Arcade Fire Discuss the Sound and Themes of The Suburbs

Arcade Fire Discuss the Sound and Themes of <i>The Suburbs</i>
After three years of waiting, fans will finally be able to get their hands on the Arcade Fire's third studio LP, The Suburbs, a week from now, on August 3. In anticipation of the album's release, Exclaim! chatted with bassist Tim Kingsbury to discuss the album's sound and its thematic core.

The Suburbs, it turns out, was given more time to gestate than previous records. "After touring," Kingsbury says, "we took a year off, although Win [Butler] and Régine [Chassagne] started working on ideas, and it took another year to record it. So, there was more time for ideas to come and go, and that's a big difference. And Will [Butler] really got into analog synthesizers, which is abundantly clear on this record."

Kingsbury also spoke about the reasons behind the new record's suburban concept. "It's trying to capture the feeling of growing up in that environment, to a certain extent," he explained. "It's based on reality and [the] fictitious as well; there's a certain element that's almost sci-fi, with the whole suburban war. Really, it's as much of a concept record as our last two records were."

But there's little critique going on with The Suburbs, a fact that Kingsbury is quick to point out. "It's not really about transcending [the suburbs]. It's a look at it, like, you watch a film and it really captures a mood, but doesn't really leave you feeling, 'Oh, this is the way.'"

"It's also more mature because we're older," he adds. "The production on the last record was so big. On this one, there are moments where we thought, 'This song doesn't need anything else.' It gives it more room to breathe."

Our review of The Suburbs, which is being released in Canada via the band's own Sonovox imprint, can be found by clicking here.

In case you aren't planning on catching the band on their current summer tour (Toronto's show features Janelle Monáe and the Sadies, by the way), you could always catch the band's upcoming webcast of their New York show on August 5. Terry Gilliam is directing it.