Will Butler Embarks on News-based Song Series
Published Feb 20, 2015Arcade Fire's Will Butler is set to drop his debut solo LP Policy next month, but he's keeping the songwriting momentum going with a new project for The Guardian.
The UK newspaper has enlisted the singer to write a song each day next week (beginning February 23), inspired by a current news headline.
"It was partly inspired by Bob Dylan, who used to announce that certain songs were based on headlines," Butler told The Guardian. "It would be a song he wrote in two weeks or something, such as 'The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll,' which is one of the greatest songs ever. So I've set myself an impossible bar."
In terms of the subject matter of the songs, he's not worried about a shortage of material to draw from.
"I've been reading The Guardian every day, perusing the different sections. Some of them possibly lend themselves to songs. It's a cruel thing, but sometimes you read something and think, 'Uh oh. I could make something really meaty out of that.' Something like the Dominique Strauss-Kahn trial — my God, that's the gnarliest story in the world, but it's interesting. Or you might read a science headline and think, 'The universe is so much bigger than I thought it was.' There's something really beautiful in that."
You can read the newspaper's full interview with Butler here, in which he discusses his approach to writing songs and the literary inspirations behind Policy.
Policy is due out March 10 via Merge Records. Stay tuned next week to hear Butler's musical take on global affairs.