Will Butler has announced that he’s left Arcade Fire. The band’s longtime multi-instrumentalist and the younger brother of bandleader Win Butler broke the news on Twitter today. “I left at the end of last year, after the new record was complete,” he tweeted. “There was no acute reason beyond that I’ve changed—and the band has changed—over the last almost 20 years. Time for new things.”

“I’m working on a new record; booking some shows this summer. I’m working on music for a David Adjmi play (which is so good). A few other projects percolating,” Butler continued. “Thank you to anyone who’s come out to AF shows, or bought a record, or loves our music. It’s meaningful to be part of your lives. Thank you to the crew, staff, management, label people, bands, artists, and friends who have helped bring our vision to life for so many years. The band are still my friends and family. I’ll be around! See you around!”

Will Butler joined Arcade Fire in late 2003 when multi-instrumentalist Brendan Reed quit onstage during a show. He first appeared on Arcade Fire’s debut album, 2004’s Funeral, and has contributed to every album since then, including the band’s upcoming studio LP WE. However, Butler does not appear in the music video for Arcade Fire’s new lead single “The Lightning I, II,” nor does longtime multi-instrumentalist Richard Reed Parry. 

Butler released his solo debut Policy in 2015 and followed it up with 2016’s Friday Night and 2020’s Generations. He also wrote original songs for David Adjmi’s 2021 Broadway play Stereophonic.

Read about Arcade Fire on Pitchfork’s list “The 200 Most Important Artists of Pitchfork’s First 25 Years.”


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