For sale: one crumbling piece of Canadian music history. Montreal indie rockers Arcade Fire have put their recording studio, a converted 160-year-old church in Farnham, Que., up on the block. The listing, posted via the band’s Twitter account last week, asks $325,000 for the red brick structure located on a quiet village side street, “walking distance to main road, shops and schools.” The group has sunk considerable money into the building since acquiring it in 2005, upgrading plumbing and wiring, renovating bedrooms and a kitchen, and adding a full recording studio in the basement. And the cozy set-up is where they laid down the bulk of their acclaimed 2007 offering Neon Bible and its hit 2010 follow-up, The Suburbs, winner of a Grammy as best album of the year.
But potential buyers should beware. The listing notes a couple of problems: minor water infiltration after heavy rain, and a roof that needs to be replaced at an estimated cost of between $23,000 and $44,000.
According to reports in the music press last fall, structural issues with the church became so bad that the group was forced to stop working on its next disc—due later this year—and find new recording space. “The roof is collapsing. It’s completely falling apart,” Jeremy Gara, the band’s drummer, told an Ottawa radio station.
For all its critical success—appearances on Saturday Night Live, opening for U2 and jamming on stage with Bruce Springsteen—it seems the seven-member band remains something less than rock-star rich. So faced with a repair bill that outstrips the $30,000 they received as winners of the 2011 Polaris Prize for best Canadian album, they’re moving on. Maybe Rush or Carly Rae Jepsen are in the market.