Arcade Fire, the world renowned indie rock band, founded in the year 2001 by Win Butler and Josh Deu, currently consists of husband and wife Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, along with Win's younger brother William Butler, Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury and Jeremy Gara. Here are some really interesting things to know about the Canadian band, often referred to as AF:
Arcade Fire was honored at the Juno Awards of 2011 as the band won Group of the Year and Songwriter of the Year for "Ready to Start", "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)", and "We Used to Wait."
On January 21, 2009, Arcade Fire along with Jay-Z were the musical guests at the Obama Campaign Staff Ball at the DC Armory, at former President Barack Obama's request.
AF's third studio album "Suburbs" is said to be inspired by a letter from a childhood friend of Butler from back home in Houston, Texas.
William Butler served as the poetry editor for Northwestern’s literary magazine, Helicon. An excerpt of a poem from his senior year thesis is reportedly quoted in Brian Bouldrey’s book, "Honorable Bandit: A walk across Corsica."
Following their 2012 headlining act at Reading and Leeds Festival, Orlando Weeks from the "The Maccabees," called them as the "best band in the world," praising their performance.
Arcade Fire recorded a special film version of "Wake Up," their final single of their debut album "Funeral," for the movie trailer of "Where The Wild Things Are."
In the year 2004, the band played two shows in Haiti, with Chassagne being a Haitian descent. ll the profits were donated to Albert Schweitzer's hospital in Haiti. AF continuously supports Haitian people through raising awareness of the current struggles as well as the history, specifically the regime of François Duvalier, in which 30,000 to 60,000 Haitians were murdered. This particular historical period is even highlighted in their song "Haiti."
AF recorded a song for "The Hunger Games" soundtrack (The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond), called "Abraham's Daughter". The song is reportedly featured in the movie's end credits.
Their debut album "Funeral," became their record label Merge Records' first ever album to have been listed in the Billboard 200 chart. Till date, "Funeral" is the biggest selling album in the history of the Merge Records.
All the band members are known to play a total of 16 different instruments including piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, xylophone, glockenspiel, keyboard, synthesizer, French horn, accordion, harp, mandolin, and hurdy-gurdy. Arcade Fire is famous for taking all of these instruments with them during their tours.
The name Arcade Fire is said to relate to Win Butler’s old school bully who constantly spoke about an old arcade that once burned down, killing a group of children. Butler claims that the story is probably something that the kid made up, though he took it to be real and believed it at that time.
Their most popular "Sprawl II" actually has two music videos. One video is the classic one which features Chassagne dancing around in a vintage dress. The second video was said to be interactive video in which the viewers get to control the character's movements by waving their hands in front of the computer.
The Butlers' maternal grandfather was Alvino Rey, the famous jazz steel guitarist, a pioneer band leader whose career spanned to eight decades.
The band's debut album "Funeral" released on September 1, 2004, actually got its name because several band members lost some of their family members that time - Chassagne's grandmother passed away in June 2003, Butler's grandfather in February 200, Parry's aunt in April 2004.
The popular single "Wake Up" has also become popular on sports radio talk shows in the US with two nationally syndicated shows—“The Dan Patrick Show” and “The Petros and Money Show” — often using the song as "bumper" music.
In the year 2005, AF purchased an old church and started using it as their studio, until 2013. It was when the church's roof began to collapse, that the band decided to sell it.
On January 19, 2017, Arcade Fire released a new single to coincide with Donald Trump's presidential inauguration entitled "I Give You Power". The proceeds from the release were donated to the American Civil Liberties Union.
It was reported that William Butler almost missed Arcade Fire’s appearance on the "Conan O’Brien" show as he had to ask his professors at Northwestern for permission to miss class.
Initially, when the band was founded in 2001, the line-up included Win Butler, Josh Deu, Regine Chassagne, Tim Kyle, Myles Broscoe, Dane Mills and Brendan Reed. This structure began to dissolve in the 2002 summer.
AF recorded the single "Lenin" for Red Hot Organization's famous album "Dark Was The Night," in 2009. With the sales of DWTN, the band generated over $850,000, which they donated to AIDS related charities.
The most famous single "Wake Up," was played as the pre-game intro song at New York Rangers games during the 2006–2007 season. The band also licensed the single to play in commercials during Super Bowl XLIV. All proceeds from airing the song were donated to Partners in Health for relief efforts related to the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
The Butlers’ grandmother was a member of an all female swing band called "The King Sisters," who starred in a weekly variety show called "The King Family Show."
Apart from Arcade Fire, Chassagne is also involved in a medieval band called Les Jongleurs De La Mandragore and a Jazz band, Azucar.
During their debut performance on "Saturday Night Live," on February 24, 2007, Win Butler ripped the strings from his guitar after snapping one and repeatedly beat it on the ground until it was destroyed. The band performed their popular singles "Intervention" and "Keep the Car Running."
One of the band's very first gigs was actually a Christian music festival named "Inside Out Soul Festival," possibly in the second half of 2001. Even before these gigs, Win Butler, Deu and Chassagne as a trio recorded various set of demos and performed live.
Band members William Butler and Owen Pallett received an Oscar Award nomination for Best Original score for Spike Jonze's 2013 science-fiction romance film "Her."
Arcade Fire teamed up with Google to create the first ever HTML5 powered music video for the most popular single "We Used to Wait." The video uses visual data of your hometown using Google maps, street view and 3D graphics.
In 2010, the band's single "Wake Up," was used on the "Best Bits" segment for the popular show "Big Brother UK," when the series ended after a very successful 11 Year run.
AF dedicated all the proceeds from the release of the 2006 famous single "Intervention," to Partners in Health. In the year 2009, the band donated $300,000 to PIH. During their shows, they even let organization to set up separate spaces to educate their fans.
The band's third studio album "The Suburbs," released in August 2010, actually had over eight different cover designs. "The Suburbs" won Album of the Year at the 2011 Grammy Awards, Best International Album at the 2011 BRIT Awards, Album of the Year at the 2011 Juno Awards, and the 2011 Polaris Music Prize for best Canadian album.