Arcade Fire have been so big for so long that it’s easy to forget they emerged from the same Montreal underground scene as long-dormant indie-pop quirk-masters the Unicorns, whose Nick Thorburn later went on to form the long-running Islands. In fact, as Thorburn points out in a new interview, the Unicorns actually took Arcade Fire on their first national tour back in 2004, so the Arcade Fire shows the reunited Unicorns are opening this month represent quite the turning of the tables. Thorburn also credits Win Butler for making the Unicorns reunion happen at all:
The 10-year anniversary was coming up, and who doesn’t like an anniversary? There was some murmuring that I guess got through the grapevine and onto the Internet about possibly doing some shows again, and then we couldn’t schedule it and get it going in time [for the album's anniversary]. I guess Win Butler and Arcade Fire saw that on the Internet, and reached out and asked if we wanted to play some shows with them. In a way, it was strangely fitting, because 10 years ago this month, we brought them out on their first national tour. It was a little role reversal, but this time, in an arena.
He also spoke about learning to accept the public’s love for the Unicorns:
For many years, I tried to stay as far away from it as possible — I was embarrassed by it. People would mention Unicorns, I would bristle. At shows, people would call out Unicorns songs. I’ve totally come to peace with that over the years. I’m proud of what the Unicorns accomplished.
And what to expect from the shows:
“The three of us haven’t been in the same room in six years … so your guess is as good as mine,” he says. “This will be a real crash course of us getting together. I’m not sure how it’s going to go…”
Read the full interview at Billboard.
Here are the Unicorns’ tour dates:
8/01: Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum*
8/02: Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum*
8/22: Brooklyn, NY @ Barclay’s Center*
8/23: Brooklyn, NY @ Barclay’s Center*
8/24: Brooklyn, NY @ Barclay’s Center*
9/21: POP Montreal – Montreal, QC @ Metropolis Theatre
* w/ Arcade Fire & Dan Deacon
[Photo by Laura Crapo.]