Over the years, Arcade Fire have collaborated with some of the biggest names in music, from David Bowie to Bruce Springsteen to David Byrne. That trend continues on the band’s new album, WE, which boasts an appearance from Peter Gabriel.
According to a new profile about Arcade Fire in the Montreal Gazette, Gabriel sings on the album track “Unconditional II (Race and Religion).” “[He] came to the studio and we had a day to work on it,” frontman Win Butler explained. “He does this thing where he double-tracks his voice, high and low. As soon as he put the high vocal down, I was like, ‘Oh s—, that’s Peter Gabriel.’
A different profile about band published in the New York Times reveals that Father John Misty also had a small hand in the making of WE, as he acted as a sort of sounding board for Win Butler and Régine Chassagne during their early sessions.
The Times profile also mentions that some of WE’s material dates back as far as 20 years (parts of “The Lightning I and II” originate from the band’s Funeral era, while “End of Empire I-IV” was written when Butler and Chassagne were in college.)
Elsewhere in the Times profile, Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry briefly addressed the departure of longtime band member Will Butler. “I think there’s just a lot of things that he has to do, while he’s still in the prime of his life, that are not being in a rock band on tour,” Parry said.
WE, which was produced by Radiohead’s Nigel Godrich, is due for release on May 6th. One day later on May 7th, Arcade Fire will serve as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live.