January 26

Arcade Fire’s maternal spark

Jazz harpist Liza Rey Butler of Mount Desert Island has the musical chops to make a lasting impression. Just ask her two sons, members of one of the hottest rock bands on the scene today.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 3)

click image to enlarge

The mother of two members of Arcade Fire, Liza Rey Butler has an impressive musical resume of her own. “She was a real prodigy,” says Alan Waite, a longtime friend and publicist for The King Sisters and her father, Alvino Rey. She was “probably the most talented musician in the whole family.”

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Arcade Fire, from left: Jeremy Gara, Regine Chassagne, Will and Win Butler, Richard Reed Parry and Tim Kingsbury.

Additional Photos Below

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

Her sons’ band has earned so much attention that Liza Rey Butler has now limited herself to keeping only the magazines that feature Arcade Fire on their covers.

ARCADE FIRE: DISCOGRAPHY

2004: “Funeral”

2007: “Neon Bible”

2010: “The Suburbs”

2013: “Reflektor”

2013: Score of the motion picture “Her,” directed by Spike Jonze

Win, especially, seems to have developed his musical talents quite naturally.

“Musically, they don’t play regular rock ’n’ roll chords. Win doesn’t read music, so he plays these chord clusters (on guitar) like Joni Mitchell did,” said Liza. “His hands are so big, he has to play a little differently.”

Arcade Fire’s songs can be high-energy indie rock, or lush and orchestral and moody. Instruments, besides the staple rock instruments, have included viola, cello, xylophone, glockenspiel, French horn, accordion, mandolin, hurdy-gurdy and, of course, harp.

The band takes most of its instruments on tour, and the current tour will take them to Maine this summer. The band is scheduled to play an Aug. 20 show at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor.

When the Butler brothers come to visit their parents in Maine, they try to do so quietly, to avoid a crush of attention. About three years ago Will showed up to watch his mother play harp at a summer pops concert in Blue Hill.

“All the kids ran over to get his autograph,” said Herries, the Butlers’ friend in Blue Hill.

Both Win and Will have children of their own now. Win has an 8-month-old son, and Will’s boy is 2. Liza says her sons have asked her not to put their children’s pictures on Facebook.

“They would just like to not have the kids involved,” Liza said.

Like a lot of new grandmothers, Liza wants to make her grandchildren something. Since she’s a musician, the birth of her first grandson two years ago prompted her to start making an album of lullabies.

“The band has babies now, and they’re thinking of putting out Arcade Fire merchandise for babies,” Butler said. “Everyone has babies on the mind, I guess, so I thought I’d do these lullabies.”

Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

rrouthier@pressherald.com

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors


Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Liza Rey Butler publicity photo from her days as a jazz harpist.

Contributed photo

click image to enlarge

Liza Rey Butler plays the harp at a nightclub in the 1970s. She earned a master’s degree in performance harp from the University of Arizona.

Contributed photo

click image to enlarge

Liza Rey Butler’s father, Alvino Rey, was a jazz guitarist and bandleader, and contributed to the development of the electric guitar in the 1930s.

Contributed photo

click image to enlarge

Liza Rey Butler and her family appeared on TV in the 1960s, mostly on "The King Family Show" on ABC. In this undated TV photo, Liza is on the harp on far left, with brother Jon Rey on clarinet, brother Rob Rey on bass, father Alvino Rey on guitar, and mother Luise King on the other harp.

Courtesy Liza Rey Butler

click image to enlarge

The mother of two members of Arcade Fire, Liza Rey Butler has an impressive musical resume of her own. “She was a real prodigy,” says Alan Waite, a longtime friend and publicist for The King Sisters and her father, Alvino Rey. She was “probably the most talented musician in the whole family.”

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

 


Further Discussion

Here at OnlineSentinel.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)