August 2014

Win Butler’s music sessions with Jagger

Win Butler

Win Butler played Reflektor to Sir Mick Jagger before it was released.

The Arcade Fire frontman counts the likes of Mick and his The Rolling Stones bandmates, U2 and Bruce Springsteen as fans.

Win has performed with legendary rocker Mick twice, and wanted him to be one of the first to hear his smash hit tune as it was reminiscent of a Stones song.

“Not thrown, no,” Win said when Q magazine quizzed him on how he dealt with celebrity encounters. “I’ve just had this experience repeatedly where you meet artists that you share a way of thinking about art with. I actually played Reflektor to Mick before it had come out, ’cause there’s definitely a bit of [The Rolling Stones song] Sympathy for the Devil inspiration there.”

The track comes from the band’s fourth studio album, which bares the same name as the single.

Win, along with brother Will, wife Régine Chassagne and bandmates Richard Reed Parry, Jeremy Gara and Tim Kingsbury, had a ball when making the record not least because of the vocals laid down for them by special guest David Bowie.

“It really just felt like the heyday of studios in New York. It was like 1975 and record companies had money and you’re trying to make something that’s really great. It felt like we were really living it, y’know,” he smiled.

“You’re in the same studio where Bowie recorded Fame with John Lennon and Bowie is doing vocals on your song.”

While the band now have fans the world over, they still remember how daunting their first festival appearance was.

Recalling their 2005 gig at Coachella, the group are in agreement about how it felt to be on the bill.

“Our first festival, but still plugging in our own gear,” Richard explained. “Walking up onto the stage and being, like, ‘Oh my God.'”

“It was like being in the eye of a storm. Really chaotic… shambolic… wind… the sound was insane,” added Win.

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