S4E8: Winston Marshall | Former Mumford and Sons Banjo Player’s Career & Political Stance
In this week’s episode, our host Henry chats with Winston Marshall, best known for being a former member of the Grammy-Award winning group, Mumford & Sons. Marshall speaks here about leaving the band he helped to co-found, as he came under scrutiny for becoming involved in politics.
“Almost all artists are somehow political, whether they want to be or not. Some of them are very happy to talk politics, but also if you’re touring the world, you inevitably cross picket lines and so, you get dragged into it and sometimes not saying anything is deemed political by some people.”
While initially Marshall felt like interviews and discussions about Mumford & Sons’ work centered around their music, politics became more involved as the band released a new record in 2018. A Tweet that Marshall sent out, appearing critical of ANTIFA, is thought to be the start of the end of the banjo player’s involvement with the group.
“It completely blew up. Before I knew it, it was a segment on all the biggest new shows in America and Britain, in the papers, the number one trending thing, it felt like an act of God. I couldn’t quite understand how it happened and then to be honest, initially I was like, ‘so what?’ It will just pass, but this is when people talk about Twitter becoming, it’s not real life until it is real life, and when it is real life is when you start getting the phone calls and then people you love and friends calling up distraught, worried and then things start to unravel.”
Marshall goes on to explain that his initial apology for those prior comments came to haunt him more than the on-going attacks. In 2021, he released an article through Medium which detailed his reasoning behind leaving Mumford & Sons.
“I think now in this day and age, people do their own research, people don’t trust the media, people go and find out for themselves. The irony is that I now work at The Spectator, the oldest political magazine certainly in Britain and perhaps in the world!”
This episode features some musical interpolations brought to you by Winston Marshall’s own catalog of work. To hear more, and jam out, be sure to listen to this week’s episode of Keeping it Civil.