Indie folk fans tuning in to the Grammys — gotta be some overlap there, right? — will be disappointed to learn Bon Iver will not be performing. The Hollywood Reporter has some choice quotes from frontman Justin Vernon, who spoke to press on Thursday night at a Bushmills whiskey event in New York. Vernon's musical talent is apparent, but he could use some work on not sounding like a complete tool. Turns out his frustration with the Grammys stems from Bon Iver being asked to perform with — horror of all horrors — another group.
We just felt like it was such a large stage — we're getting nominated for this record that we made. 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.
I almost get where he's coming from, but it still sounds ridiculous. It's not as though collaboration between artists with vastly divergent styles can't be interesting. (This is the Grammys we're talking about, so that probably wouldn't have been the case, but nevertheless.) Whether or not Bon Iver's decision was truly about the integrity of the music, it comes across like they were butthurt about having to share the stage.
Vernon went on to say that he would totally perform a song with the unnamed other group — just not, you know, on someone else's terms.
Fuckin' rock n' roll should not be decided by people that have that job. Rock n' roll should be the fucking people with guitars around their backs.
Fuckin' give me a break. Turning down an offer to perform at the Grammys is, depending on how you look at it, a very noble or very stupid move. It's all in how you spin it. And Vernon seems content with presenting himself as that guy who corners you at a party and tells you all about his music, even though you couldn't possibly understand. Ugh, why am I even trying to explain this to you?