something meaningful in that context?’
On that last quote:
I’ve never actually seen the Kardashians by the way.
Jeremy: Happily married…feel good at home…The balance of things is what’s most important.
Win: For me it’s hard to not look at each little thing as it’s own little project… little small victories… when it all doesn’t get lost in translation.