Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler speaks out on politics and critics

Edwin “Win” Butler III is the lead vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter for Canadian band Arcade Fire, known for their symphonic pop-dance-rock-noise arrangements, surrealist music arena performances and a savvy approach to the music industry. Arcade Fire have received several Juno and Brit awards. Combining a sense of grandeur, political awareness, and a gleefully poetic approach, he found a prominent fan in David Bowie, with whom he collaborated often, and in whose honor he recently led a parade of thousands through the streets of New Orleans. At the 2016 Red Bull Music Academy, Butler talked about all of this and more as he ran through his band’s discography.

Among the topics he touched on: Donald Trump (a “nightmare and a clown and a joke”), Hillary Clinton (saying she “will be a great president”), and the contradictions of music criticism (“you don’t really know if anything is good for 10 or 20 years anyway”).

The Red Bull Music Academy is a global music institution committed to fostering creativity in music. We celebrate music, its culture, and the transformative minds behind it. Begun in 1998, the Academy has taken the core principles that underlie its annual workshop for selected participants and applied this curatorial approach to events, lectures, and city-wide festivals throughout the year.