Mavis Staples talks working with Arcade Fire
The legendary singer Mavis Staples joined forces with Arcade Fire for the stand-alone single I Give You Power that was released in connection with Donald Trumps’ inauguration. In an interview with The Arizona Republic she for the first time talks about it.
Q: You’ve been working with youngsters and relative youngsters a lot in recent years. What’s the appeal for you?
A: Well, just the fact that they have followed my family. I am so much older than them, but they all seem to know me. They’ve followed our work. … You know, it keeps me young to be around young people. I really love the Arcade Fire kids. They’re like family. I’ve adopted the little girl [Note: Régine Chassagne]. I call her Tinkerbell. She’s always moving. She even had me dancing on stage. She came and got me and I fell in. But I was doing dances from the ‘70s and she was doing the Running Man or somebody (laughs). But I kept up with her.
Q: I love that song you did with them, “I Give You Power.”
A: I like that song. We did that at their home in New Orleans, and I was so amazed. We started in the living room and then we ended up in the studio they have put together in a smaller building out behind the house. They called it a coach house or something. I said, “Well, how you gonna catch it?” They said, “Don’t worry, Mavis. We’re getting it.” And it really was an amazing session. I had a day off in New Orleans, and they have this beautiful house. Then, after the session, we had a nice lunch, and I said, “OK, you ready to get back to work?” And they said, “Oh Mavis, it’s done. We don’t need anymore.” I love them.
Nice to hear Win and Régine have a studio out back where they can record whenever they want. Love that Régine bit too.