As you may have noticed, we’ve been quite entertained by the whole Bon Iver/Grammys saga, what with Justin Vernon, aka Bon Iver, being on record as loathing the awards show while CBS continues to relentlessly promote it with Bon Iver music and imagery, despite the fact that Vernon and his band are not performing on the show. And now we know more about why: the producers of the show wanted Vernon to do a duet/collaboration thing, and he wasn’t exactly feeling it.
“We wanted to play our music, but were told that we couldn’t play. We had to do a collaboration with someone else,” Vernon told Billboard Thurday night at a New York event for Bushmills whiskey, which the band endorsed last fall (more on that later.) “And 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 ‘f*ck 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.”
Who exactly did the Grammys want Bon Iver to play with? “Awesome people. People that I would love to play a song with,” Vernon said. “But you know what? F*ckin’ rock n’ roll should not be decided by people that have that job. Rock n’ roll should be the f*cking people with guitars around their backs.” He gestured to his three bandmates – Joseph, Kyle Frenette and brother Nate Vernon. “And their friends. And their managers.”
In other words, BON IVER’S MUSIC WILL NOT BE TAINTED BY COLLABORATION WITH OTHER ARTISTS, DAMMIT!