Bon Iver Explains Why He Snubbed the Grammys


Indie rock fans who enjoyed Arcade Fire’s surprise double performance at last year’s Grammys may be wondering why we won’t be treated to a similar turn from Bon Iver, which received no fewer than four nominations in 2012, at next Sunday’s telecast. And now we know: It seems Justin Vernon is pulling a Jonathan Franzen ca. 2001 — refusing to dumb down his work for mass consumption.

In an interview with Billboard, Vernon said that he was given the opportunity to play the ceremony, but only in collaboration with other artists. “We wanted to play our music, but we were told that we couldn’t play,” he said. “We had to do a collaboration with someone else. 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 ‘fuck 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.”

Vernon said that he has a lot of respect for the artists he was asked to collaborate with, but “fuckin’ rock n’ roll should not be decided by people that have [the Grammy bookers’] job. Rock n’ roll should be the fucking people with guitars around their backs. And their friends. And their managers.” And their managers! See, kids? Indie rock will never die. [via Pitchfork]