Arcade Fire Ignite Tour

Montreal eccentrics will head across the U.S.

December 16, 2004 12:00 AM ET

On the mounting success of their full-length debut, Funeral, eccentric Montreal pop sextet the Arcade Fire are readying for a second, more extensive tour of the States, kicking off January 13th in San Francisco and wrapping up on February 3rd in Boston.

But the band members are hoping that their newfound popularity won't force them to behave like rock stars. "If it's going to be, like, us wanking our little guitars in the spotlight, not seeing anyone -- no, that's not the point," says multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Regine Chassagne. "It's a human thing. I like to meet people after a show, and sometimes I recognize them from another show."

The Arcade Fire (named for the fire department where a family member worked) include frontman Win Butler and wife Chassagne, Win's younger brother Will, guitarist Richard Parry, bassist Tim Kingsbury and touring violinist Sarah Neufeld. And their eclectic sound stems from the wide-ranging tastes of their members. "I was listening to classical music and Mary Poppins and weird voodoo Haitian records," explains Chassagne, who plays piano, accordion, drums and xylophone. "I sang in choirs, and played for a long time in a medieval band -- I wore a costume, sang in old languages, played the recorder and mandolin and tambourine. I was singing jazz when I met Win."

"There's a bunch of Eastern European bands that my brother turned me on to," adds Butler. "He was just in the Czech Republic doing a big thing on Czech rock & roll in the Eighties." Butler, however, is convinced that the sum of all these parts is pretty simple: "For all its eccentricities, the band is a pop band."

For new fans, the Arcade Fire's self-titled debut EP is only available at their shows. But one track from that record, "No Cars Go," can now be downloaded at the iTunes music store. And for those across the pond, the group has signed a deal to distribute Funeral in the U.K. through Rough Trade Records, set to hit stores there on February 28th.

Meanwhile, the Arcade Fire have begun work on new songs at their studio in Butler's family barn in Maine, and they've recently completed their first video, for the track "Rebellion (Lies)." "It's a real video," says Butler. "We got a grant from the Canadian government to make it!"

The Arcade Fire tour dates:

1/13-14: San Francisco, Great American Music Hall
1/15-16: Los Angeles, Troubadour
1/17: San Diego, Casbah
1/18: Tucson, AZ, Solar Culture
1/21: Austin, Emo's
1/23: Houston, Fat Cat's
1/24: New Orleans, House of Blues
1/26: Atlanta, Variety Playhouse
1/27: Asheville, NC, The Orange Peel
1/30: Washington, DC, 9:30 Club
1/31: Philadelphia, Theatre of Living Arts
2/1: New York, Bowery Ballroom
2/2: Brooklyn, NY, Warsaw
2/3: Boston, Roxy


To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »