If you’re one of the left-leaning Texans infuriated by the purgatory that is Greg Abbott’s leadership, you’re not alone: Former Texan Win Butler recently chatted with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe about how his loathing of the conservative governor inspired Arcade Fire’s recent single “The Lightning II.” As the band’s frontman puts it not-so-lightly: “I don’t even believe in hell, but if there’s a hell, that motherfucker’s going there.”
Butler, who spent a portion of his upbringing outside of Houston, explained that while he was working on the song, he thought of the Haitian migrants trying to seek refuge in the United States last fall. Although many of them made arduous journeys that took them from Haiti to Brazil, through Central America, and finally to the Rio Grande River that separates Mexico from Texas, they found themselves staved off by border patrol and Texas troopers.
“You want to talk about some Biblical shit?” Butler said. “Just to find a better life for your family, imagine what it would take, the bravery, and then to be met by… I don’t know. The governor of Texas can honestly… I don’t hate a lot of people. I hate that motherfucker. I don’t even believe in hell, but if there’s a hell, that motherfucker’s going there. Just to meet people with the absolute absence of compassion, these pretend Christian, fake fucking Christians, he should be ashamed of himself.”
Considering Governor Abbott’s implementation of harmful abortion bans and voter suppression laws — as well as his fervent support of Donald Trump — we’re with Butler on this one. It’s no wonder people like Matthew McConaughey have fantasized about getting him out of office.
Elsewhere in the interview, Butler discussed his brother and longtime bandmate Will’s recent departure from Arcade Fire: “I love Will… He’s my only brother and he’s always had interests that transcend music. I think that he sort of followed his big brother into this band. It was his first job. He’s got three young children, and [my wife] Regine and I are able to bring our child on the road. But I think that if I wasn’t, there’s things way more important than music.”
Butler’s full interview with Lowe airs on Apple Music 1 today. Arcade Fire’s forthcoming album WE is out this Friday, May 6th. In addition to “The Lightning I, II,” which we named Song of the Week, the band have also shared the single “Unconditional I (Lookout Kid).” This weekend, they’ll join the Saturday Night Live Five-Timers Club when they appear as the musical guest alongside host Benedict Cumberbatch.
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