Arcade Fire turn up the heat with Reflektor - and release full album stream
Double album Reflektor – produced by James Murphy – marks the return of Grammy-winning Canadians Arcade Fire, and the first time the collective took advice and soundings from outside voices. “We’ve realised it’s OK to give a little,” says Jeremy Gara
Jeremy Gara can clearly remember when Arcade Fire’s adventures for the last album came to a close. It was a free show for 75,000 people in the heart of the band’s home city in September 2011 and Gara cycled to the show at the Place des Festivals.
“That was such a nice moment, to end in Montreal,” says the the loquacious drummer. “I remember riding my bike to the show, playing the show and then riding downtown to meet up with some friends. Then we took a little bit of a break before a bunch of us started writing songs and playing music.”
That was the jump between their last album The Suburbs and Reflektor, the sprawling new double-album that is the result of the band hunkering down in Montreal and taking some direction from outside voices.
Arcade Fire - Reflektor (Full Album Teaser - Official)
As the band prepare to release the album, they know that all eyes are on them. Since Arcade Fire announced themselves with Funeral in 2004, they have swiftly become one of rock’s biggest tickets. They’re now a band who are both eminently fascinating in terms of what they produce on record and a group who consistently provide visceral live thrillers. Few do it better – and few have the album and ticket sales to back that up.
Reflektor, Gara says, is “pretty much all over the place”, reflecting a state of mind which seemed to have time for this, that and the other.
“There are a couple of really heavy rhythmic tracks, there are a couple of sprawling Pink Floyd songs and there’s a grunge song,” is Gara’s review of the new album. “Overall, there are many more rhythmic elements in the foreground of this record than any of the previous ones. It’s not just a disco record, it’s not that one-sided.”
It took the band roughly a year-and-a-half to go from start to completion. Gara notes that the band were more or less working all the time. “The goal these days is that there’s not much time off, that there’s not much time between finishing a tour and being on tour again.
“The ideal is to be always working. It gets crazy when you have this hard, defined life between band life and non-band life. If my whole brain is in tour and band mode and all of a sudden, it’s gone from my life for six months, it’s really jarring.”
That doesn’t leave too much time for side-projects or solo runs. “Arcade Fire is a huge chunk of life, but we all have different projects that we try to stay involved in. There’s always something on the go outside of it, be it music or something else. It’s healthy. I’m already fairly one-dimensional, but I’d be really sad otherwise.
“I haven’t been doing as much outside of this in the last little while, but I’ve played with my friend Michael Feuerstack from here for the last 15 years and I helped him mix his record.”