quitting the band

Marcus Mumford ‘Begged’ Winston Marshall Not to Quit Over Alt-Right Politics

Photo: Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

Just over a year ago, Mumford & Sons lost a son when banjoist Winston Marshall quit the band — controversially, so he wouldn’t have to “self-censor” his alt-right-leaning, often dangerous views. (Lately, per his Twitter, that has meant criticizing trans people’s right to exist.) At the time, the rest of the band stayed pretty quiet about it aside from confirming Marshall’s exit. Now, ahead of Marcus Mumford’s solo album, Self-Titled (out September 16), Mumford has clarified that he disagrees with Marshall’s politics but supports him nonetheless. “I actually really begged him not to leave,” he told GQ. “I think you can disagree and work together.” Mumford clarified that while he takes issue with “a lot of” Marshall’s politics, what really bothers him is “the way of interacting” valued by people who share Marshall’s views. “I think if you present like a cunt and you are an angry man, particularly at this time, an angry, older, white man — I’m just fucking bored of it, man,” Mumford said. “We need grace. So, I, you know, I don’t want to get into an argument with these guys at all. It just feels like a zero-sum game. A race to the bottom.”

Mumford confirmed that his solo album doesn’t mean the end of Mumford & Sons. (In fact, he’d showed some of his new music to members of the band, but they recommended he record it himself due to the personal subject matter; lead single “Cannibal,” Mumford told GQ, is about reckoning with being sexually abused as a child.) The band will go on as a trio with bassist Ted Dwane and pianist Ben Lovett. In the meantime, Mumford has made other friends while recording Self-Titled, collaborating with Phoebe Bridgers, Brandi Carlile, and Clairo, on top of one Steven Spielberg.

Marcus Mumford ‘Begged’ Winston Marshall Not to Quit