They’re an Xbox, he’s more Atari: Justin Vernon of Bon Iver says “fuck you” to playing the Grammys
With less than two weeks to go before the 54th Grammy Awards (only on CBS!), Justin Vernon of Grammy-nominated Bon Iver has been less than charitable with his opinion of the awards, and has stirred up plenty of cred-saving shit in the process. In a chat with Billboard last night, Vernon opened up about why he and his band won’t be performing during the illustrious ceremony—despite being prominently featured in a “Holocene”-scored Grammy ad. Oh, and he swore a lot:
“We wanted to play our music, but were told that we couldn’t play. We had to do a collaboration with someone else […] Me and Brian [Joseph] and a bunch of our fucking friends and we were given accolades for it, and all of a sudden we were being asked to play music that had nothing to do with that. We kind of said ‘fuck you’ a little bit, and they sort of acted like they wanted us to play, but I don’t think they wanted us to play.”
As for that Grammy commercial—which involves Vernon turning into a flock of birds or something—the singer was equally fucking eloquent:
“We had to deal with all this shit, we wanted to get a promo out of the deal. Go ahead, pay for our commercial. There’s a big misunderstanding—I don’t want to sell music. But if people are going to be selling music, and they want to sell our music without disturbing the medium of what it actually is, we want to fucking do that. I want people to hear the music that we make. I don’t want to do it in any shitty way.”
Vernon’s remarks come at crucial time for the Eau Claire, Wisconsin-based band. Bon Iver will stop by Saturday Night Live tomorrow night, play immediately before Radiohead at Coachella this spring, and will collaborate with Alicia Keys in the near future. Will mainstream America take to the group like it has to so many Gagas and Adeles? Will the average Grammy/SNL viewer really care about the integrity of the “medium,” or simply find Vernon’s comments petulant and ungrateful? Will the Food Network and/or Rosie O’Donnell finally buy the rights to “Perth” (as long as they don’t do it in a shitty way) and use it for a nice dinner-making show?