Let’s talk about the banjo
Last September, British band Mumford & Sons announced they were going on hiatus, which sometimes means bands are breaking up and sometimes means they aren’t breaking up. If Mumford & Sons are finished, well, that sucks, because I like them and I like both albums that they’ve released, despite the fact that they’re slightly insufferable. But if they are breaking up, well then, there’s that too.
And then yesterday, Mumford & Sons banjoist Winston Marshall told Vulture that it was totally over.
“I wish I had something to say about Mumford & Sons. It was a good time,” said Marshall. “It’s over.” Totally over? “Yeah, We had a good time, though, you know. It was good.” Should we expect a reunion tour? “Well, I dunno, fucking, that would be awesome. But, you know, it is what it is, I guess.”
Except, of course, multiple reps for the band today are saying noooooo, definitely not over, and we aren’t too terribly surprised because they’re huge and would have to be insane to split right now. Also, Marshall claimed he catered the event he was at during the same interview, so perhaps not the best source of information.
What I care about though, is not whether they break up (like I said, really good band but slightly insufferable), but the things Marshall said about the banjo. When asked if Mumford & Sons had “killed” the banjo in modern music, Marshall said:
“I think ‘killed’ is an understatement. We murdered it. We let it, yeah — fuck the banjo. I fucking hate the banjo.”
Let’s review the typical Mumford & Sons song, shall we?
That’s basically it. Mumford & Sons are great musicians but don’t do anything with a banjo this lady hasn’t been doing for years.
Whether or not Mumford & Sons re-popularized the banjo or killed it is irrelevant. When I Googled the question, “Is all music made better by the addition of the banjo?” there was only one result and that result was “YES.” So that’s a fact now. Get a banjo and try it yourself sometime.
I really like your blog, I hope you can look at mine and enjoy it too. What is your inspirations?