Justin Vernon: Not sure what I or the world needs from Bon Iver anymore
Photo by Erik Hess
If the memo didn't already hit home, Justin Vernon has put Bon Iver on the back burner for the time being. As we pointed out last week, a few interviews regarding the release of Volcano Choir's Repave fingered him for the status of his most well-known project, but he seemed more excited to discuss the potential of an experimental festival in Eau Claire starring his pals in Marijuana Deathsquads.
The members of Volcano Choir took to Reddit for an Ask Me Anything session on Wednesday that covered a variety of topics -- good local pizza, why Gucci Mane makes good lawn-mowing music, and Vernon driving home from his grandmother's funeral listening to John Prine -- but it didn't pass without yet another run-through of the familiar "what up with Bon Iver" themes.
From the AMA:
Justin, I'm wondering what is the plan for Bon Iver in the future ?
"no plans, not sure what I or the world needs from that perspective anymore. We'll see. [Volcano Choir] is where my heart is at these days.
Later in the session, Vernon expanded a bit on that thought.
"This isn't a side project for me. This is a project. Side implies that I need or care about another project somehow more or it defines what else I do. Its just not the way I see it. The ideas become separate because in different environments with different chemistry and different pathways set out for the particular project. With Volcano Choir, its the most BAND --all together in it evenly -- scenario."
This echoes comments he recently made during an interview with an Australian radio station : "I'm really honoured that Bon Iver gives me a platform to do whatever I want, but there's only so much time you can spend digging through yourself before you become insular. I'm not in a hurry to go back to that temperature. All of the music I've been making shifting away from Bon Iver feels really good ... so if I ever do go back to Bon Iver it will be all the better for it."
And from this point on is when interviews reach their ultimate low. Not only has this question already been asked and answered numerous times, but it's a huge discredit to the current state of Vernon's creative output.
Even without the official "Bon Iver" label (and pressure) attached to Volcano Choir and the Shouting Matches -- and perhaps Jason Feathers in the near future -- these are projects that embody a creative spirit in the midst of something powerful. While Vernon has received these inquiries with patience thus far, it seems a waste to not glean more insight about the numerous other things actually happening at the moment.
Anyhow, there are plenty of those conversations -- and detailed comments from Volcano Choir's Chris Rosenau, Jon Mueller, and Thomas Wincek mixed in too -- worth a look in this Ask Me Anything. The phrase "Don't lose the plot" emerges again here, and hopefully that's not too tough for Vernon fans to take to heart.
Volcano Choir performs with Mark Mallman (solo) at First Avenue on Friday, October 18. $22-$25. Info here.
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