Children, Wake Up: a (ch)oral history of Arcade Fire’s ‘Funeral’

Anthony Mansuy:

Three months later, when back to Massachussets for a concert series organized in a period of full "hype", the Montreal-based make their entrance in Boston's Roxy, a larger, more welcoming hall. Nine hundred souls have their eyes directed towards the stage. Richard Reed Parry is still wearing his bike helmet, but it has now become a purely decorative object. As for the other members of the band, they seem much more conscious of what's at stake here : no stumbling, still a bit of struggling but much less. A few weeks before, David Byrne and David Bowie were flattering them. Then it was Bono. Then the rest of the world. That was the start of the Arcade Fire we would know ten years later : the world's most professional band, miles away from the daydreams, innocence and orchestrated chaos of Funeral, which will remain their best album forever. But there was a time when daydreams, innocence and chaos were the band's daily bread, an everyday life which gave Funeral its inner body. On the occasion of the album's tenth anniversary, we chatted with some members of the band, current or ancient, old friends, one-time and full-time associates, and others who, from a distance or close-up, contributed to the success of Funeral. They tell us about the genesis of Arcade Fire in Montreal, the recording of the album and the reaction of a band caught straight into the eye of the storm.

If you care at all about Arcade Fire, this sprawling piece is worth it for the pictures alone.