Will Butler Has Left Arcade Fire

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Will Butler Has Left Arcade Fire

It’s been quite the weekend for Arcade Fire fans. Following the announcement that the band’s sixth studio album WE will arrive in May, longtime member Will Butler announced his departure from the band. Butler, who joined his brother Win in the band in 2003 as a multi-instrumentalist, took to Twitter on Saturday (March 19) to announce that he had left Arcade Fire at the end of 2021 after completing the new album.

In the statement, Butler explained, “There was no acute reason beyond that I’ve changed—and the band has changed—over the last almost 20 years,” adding that it’s “time for new things.” He also teased the follow-up to his 2020 solo album Generations, sharing that he’s “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.”

He concluded the statement by thanking fans of the band, writing, “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.” He also added that the members of the band are “still my friends and family.”

Butler contributed to all six Arcade Fire studio albums, beginning with Funeral in 2004 shortly after he joined. The band, who have spent the last few nights performing surprise shows at New York’s Bowery Ballroom, have yet to comment on Butler’s departure.

Revisit our list of best Arcade Fire songs here and keep scrolling to read Butler’s full statement below.

Hi friends—
I’ve left Arcade Fire

I left at the end of last year, after the new record was complete. 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

I was at Paul Farmer’s memorial service last weekend. The words from the ceremony, and the challenge of his life, remain at the front of my mind

I’ll still be working with @plus1org and @pih—and the many activists and good humans and elected officials I’ve met—to give people material help; to build better systems of health, justice, and government; to try to live up in some way to Paul’s example.

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