Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler has explained the Canadian indie band’s controversial fake news marketing campaign which surrounded their recent album Everything Now.
Ahead of the album’s release this summer, Arcade Fire planted a series of fake news stories involving themselves to drum up publicity. Such stories included leaks about diva-ish demands ahead of TV appearances, dress codes for fans attending shows and the band selling $100 fidget spinners. All these reports turned out to be false.
Now, speaking to Vulture, Butler has explained the thinking behind the concept, saying: “A big question for us was ‘How do you release a record post–Donald Trump?’ Since we were making a record called ‘Everything Now’, and it would be coming out after that election, it felt like a real moment to try and address subjects like fake news and how the media works.”
Butler added: “The other part of it is that when you make a record in this modern context, it instantly gets refracted in the media. There’s all this side content, this trail that follows everything. So we thought that maybe we’d just make all that content, as opposed to just making the art. That stuff was going to get made anyway, so why not make it ourselves?”
“We just wanted to see where fake news articles about the band would go,” Butler explained. “The media is built for clicks now, and we were trying to see first-hand how it all works. I feel like I now understand on a much deeper level why Trump got elected. Negativity is what travels.”
“We learned more about how the internet functions, and how it’s an insane feedback loop… it was really interesting to us to see what got picked up about Arcade Fire. That idea plays into what we were doing as well: We were providing the ammunition for people who wanted to write negative things about the band: ‘Here you go! Here’s something to be outraged about!’”
Arcade Fire played a triumphant gig at Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange in the run up to the new album’s release. Read AAA’s review of the gig by clicking HERE.
Arcade Fire’s upcoming UK and Ireland tour dates are below
Friday 6 – DUBLIN 3Arena
Sunday 8 – MANCHESTER Arena
Wednesday 11 – LONDON SSE Arena Wembley
Thursday 12 – LONDON SSE Arena Wembley
Sunday 15 – BIRMINGHAM Genting Arena
Monday 16 – GLASGOW SSE Hydro