DEVORE, California — Like their debut, Funeral, the Arcade Fire's second album will also deal with tragedy, this time on a larger scale.
Backstage at KROQ's recent Inland Invasion (see "Beck Bashes, Barker Mashes, Shirley Clashes, Arcade Fire Smash At KROQ Fest"), frontman Win Butler said he's been deeply affected by the natural disasters that have torn up parts of the U.S. and Southeast Asia in recent months.
"I mean it's kind of f---ed up if it doesn't [affect you]," he said. "Everything has some impact, if you're human."
The Arcade Fire have been working on some new material while touring but will truly get to work this fall at a church in rural Quebec that they are converting into a studio (see "Arcade Fire Hiding In Plain Sight With New Single, Fall Tour").
"Régine [Chassagne] and I work on lyrics and chord structures and stuff like that, but the arrangement process is really drawn out and really collaborative, so that definitely is hard to do on the road," Butler said. "So we're setting up the studio and remembering how to play our instruments."
Butler offered only a vague idea of what fans can expect, claiming, "It ruins it to talk about it too early."
"We've only put out one record, so I think people have a pretty narrow view of what we sound like," he said. "[Expect] a lot of different textures, and we're just kind of starting to get excited about new sounds."
Before hitting the studio, the Arcade Fire have another month of touring left, including the Download Festival on October 8 in Mountain View, California, and the new Vegoose Festival on October 30 in Las Vegas.
The long-in-the-works, partly animated video for "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" should be delivered within a week or so, and the band is also releasing Funeral's "Wake Up" as a single in the U.K.
As for U.S. singles, "Radio over here just kind of picks whatever they want to play, so it's not really up to us anyway," Butler said. (Tastemaker KCRW-FM in Los Angeles is spinning "Wake Up.")
The Arcade Fire are also the leading nominee for the mtvU Woodie Awards with five, including Woodie of the Year -- Best Artist. That ceremony is scheduled for November 2 at the Roseland Ballroom in New York.