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Arcade Fire’s Will Butler announces departure from the band after 18 years


Will Butler has left Arcade Fire after 18-years with the indie rock band.

The multi-instrumentalist, who is the brother of Arcade Fire singer Win Butler, made the announcement via Twitter on Saturday.

Butler made a point of sharing that there wasn’t any big blowout within the band, and that his departure, which actually happened several months ago, was amicable. 

Farewell: Will Butler announced he has left Arcade Fire after 18 years; he’s seen in Sept 2015

‘Hi friends— I’ve left Arcade Fire,’ Butler, 39, began in the first tweet.

‘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.’

Arcade Fire released their new single, The Lightning I, II, this past Thursday and are set to drop their sixth studio album titled, We, in May.

In a series of follow-up tweets, Butler explained that he has already begun ‘work on a new solo album; booking some shows for the summer; and working on music for a David Adjmi play (which is so good)’, among other projects.

Tough loss: Will Butler (right front), 39, has contributed to all of Arcade Fire's studio albums, starting with Funeral (2004); he is pictured in the front with his brother, singer Win Butler (front left); the nad is pictured in February 2020

Tough loss: Will Butler (right front), 39, has contributed to all of Arcade Fire’s studio albums, starting with Funeral (2004); he is pictured in the front with his brother, singer Win Butler (front left); the nad is pictured in February 2020

Announcement: The multi-instrumentalist, who is the brother of Arcade Fire singer Win Butler, made the announcement via Twitter on Saturday

Announcement: The multi-instrumentalist, who is the brother of Arcade Fire singer Win Butler, made the announcement via Twitter on Saturday 

Big contributor: Butler, who plays a number of instruments including synthesizer, bass, guitar and percussion, revealed that he left the band at the end of 2021

Big contributor: Butler, who plays a number of instruments including synthesizer, bass, guitar and percussion, revealed that he left the band at the end of 2021

Busy schedule: The Texas native shared that he has been working on a new studio album, among several other projects

Busy schedule: The Texas native shared that he has been working on a new studio album, among several other projects

While Butler was with the band ahead of the release of their debut studio album Funeral (2004), he started carving out a solo career for himself over the last seven years, releasing three albums: Policy (2015), Friday Night (2016) and Generations (2020).  

The composer – who earned an Academy Award nomination for his work on the original score of the film Her (2013) – went on to thank fans and the band’s crew for their support over the years.   

‘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,’ he wrote, adding, ‘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.’

Butler ended the announcement by writing, ‘The band are still my friends and family. ‘ll be around! See you around!’ 

Gracious: The 39-year-old thanked all the fans and the band's crew for their support

Gracious: The 39-year-old thanked all the fans and the band’s crew for their support

Amicable split: Butler made a point of revealing that he and the rest of the band are still 'my friends and family'

Amicable split: Butler made a point of revealing that he and the rest of the band are still ‘my friends and family’

'See you around!' With his fourth studio album in the works, among the other project, he promised to see fans around

‘See you around!’ With his fourth studio album in the works, among the other project, he promised to see fans around

It didn’t take long before fans from all over the world shared their comments about Butler’s departure. And for the most part, reactions ranged from sadness and stunned, but also grateful for the music he contributed.

‘My friend texted me to share the news. I’ve been trying to write an adequate reply to his tweet since, lol. I’m so sad,’ wrote Sara.

Stowe commented on Butler’s memorable and emotional antics on stage, writing, ‘I’ll miss your energy at the gigs Will. You were always one of the best highlights of an AF show. But all the best, I’ll be looking forward to your gigs if you’re in Europe!’

A fan named Melanie wrote, ‘I am absolutely gutted to hear this. Was just telling my bf about how much energy you bring to the shows, and how much I was looking forward to taking him to see you performing with the band this year.’ She then dropped in a broken heart emoji before adding, ‘all the best for the future.’

Bonafide hit: While the band saw success with their first two studio albums Funeral (2004) and Neon Bible (2007)' their third record The Suburbs (2010) would be a massive hit, debuted at No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart and the U.S. Billboard 200 chart

Bonafide hit: While the band saw success with their first two studio albums Funeral (2004) and Neon Bible (2007)’ their third record The Suburbs (2010) would be a massive hit, debuted at No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart and the U.S. Billboard 200 chart

‘I’m happy that you left without any hard feelings, wrote Gabriël, adding,’thats the way to go. you contributed to such beautiful records and performances. will keep listening to your music.’   

Butler joined Arcade Fire in late 2003 after multi-instrumentalist Brendan Reed departed from the group. 

He has contributed to every Arcade Fire album, which includes Funeral (2004), Neon Bible (2007), The Suburbs (2010), which debuted at No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart, the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, and won Album Of The Year at the 2011 Grammy Awards, Reflektor (2013), Everything Now (2017) and the upcoming We (2022), which is set to drop May 6.                     

Huge accolades: The Suburbs went on to win Album Of The Year at the 2011 Grammy Awards

Huge accolades: The Suburbs went on to win Album Of The Year at the 2011 Grammy Awards



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