Tuesday, March 20, 2007

More on Arcade Fire

Somebody left a link to this article in a comment to my post on Neon Bible. It's an article that explores some of the biblical language on the album, some of it very interesting, some of it a bit far-fetched... Turns out Win Butler is a former theology student, which explains a lot of things. Like these quotes:

I wrote that song after our first headlining tour of the States....It was the first time in my life that I felt like I was visiting my own country as some sort of outsider. I had lived in Montreal for a few years at that point, but I didn't realize that I had really made it my home until that trip. In theology there is this idea that it is easier to say what God isn't than what God is, and in a way that song is my trying to say everything about my country that is not what makes it great or beautiful. In a way it makes what is great and beautiful and worth fighting to preserve more clear.
A good percentage of rock bands, when they perform it's a totally sexual thing. But I don't think we're that sexual. At least that's not what we're singing about or acting out. On a good night, it's more like the ecstasy of St. Theresa.
Do we know of any other theologians turned rock stars? The last quote is not only a rather good description (check out these clips on YouTube), but rather funny, since, as most of you know, St. Theresa is known for using quite sexual language to describe her ecstatic experiences.


axegrinder said...


I think I saw something on Thunderstruck about Jack White of the White Stripes. Apparently, he was planning to go to seminary. Before he went, he bought a guitar amp and ended up becoming a rock star instead. If I remember correctly, he was going to enter the priesthood in the RCC.

Jason Kranzusch

Patrik said...

I have no idea, but that certainly sounds like the kind of mythology that would go very well with the White Stripe Image...

Rev Sam said...

Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand (one of my favourite bands) studied Theology in Scotland (I think it was Edinburgh - the band got together at Uni). Again, the influence can be discerned in the lyrics.

The Physical Culturalist said...

I was a theology student at McGill University in Montreal, and I remember Win being in some of the religious studies classes.

One good theologian in the department you might want to check out is Douglas Farrow and his book "Ascension and Ecclesia."