Bernard Sumner is an icon of alternative and rock music. As a founding member of both Joy Division and New Order, he’s been an important part of shaping some of the most influential bands to come about in his generation. His music has inspired and influenced so many people, and it’s enough to make you wonder what kinds of bands and artists inspire him.
What might be an easy assumption—but also might not be considering the sheer number of bands out there—is that Sumber loves Arcade Fire! It’s clear that his work is a part of the genealogy that led to their formation, as is true with most modern alternative music, so it makes it sort of extra special.
He actually recalled the first time he heard Arcade Fire, telling the story, “I was watching TV and it came on a trailer or something. They used the bit where the track slows down and immediately my ears pricked up. I was like, ‘I recognise the DNA in this song. That sounds very like something I’d do. Very like, something I’d do’. I listened to the whole track and I thought, ‘This is amazing’. It’s got really great drive and I think it’s in quite a strange time signature.” He was talking about the song ‘Ready to Start’.
He continued, “I love it because it’s really simple. I think it’s a great vocal line. I found it really inspirational. A couple of years later I got a chance to see Arcade Fire. We played a festival in South America and I went over to the stage where they were playing. The only place I could watch them from was about 100 foot or 200 foot high, overlooking the stage. It was peculiar, this massive ladder.”
He concluded on his love of the band, “They were great, really great. I like the way they swap instruments and every song’s really different from every other. I went to meet them and he said, ‘Oh, we’re really into your stuff and we got a lot of inspiration from your material’.”
It’s incredible not only that they found inspiration in Sumner’s work, but that they were able to have that exchange of appreciation between one another. Really, that’s what music is all about.
If you want to listen to the song that caught Bernard Sumner’s ear, you can find ‘Ready to Start’ linked down below. Can you hear the similarities?