Here's a very special treat for you all; Don't Do It team up with Butterscotch Magazine to bring you this rare insight into one of the greatest Indie Bands of our generation, the Arcade Fire, from the perspective of the group's stoic and typically reserved bass player and guitarist, Tim Kingsbury. We caught up with Tim as the tour for the band's successful sophemore album Neon Bible came to a close.
DDI Just a few years ago you were working as a telephone surveyor, what was life like for you back then? Were you actively looking to get involved in music? How did you get into the
TK It was a really exciting time for me. I've been playing in bands since I was 16. I moved to
DDI When did you first start playing the guitar? Who were your idols growing up; which musicians or performers did you really look up to?
TK I grew up in a musical family. My older brother is Brett Kingsbury and he's an amazing performer. We went to a church where my mother was one of the pianists and music organizers. My siblings and I would sing in front of the church and we also all took piano lessons. I really didn't listen to much top 40 until I was in middle school. As a kid I was exposed to a lot of Christian rock. One guy that I liked as a kid and still do is Larry Norman. Sadly, I just saw that he passed away a couple of days ago. I stopped playing music for a couple of years, but when I was 14 my mom's friend gave me a nylon string guitar and I immediately took to it. I learned some chords and started writing songs. I also learned a lot of classic rock, metal and some punk music. A couple of years later I started to get into Pavement and Palace and Dinosaur Jr.
DDI Getting such a large number of musicians together for rehearsal sessions must be difficult; do you have any ground rules for these periods? Do you treat it as work, or is it more relaxed?
TK Funnily, we've never been a band that was much for rehearsing. Before the Neon Bible tour, we had about a week and a half of rehearsing. The best rehearsals have always been shows. That was partly why we started off the tour with 5 night residencies at smaller venues- so we could find our feet. We've never been a band to play a song over and over until we get it right. If it sounds bad and stops being fun, we don't usually last long with it.
DDI The touring for Neon Bible was pretty extensive, what were the most interesting or memorable moments during this period for you personally?
TK The beginning of the tour was intense, particularly when we were in
DDI You're known to be quite reserved on stage compared to some of the more theatrical performances of certain other members of the band.
Is this is a conscious decision? Would you say you have adopted a particular stage persona, or do you feel the same both on and off stage?
TK I think this is partly genetic and partly psychological. My dad is the most seemingly laid-back dude on earth and the apple didn't fall far from the tree. I feel like my role in the band is partly as glue. I think I help hold everything together to a certain extent. Win and Will come from a show business family. Richie grew up in the arts. Regine is completely naturally flamboyant. I grew up in a fairly evangelical Christian family in southern
DDI What have you been listening to most, recently? Are there any new or upcoming bands you're particularly excited about?
TK My wife is really in to older country music and she's really got me into some stuff I never knew about. Some of it's kind of campy (Sandy Posey) and some of its awesome (Gram Parsons). It's been kind of exciting to listen to a whole load of stuff that I didn't really know anything about. I'm also excited about my friends band "The Harbour Coats" It's Brian Webb from the Constantines and Mike Feuerstack from Snailhouse and a couple of other friends. They've been doing some recording out at the [Arcade Fire] church and it sounds great.
DDI What do you enjoy doing when you're not busy with the band?
TK Well... I just bought some ice skates which have been fun. I hadn't skated in years, but now I'm skating every day at a park by my house. My triple axle is coming along nicely. Another big project is that my wife and I bought some land out in the country and we're going to start building on it sometime in the not-too-distant future. I intend to learn a lot more about carpentry and become a handyman.
I've been reading a lot about design and 'eco-friendly' building. On a related note, if you haven't heard of him, I highly recommend reading about a guy named Buckminster Fuller; amazing guy.
READ THE FULL UNEDITED INTERVIEW IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF BUTTERSCOTCH MAGAZINE COMING SOON!
The Arcade Fire - Broken Window