Justin Vernon might stage a festival with Marijuana Deathsquads in Eau Claire
Justin Vernon performing with the Shouting Matches at the Bachelor Farmer's Kräftskiva fest.
Photo by Erik Hess
A couple of interviews with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon popped up this week, and both illuminate a guy overflowing with ideas.
After the push for his side project Shouting Matches' debut album, Grownass Man, earlier this year -- and a couple of rollicking Minneapolis shows -- these conversations were timed with the release of another one of his groups, Volcano Choir. Also featuring members of Collections of Colonies of Bees, the band's trippy follow-up to 2009's Unmap is called Repave, and is out Tuesday, September 3.
Although Vernon was mainly wearing the VC hat, he still took some time to talk about collaborating with Kanye West, assembling a festival in Eau Claire, and even a little on the future of Bon Iver.
First, we'll direct you to Vernon's playful interview with New York Magazine. While discussing his collaborations with Kanye West on Yeezus, he mentioned another band in the works. It could be the mysterious "Jason Feathers" project with S. Carey, Astronautalis, and Ryan Olson that we found out about last year, but it could be something totally different too.
You worked with Kanye again on Yeezus. How did "I'm In It" come together?
I was sitting around working with another band of mine that I can't talk about yet -- I apologize for that -- but the power went out in the barn, and we couldn't work on anything. We're playing guitar around the campfire, drinking too many beers, and this starfucker thing came to me. So [later] I was sitting around writing for Kanye, and it just sort of popped into my head.
Also, like most of us, he hated the way Lost ended.
As for the interview with Pitchfork, there's a fascinating commentary on Charles Bukowski and the role of sex in indie rock that someone should turn into a dissertation, and he notes that his dad helped the New York Yankees and Derek Jeter through salary arbitration.
Also, we get a bit regarding his flagship band. Last year, Vernon told 89.3 the Current's the Local Show that he was considering walking away from Bon Iver because there was so much attention centered on it.
Pitchfork: Do you have any plans for Bon Iver in the near future?
JV: There's a large opportunity for Bon Iver to be a special thing, even from a business standpoint -- just trying to do cooler things. Every band sells t-shirts and plays certain auditoriums, but I'm sick of being like everyone else, because I'm not. I think I need to take a long time. In the last month or so, I started to get some musical thoughts that agree with the future of what that project can be. I don't want the big flashing lights and red carpet, like, "Here comes another Bon Iver album!" I just want it to be my bedroom-y thing. But that'll take a while to figure out.
But the really intriguing thing that comes out of this thread of conversation is that these "cooler things" could include a live music event in his hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. After he admitted he thinks that most "Festivals suck... with the exception of a couple," the interviewer pressed him for details on what he'd envision for an antidote to the typical overblown outdoor fare.
Right now, my favorite idea is doing an all-night tent show starring my friend's band Marijuana Deathsquads, where everyone would wear super-loud headphones, and there would be tons of subs and lights. It'd be really dope. I'm trying to think about stuff like that: How can a show not be just a whining guy with a guitar.
Hear, hear! It's an exciting prospect to think about all of the artists Vernon has collaborated with at this point -- from Gayngs to Polica to Kanye West to Colin Stetson to the Deathsquads and beyond -- assembled under one tent. We'll keep a close eye on this one.
Volcano Choir performs with Mark Mallman (solo) at First Avenue on Friday, October 18. $22-$25. Info here.
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