Win Butler

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Win Butler
Win Butler of Arcade Fire.jpg
Win Butler performing live in 2014.
Background information
Birth name Edwin Farnham Butler III
Born (1980-04-14) April 14, 1980 (age 34)
Truckee, California
Origin The Woodlands, Texas, US
Genres Indie rock, art rock, baroque pop
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, keyboards
Years active 2000–present
Associated acts Arcade Fire
Notable instruments
Fender Jaguar
Fender Telecaster Custom

Edwin Farnham "Win" Butler III (born April 14, 1980) is an American lead vocalist and songwriter of the Montreal-based indie rock band Arcade Fire. His wife Régine Chassagne and his brother William Butler are both members of the band.[1][2]

Life and career[edit]

Butler was born in Truckee, California and raised in The Woodlands, Texas, with a Mormon upbringing.[3][4] He lived in Buenos Aires before his brother William was born.[5] He is the maternal grandson of jazz steel guitarist Alvino Rey, a pioneer bandleader whose career spanned eight decades.[6] His maternal grandmother, Luise, was a member of The King Sisters, who starred in a weekly variety program on ABC called The King Family Show. His mother, Liza Rey, who also performed on the family TV show, plays harp and sings. His father, Edwin Farnham Butler II, worked as a geologist for oil conglomerate Halliburton in Houston, Texas.[7]

At the age of 15, Butler started attending the Phillips Exeter Academy preparatory school in New Hampshire, where he lived in Abbot Hall.[8] There he played varsity basketball and club softball, and performed with several student bands. He also worked with the administration to establish "Winter Thaw," in which students got a long weekend's worth of rest in the middle of typically cold, grueling New England winters. After graduation he studied photography and creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College, but left after a year.

Butler moved to Montreal in 2000 to attend McGill University, where he met his future wife, Régine Chassagne,[9] whom he married in 2003.[10] Butler has a degree in religious studies.

Butler participated in the 2005 UNICEF benefit project, "Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?," along with Chassagne. The two also collaborated on the music for the Richard Kelly film The Box.

On April 2, 2011, LCD Soundsystem played its final concert. Arcade Fire performed on "North American Scum." During James Murphy's stumbling introduction to this song, Butler shouted out "shut up and play the hits!" Murphy immediately responded, "ladies and gentlemen, for our live record entitled 'Shut Up and Play the Hits'" and Butler's cry later became the title of the well-received documentary of the concert.[11]

In September 2011, Butler played in a charity basketball tournament in Toronto known as "Rock The Court." Several other celebrities and athletes participated, such as Matt Bonner of the San Antonio Spurs, whom Butler defeated in a 3-point competition.[12]

Régine Chassagne gave birth to the couple's first child, a son, on April 21, 2013.[13]

Butler is known for his height, standing at 194 cm (6'4") tall,[14] and his unusual hairstyles. About his hair, Butler has said, "Being in a rock band, I feel a certain responsibility to have a weird haircut. I mean, who else gets to do that?"[15]


  1. ^ Bio on Win
  2. ^ Denver Post Article on Butler, 9/13/2007
  3. ^ Sean O'Hagan (November 28, 2010). "Arcade Fire: 'We're not a band that's out to party until we die'". The Observer. 
  4. ^ "Win Butler acknowledges his home: Arcade Fire tells true tales of Texas inspiration in The Woodlands - 2011-May-05 - CultureMap Houston". 
  5. ^ Arcade Fire - Lollapalooza Argentina 2014
  6. ^ Anne Miller; Smithsonian Magazine (December 3, 2010). "Alvino Rey’s Musical Legacy". 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Jamie Oliver Says No to Donkey Bollocks - Conrad Black Divests - The Arcade Fire's Exeter Detractors - Showgirls with Sock Puppets - Dave Eggers Ditches Brooklyn College". 2005-10-03. 
  9. ^ "Arcade Fire Deliver Indie Rock Scion Unto the World". Spin Magazine. April 26, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Couples That Rock: Regine Chassagne and Win Butler". Rolling Stone. August 30, 2011. 
  11. ^ Southern, Dylan; Lovelace, Will (2012). Shut Up and Play the Hits. UK: Pulse Films. 
  12. ^ "Win Butler gets fired up for hoops charity game in Montreal - ESPN". 2011-09-23. 
  13. ^ "Arcade Fire's Win Butler, Regine Chassagne Welcome Baby Boy". Rolling Stone. 2013-04-26. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  14. ^
  15. ^

External links[edit]

  • NY Times article mentioning Win Butler's slam poetry at Sarah Lawrence College.