Win Butler turns 40 years old on Tuesday, and he marked the occasion by sharing a long, handwritten note over Instagram updating Arcade Fire fans about the progress of their Everything Now followup. Apparently, the band is using their self-isolation time to really dig into writing, start recording and do a little introspection. Hey, what else is there to do?
According to Butler, the album is coming “eventually (not soon)” the band says, so don’t get your hopes up too high just yet. But fortunately enough, Butler says that what’s already done feels very appropriate. “We had been exploring a lot of lyrical and musical themes that feel almost eerily related to what is happening now,” he says. There’s even going to be a song called “Age of Anxiety,” apparently.
In the first of three pages of notes, Butler reflects on hitting the big 4-0, saying “I’m sorry if at any time, I have taken for granted the incredible privilege it has been to perform for you and have you engage and listen to our music.
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Post 1/3 April 13,2020 To the wonderful fans of @arcadefire , First of all, I’m sorry if at any time, I have taken for granted the incredible privilege it has been to perform for you and have you engage and listen to our music. On the eve of my 40th birthday, I find myself reflecting on my last big birthday; turning 30 (both excellent times to reflect). We were in Austin completing vocals and finishing touches on “The Suburbs”. Will, Spike and I had been intensely working on the script that would become “Scenes from the Suburbs.” Trying to finish a record that was so intensely personal was overwhelming. I didn’t even have the energy to celebrate, but we still went to a little Tex Mex place (definitely my death row cuisine of choice😊) I remember sitting in the fake leather booth, barely able to speak because of mental exhaustion, my true friends scattered all over the world and no where in sight, and thinking “It feels pretty great to be here at 30.” I was doing challenging work, with amazing band mates, making music I felt inspired by and driven to complete. I’m happy to report that at 40, I’m still pretty much in the same zone!!
He goes onto say that he and his wife and fellow bandmate Regine have been writing for a few months. He acknowledges that the toll COVID-19 may take on the music industry isn’t small but writes that “Though this crisis may ultimately change or destroy aspects of the music industry, I believe it will only strengthen music as an art form. It has never felt more essential, spiritual and irreplaceable…a church that lives in the air between the source and your ears.”
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Post 2/3 @arcadefire Regine and I have been writing for the last couple of years, and the band was a few months into recording new material when COVID-19 hit…We had been exploring a lot of lyrical and musical themes that feel almost eerily related to what is happening now (we actually have a song called Age of Anxiety written a year ago for Christ’s sake – ha ha ). Needless to say, the writing has intensified, and the work is flowing out… It is challenging as ever, and with just as much purpose. Though this crisis may ultimately change or destroy aspects of the music industry, I believe it will only strengthen music as an art form. It has never felt more essential, spiritual and irreplaceable…a church that lives in the air between the source and your ears… I just want you to know, dear reader, that you aren’t forgotten. The world is experiencing incredible suffering and uncertainty. I already know people who have been sick and died, and hope that you and those you love have been spared.
Butler closes by telling fans not to hold their breaths for any of the of live, virtual performances that have become popular among quarantined bands (although he says he’s not “closing the door” on the idea either) and sends his “unending love and respect.” (Please note, he uses some strong language in the P.S.)
This album, when it happens, will be Arcade Fire’s sixth. Happy birthday, Win!