Each member of the band plays multiple instruments both in the studio and on stage during live events. Some of the instruments that can be heard are, hurdy gurdy, violin, cello, viola, guitars, drums, bass, cymbals, French horn, accordion, xylophone and harp. During live events, band members sometimes climb around the stage using parts of the set and venue as instruments.
Win Butler was born Edwin Farnham Butler, III.
Win Butler and wife, fellow Arcade Fire member Regine Chassagne, co-wrote the music for the 2009 film, The Box, which starred Cameron Diaz and James Marsden.
William Butler, who is the brother of vocalist Win Butler, attended Northwestern University to study poetry in creative writing and Slavic studies. He attended Northwestern after both he and Win graduated from the prestigious Philip Exeter Academy, a boarding school in Exeter, New Hampshire.
Multi-instrumentalist, Sarah Neufeld, formed the post rock band Bell Orchestre with fellow Arcade Fire member Richard Reed Parry and former Arcade Fire member Pietro Amato.
Butler says, "I don't listen to our records that much, but I feel I can hear the times we went through in that recording. Music is about trying to put across where you're at and expressing something. My favorite Neil Young record is 'After the Gold Rush' ... 'Harvest' has these amazing songs and this amazing production, but there's something really direct about 'After the Gold Rush' - and you could tell that he was in a different place."
Tim Kingsbury, who plays bass, guitar, and keyboards has toured and played with the bands, Wolf Parade, Clark and The New International Standards.
During recording sessions for their album The Suburbs, the band was dedicated to doing everything analog, utilizing a 24 track tape machine that ran through a 1940s era mixing board that ran on actual vacuum tubes. Taking it one step further, upon finishing each and every track, the song was pressed on a 12 inch vinyl disc. The disc was played back then becoming the digital version of the song.
Win and Will Butler have strong musical roots. Their grandfather, Alvino Rey, was a famous big-band musician and inventor of the pedal steel guitar and their grandmother, Luise King Rey, was one of the harmonizing King Sisters who cut a swath through big-band America in the 1940s. Win Butler told The Daily Telegraph: "Our family is super-musical, there's nothing less shocking than being a musician. It would have been shocking if we'd become accountants."
The first song Regine Chassagne and Win Butler ever wrote together, back in 2002 before they were married, was called "Headlights Look Like Diamonds."
Arcade Fire was named after a story Win Butler was told about an arcade being set alight in Exeter, Canada.