The members of Arcade Fire are accustomed to the glare of the spotlight, so in an exclusive interview with CBC News: The National, band leader Win Butler easily brushes aside criticism over the Montreal troupe's urging fans to dress up for its concerts.

Currently touring in support of its latest, blockbuster album Reflektor, the award-winning band continues to draw inspiration from places like the Caribbean, Haiti and New Orleans — especially the playfulness of Carnival, which is what inspired the "dressing up" request in the first place.

"We didn't get flak from anyone who was planning on coming to the show. We got flak from people who had no intention of ever coming to the show," Butler tells CBC News.

"Even if you don't feel like dressing up, which is super fine, you're not bummed ... that there's a beautiful girl wearing a glittery dress next to you," he said, laughing. "You can't help but smile... It's more of a communal thing."

Thanks to a variety of masks and the giant, Carnivalesque heads the band has brought out during their recent concerts — which even allow members of Arcade Fire to get out and dance among their fans during the opening acts — "it feels like we've been closer to the audience than ever before," he added.

Butler's gave an exclusive interview to The National's Wendy Mesley about family life on the road with his new baby, optimism about Quebec politics and rock stars "spouting off."

Arcade Fire

Win Butler, centre, performs with his Arcade Fire band mates at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Thursday. (Michelle Siu/Associated Press)