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Marcus Mumford Is Opening Up About Winston Marshall Leaving the Band

Marcus Mumford is prepping his first solo album, clearly a well-earned labor of love after spending many years with the world’s biggest folk band. As is par for the course for artists of his caliber, he’s doing some press rounds and that means talking about his former bandmate Winston Marshall.

For those not in the know, Marshall is one of Mumford’s oldest friends and the musician who gave Mumford and Sons its telltale banjo. He recently departed the band after an internet dust-up involving Marshall’s appreciation with conservative provocateur Andy Ngo. He’d also been getting into the work of Jordan Peterson, the Canadian author who has lately made common cause with conservative cultural and political movements in the U.S. “Another viral mob came after me, this time for the sin of apologising,” Marshall tweeted. “Then followed libellous articles calling me ‘right-wing’ and such.” He announced he was leaving the band in a Medium post.

Mumford told GQ that he had “really begged [Marshall] not to leave.” He says he disagrees with Marshall’s opinions on these issues (notably, Mumford was not present when the rest of the band was photographed with Peterson in 2018) but said “I think you can disagree and work together.”

When pressed, Mumford said he disagrees with Marshall pretty strongly, but says he’s learned a lot from Just Mercy author Bryan Stevenson.

“This is why I love Bryan Stevenson,” he said. “And this is why I don’t like Jordan Peterson. One of the reasons. It’s the way of interacting with the world. I think grace matters in the way that you talk with people. I think if you present like a c*** and you are an angry man, particularly at this time, an angry, older, white man—I’m just f***ing bored of it, man. We need grace.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Mumford discusses his faith. He grew up the son of a pastor at Vineyard Churches in Southern California before returning to London where his father was in charge of a large Vineyard Church outside of London. He’s not at Vineyard anymore, but he says his faith is still important to him.

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“It’s pretty much a cornerstone in my life,” he told GQ. “My dad said to me, ‘You shouldn’t come to this church anymore. You should go to a different place. You don’t want to be the pastors’ kid everywhere.'”

You can read the whole interview here.

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