Joshua Deu is a film & new media teacher and musician, best known as the co-founding member of Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire. Deu founded the band in 2000, with classmate Win Butler, and departed from the band in late 2003. Since 2007, Deu has taught Film & New Media at one of the top schools in the country Marlborough School in Los Angeles.
Deu co-wrote the tracks, "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" and "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)", on the band's debut studio album, Funeral (2004), and the song, "Headlights Look Like Diamonds", from the band's debut EP, Arcade Fire (2003). Deu and Butler co-wrote over 50 songs that remain largely unreleased.
Josh Deu and Win Butler, began to work on both visual and musical collaborations. Positive feedback subsequently led to formation of Arcade Fire, with Deu and Butler initially sneaking into a practise space at McGill University to write and rehearse. Whilst practicing there, they met music student Régine Chassagne, whom Butler had previously seen performing weeks before. Deu noted, "Win and I played guitar. Everyone played guitar. We had no music to show her, but she ended up saying yes to joining us, and I don’t know why. Maybe there was a little spark with Win." Deu subsequently designed the band's initial website alongside Win's brother and future band member, William Butler.
After a "profound spiritual experience" Deu began to prioritize film and fine art projects and collaborations, and departed from the band in late 2003, stating: "It just didn’t feel like it fit me anymore." Deu, however, continued to collaborate with the band on its promotional materials, web content and music videos, noting in 2010: "Not everyone gets to have these experiences with a famous rock band. I’m so blessed to have been part of who the band was at the beginning, and who they’ve become now."
Regarding his friendship with Deu, Butler noted in 2004, "In the beginning I started a band called The Arcade Fire with my best friend Josh Deu (who was the best man at my wedding this last summer, and who designed the website with my little brother Will). He was also the reason I moved to Montreal (because he had gone to school up here, and had great things to say about it). He still adds little bits to a bunch of the songs and helped write the music to "Headlights" from our demo EP and other songs off [Funeral]".
Deu studied at Concordia University, in Montreal, and was Win Butler's best man at his wedding to Régine Chassagne, in 2003.