New interview at Pacific Standard with Will Butler, one of the stars of Arcade Fire. Highlights:
What have you found so far?
I’m trying to preach to the choir and radicalize them a little bit, not push them farther left, but make them a little harder. Part of it is a community-building exercise. You came to the show, and now you’re here, and now we’re talking about something important. I try to introduce a little bit of flour, a little bit of thickening, to the music-goers in that city. I will never be more influential than having just gotten off a stage with a show that people liked.
How do you organize these local events? Do you just call up and say: “Hi! I’m a famous rock star and want to put something together!”
Some of it is cold-calling! I live in New York. I wanted to do the the afterparty for the campaign to close Rikers Island jail. I like to have activists and politicians together. I literally just cold-emailed my city councillor: “Dear Mr. Lander. I am a constituent. I play in a band called Arcade Fire. We’re playing Madison Square Garden. Would you like to talk at the show after?”
Universally, every assistant in a progressive politician’s office knows our band. That’s our constituency.