An indie-rock band based primarily Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Arcade Fire are fronted by husband and wife Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, as well as Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury, Will Butler (brother of Win), and Jeremy Gara. They usually tour with a large entourage of musicians, who occasionally outnumber “the band”. Their sound reflects that – tracks regularly feature all sections of the orchestra.
Arcade Fire was formed in 2001 in Montreal, Canada, by Win butler and Josh Deu, who were attending universities there. They were joined by Régine Chassagne and a rotating group of other musicians who helped round out the first incarnation of the band. Tensions rose in the band when they recorded their self-titled EP, Arcade Fire. Deu exited the band, and Perry, Kingsbury, Gara, and Will Butler joined the band, this being the final lineup.
Arcade Fire released their critically-acclaimed debut album Funeral in the fall of 2004. The album skyrocketed Arcade Fire into the mainstream, and Funeral was named one of the best albums of the year by many news sources.
Arcade Fire bought a run-down church in Quebec in 2006, converting it into a recording studio. They released their second album, Neon Bible, in 2007. The album went number one on many charts, reaching number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was, again, critically acclaimed. It featured an orchestral, dark sound, utilizing church instruments and classical instruments often more prominently than traditional rock instruments. The band donated thousands of dollars to charities, focusing on those in Chassagne’s home country of Haiti, and supported Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign.
Arcade Fire’s third album, The Suburbs, was released in the summer of 2010. The album went back to a more traditional rock sound, with many sources comparing it to the work of Bruce Springsteen. Arcade Fire collaborated with Google to create an interactive video for their song We Used to Wait using Google Maps.
Arcade Fire actively contributes to the awareness of Haitian people’s struggles and the country’s history, the latter being particularly emphasized in the track Haiti. In 2004, they played in two shows in its hometown and gave all profits to Albert Schweitzer’s hospital in Haiti. The song Rococo also relates to Haitian history.