Secret Influences Behind The Last Album
by on October 25, 2013 in Interviews News

coach13Going to Carnival for the first time and seeing rara music, which is a kind of street music with all of these horns and African percussion. I remember being on a beach at three in the morning, and there was a voodoo drummer playing, and he had been dancing for like, four hours with kids and teenagers and they started to get the spirit. It really kind of makes you feel like a hack being in a rock band, having musical experiences like that. Butler shares stories behind songs including “Here Comes the Night Time” and “Reflektor,” reveals influences ranging from Søren Kierkegaard to the 1959 film Black Orpheus, and discusses his life-changing trips to Haiti and Jamaica.

You’ve talked about how albums like The Suburbs and Funeral were rooted in a time and place. Was that the case with Reflektor?

Well, going to Haiti for the first time with Regine was the beginning of a major change in the way that I thought about the world. Usually, I think you have most of your musical influences locked down by the time you’re 16. There was a band I felt like changed me musically [in Haiti], just really opened me up to this huge, vast amount of culture and influence I hadn’t been exposed to before, which was really life-changing.

Going to Carnival for the first time and seeing rara music, which is a kind of street music with all of these horns and African percussion. I remember being on a beach at three in the morning, and there was a voodoo drummer playing, and he had been dancing for like, four hours with kids and teenagers and they started to get the spirit. It really kind of makes you feel like a hack being in a rock band, having musical experiences like that. It’s just like, “Oh right. There’s living, beating folk music that’s alive in the modern world.” I’ve always listened to folk records, but actually experiencing it reminded me of the whole point.

“I was learning from what I saw and applying it to my own life, lyrically, I’m not trying to tell other people’s stories. We’re just trying to allow an experience to change you.”

Well, going to Haiti for the first time with Regine was the beginning of a major change in the way that I thought about the world. Usually, I think you have most of your musical influences locked down by the time you’re 16. There was a band I felt like changed me musically [in Haiti], just really opened me up to this huge, vast amount of culture and influence I hadn’t been exposed to before, which was really life-changing.

Well, going to Haiti for the first time with Regine was the beginning of a major change in the way that I thought about the world. Usually, I think you have most of your musical influences locked down by the time you’re 16. There was a band I felt like changed me musically [in Haiti], just really opened me up to this huge, vast amount of culture and influence I hadn’t been exposed to before, which was really life-changing. Read more…

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