William Butler (musician)

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Will Butler
Arcade fire mg 7179.jpg
Will Butler performing in July 2007.
Background information
Birth name William Pierce Butler
Born (1982-10-06) October 6, 1982 (age 34)
Origin The Woodlands, Texas, U.S.
Genres Indie rock
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Synthesizer, bass, guitar, vocals, percussion, sitar, panpipes, trombone, omnichord, glockenspiel, musical saw, upright bass, concertina, clarinet, gadulka
Labels Merge Records
Associated acts Arcade Fire

William Pierce Butler (born October 6, 1982) is an American multi-instrumentalist and composer who is best known as a core member of the indie rock band Arcade Fire. Will plays synthesizer, bass, guitar and percussion. He is known for his spontaneity and antics during performances. He is the brother of Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler. Butler received his first Academy Award nomination for his work on the original score of the film Her in 2014.

Life and career[edit]

Born in northern California[1] and raised in The Woodlands, Texas, Will is the son of Liza Rey, a classical musician, and Edwin Farnham Butler II, a geologist.[2] His maternal grandfather was guitarist Alvino Rey. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 2001, where he lived in Abbot Hall, and subsequently attended Northwestern University, majoring in Poetry and Slavic studies.[3] While at Northwestern he worked as a DJ for the WNUR Rock Show, where he also hired Nathan Amundson of Rivulets to be a substitute DJ at WNUR. He also served as the poetry editor of Northwestern's literary magazine, Helicon. An excerpt of a poem from his senior thesis is quoted in Brian Bouldrey's book, "Honorable Bandit: A Walk Across Corsica."

In January 2008 Butler married dancer Jenny Shore.[4]

In January 2014, Butler and Owen Pallett were nominated for Best Original Score at the 86th Academy Awards for their work on Her.

Butler is currently a student at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where he is pursuing a Mid-Career Master in Public Administration.[5]

Solo career[edit]

On March 3, 2015, Butler's debut solo album Policy was released under Merge Records, accompanied by an international tour alongside Arcade Fire drummer Jeremy Gara. According to Butler, Policy is intended to reflect his omnivorous musical taste.[6]

Butler wrote five songs for the Guardian, based on news headlines, with each song created and shared within a day each. They were mixed properly and released on Policy Deluxe in May 2015.

Solo discography[edit]


  1. ^ "Hear Two New Arcade Fire Songs and an Interview". NPR. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  2. ^ Arcade Fire: 'We're not a band that's out to party until we die' | Music. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2015-03-10.
  3. ^ "Weinberg alumnus Will Butler talks civic engagement". North by Northwestern. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  4. ^ Zaleski, Annie (January 11, 2008). "Arcade Fire's Will Butler Got Married in St. Louis". Blogs.riverfronttimes.com. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  5. ^ "WILL BUTLER’S PITCHFORK RADIO SESSION". Arcade Fire Tube. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  6. ^ Will Butler: Policy | Album Reviews. Pitchfork (March 6, 2015). Retrieved on 2015-03-10.