The band released their fifth record last year, following a campaign that saw them promote “dress codes” at their shows, post a series of fake news stories, and claim to be selling a $109 fidget spinner.
Speaking to the Guardian ahead of their UK arena tour, Butler said: “Part of me hopes that this record is our stinker, our horrible record. Because if it is, then we may be the greatest band of all time. It’s pretty funny to me. If it’s the worst thing we can possibly do then I’m at peace.”
The piece notes that he seemed “genuinely concerned” that people didn’t get the joke of the campaign promoting the record. It was created by “really clever people” from the New Yorker and The Onion, which Butler said made it “interesting”. “It seems that by changing the masthead to something real, it changes the context of what the joke is,” he said, adding if any of the ideas had appeared on The Onion itself, they wouldn’t have been questioned.
Speaking of the critical response to the record, he said people felt like the band were telling them things they already knew. Explaining that people have “just accepted” things, he said: “We’ve got a reality star in charge of the United States, and everything that we love and care about is filtered through this incredible corporate structure.”
Arcade Fire will return to the UK and Ireland next week, where they will perform a series of “in the round” shows. They will play:
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