Arcade Fire’s Win Butler on James Murphy: “I always imagined [he] would be kind of insufferable”

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Image via Arcade Fire on Facebook

Arcade Fire’s highly anticipated fourth album is coming on Monday, and Reflektor seems to be the collective’s most polarizing record yet. During their recent interview with The Guardian, they discuss their influences, the intention behind Reflektor, and how they believed that the album had the potential to be a great dance album. The best part, though? Most definitely Win Butler calling James Murphy a “Hipster douchebag.” Read highlights from the interview below:

On how Reflektor is “the end of the CD era”
Win: “When Régine and I met, I was 19 years old [...] We spent so much of our life working on records, working on music, and it was the idea of putting all of this life on to a little piece of plastic. If [The Beatles'] Revolver is about the LP, and Reflektor is about the end of the CD era, it was feeling: ‘If we were making the last CD, how would we make it?’ Because the medium of something kind of always impacts on it a little bit. And it was also kind of a way of understanding the times, and life, and how I feel about myself, men, women, relationships, you know … all the different things.”

On Win’s first impression of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy
Win: “I always imagined [James Murphy] and LCD would be kind of insufferable. And he actually said the same about us – that people were talking so much about Arcade Fire before he had heard or seen us that he was like: ‘Oh goddamnit … why are these stupid bands doing stuff with xylophone?’ And then he saw us and thought: ‘Wait, that’s Arcade Fire?’ And I did the same: ‘Wait, that’s the guy that I thought would be this hipster douchebag that I wanted to punch in the face and the balls at the same time? Great!’”

On the influence of Haiti on Reflektor
Régine: “We just recorded beats [...] We were interested in doing hybrid beats that could translate stuff that I know from my family background in Haiti. I was always interested to try to find rhythms that mean something, to communicate emotion through rhythm and music. Because rhythm is almost like a vocabulary.”

Tim: “They are very different from the rhythms I grew up with. You see the historical sweep from Africa, but African-American music from North America is also very different. The emphasis is very different. So it does put you in a different headspace and it does make you engage with the music in a different way.”

On hoping that the influence of James Murphy would create great dance record
Régine: “I really wanted to get the right feel to the songs and be able to dance, really dance to them [...] When Win and I were staying in this place that had windows but no real doors and some drummers started playing, and more drummers came and more drummers came, and they were playing these roots, voodoo rhythms, and we just danced til 5am, and when we were too hot, we just ran and jumped in the ocean.”

On dance music
Régine: “I don’t get it, because dance music, sometimes it’s so dumb! Why does it have to be that dumb? The thing is I find either it’s danceable and really stupid, or it’s brave and artful and thoughtful, but you can’t dance to it. But I want to have both!”

(The Guardian)