comScore

Justin Vernon has no Bon Iver plans, deep whiskey ad regrets

Justin Vernon

Justin Vernon

In the lead up to his inaugural hometown Eaux Claires festival, Justin "Bonny Bear" Vernon dished about his disdain for mega-fests ("fuck Lollapalooza"), the time Justin Timberlake parodied him on SNL ("I'm not going to let that stuff get to me"), his new favorite instrument ("The OP-1. It’s a sampler-based synthesizer"), and much more in a frank interview posted today by Grantland. Throughout the Q&A Vernon sounds deeply concerned with maintaining artistic integrity, and he credits Minneapolis pal Ryan Olson (Gayngs, Poliça) for keeping him grounded and renewing his perspective. 

But the Grammy-winning, Kanye-collabing woodsman behind Bon Iver, Volcano Choir, and Shouting Matches is making headlines for two other tidbits from the interview — one prophetic and one boozy.

First, here's Vernon on the future of Bon Iver, his flagship project that has been largely dormant since its 2011 release, Bon Iver, Bon Iver, but will perform at Eaux Claires: 

"As far as putting a record together, I don’t really know what’s happening. Our show is our main focus. We don’t have anything booked after this. We don’t have any plans. We’re not being secretive — we just don’t have any plans. It’s just about, 'Play the show and put all of our energy into one show' — for once in my life, let’s just play one fucking show and care just about this one show for a goddamn change. It’s better than, 'All right, we’re going out on tour and we’re going to hit these markets and this, that, and the other.' We might play some new stuff. I don’t know, we’re going to figure it out."

Perhaps less consequential is Vernon's philosophical angst over posing for a Bushmills Irish Whiskey advertisement in 2011:

"We did a photo shoot for Bushmills. To be clear: They gave us a bunch of money and we were able to finish [my recording studio] without borrowing. It was great for us, and everybody that worked at the company was great, and I love Bushmills and wanted to do the deal because my dad loved Bushmills — we bond over Irish whiskey. But the problem is that it isn’t just Bushmills. It’s run by a corporation, and you kind of forget that they’re not interested in you or really what you’re doing. They’re interested in your popularity and your reach, and it felt really sickening after a while. Not badmouthing Bushmills the company, but I regret it."

So there you have it: Don't count on new music from Bon Iver and be forewarned that whiskey tycoons can test your indie-rock scruples. You can read the entire chat here

Eaux Claires — featuring Bon Iver, the National, the Tallest Man on Earth, Sufjan Stevens, Sturgill Simpson, Doomtree, and many others — goes down July 17-18 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Tickets ("We’re not crushing ticket sales," Vernon reports to Grantland) are $75 per day or $135 for two-day passes. Here are the set times: 

FRIDAY

LAKE EAUX LUNE STAGE:

THE LONE BELLOW 2:30-3:15 p.m.

THE STAVES 4:45-5:30 p.m.

SPOON 6:45-7:45 p.m.

THE NATIONAL 9:20-11 p.m.

FLAMBEAUX:

HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER 1:30-2:15 p.m.

STURGILL SIMPSON 3:30-4:30 p.m.

DOOMTREE 5:45-6:30 p.m.

TALLEST MAN ON EARTH 8-9 p.m..

FRANCIS AND THE LIGHTS 11-11:45 p.m.

PHOX FILM PREMIERE 12-12:45 am

MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS 12:50-1:30 a.m.

THE DELLS OF THE ST. COIX:

FIELD REPORT 2-2:45 p.m.

LITURGY 3:15-4 p.m.

LOW 4:45-5:30 p.m.

BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA 6:15-7:00 p.m.

ALLAN KINGDOM 7:30-8:10 p.m.

CORBIN 8:10-8:50 p.m.

LIZZO 11:15-11:45 p.m.

MARIJUANA DEATHSQUADS 11:45 p.m.-12:30 a.m.

BOYS NOIZE 12:30-1:30 a.m.

THE BANKS OF THE ST. COIX

THE PENNY SERFS 2-2:30 p.m.

MINA TINDLE 3:15-4 p.m.

FOUND FOOTAGE FESTIVAL 4:30-5:30 p.m.

JON MUELLER’S INITIATION 6-7 p.m.

SAM AMIDON 7:45-8:30 p.m.

GRANDMA SPARROW 11-11:45 p.m.

SATURDAY

LAKE EAUX LUNE

PHIL COOK 1:15-2 p.m.

HALEY BONAR 3-3:45 p.m.

GIVERS 5-5:45 p.m.

INDIGO GIRLS 7:15-8:15 p.m.

BON IVER 10-11:30 p.m.

FLAMBEAUX

S. CAREY 2-2:45 p.m.

CHARLES BRADLEY 4-4:45 p.m.

POLICA 6-7 p.m.

SUFJAN STEVENS 8:30-9:45 p.m.

THE DELLS OF THE ST. COIX

ELLIOT MOSS 1:30-2:15 p.m.

COLIN STETSON 2:35-3:15 p.m.

AERO FLYNN 3:45-4:30 p.m.

MELT BANANA 5-5:30 p.m.

PHOX 6-6:45 p.m.

SYLVAN ESSO 7:30-8:30 p.m.

THE BANKS OF THE ST. COIX

FOUND FOOTAGE FESTIVAL 1:15-2:15 p.m.

CHRIS ROSENAU 2:45-3:30 p.m.

yMusic 4-4:50 p.m.

PHOX FILM PREMIERE 5:10-5:55 p.m.

RETRIBUTION GOSPEL CHOIR 6:45-7:30 p.m.