Mumford and Sons @ The Apex 04/06/2012

Mumford & Sons Business Meeting

(The Scene: The band sit around a large black formica table in an air conditioned office at their record label premises in north west London. Marcus Mumford, dressed in white cotton shirt, brown corduroy trousers, black leather waistcoat and cowboy boots, with two week beard and greasy cheek-length hair sits at one end, shoulders on table, fists under chin. A Record Company Executive sits at the other end, two day stubble, designer gear. The rest of the band sit around drinking coffee and reading copies of Uncut magazine.)

Record Company Executive: ‘So boys, we really seem to have something with your sound. On the first album, you made really good progress in the UK – really, they love you! Now, let’s take this thing to the American mainstream!’

Marcus Mumford: ‘Cool man. But you know, I really think we should stay true to our roots in the UK, give the people something back, you know?’

RCE: ‘Of course, of course, of course. Leave the plebs to us. But we need you to be…how can I put this…bigger sounding for the US market. Some thought your first album was a bit…leftfield.’

MM: ‘Leftfield? I just want everyone to have a good time man! Sing along, you know? Power to the people through songs and unity, you know what I mean?’

RCE: ‘Yes Marcus, I get it, but basically your songs are too complex for the American audience. We need to simplify your sound, open it up, going forward.’

MM: ‘Simplify the sound? If we got any more fucking simple we’d be the binary code!’

RCE: ‘Well you see Marcus, Americans see you guys as pretentious over-privileged limey tosspots right now, but they DO like the singalongs, and the feeling that they are tapping into some kind of Old-England folk charm. We, i.e. the company, feel we need to exploit that.’

MM: ‘Yes I get it Gavin, we ALL get it, we DID go to the London School of Economics, don’t forget.’

RCE: ‘Quite. So you agree to take out any surprising chord changes, rhythmic invention, lyrical acuity, actual identity of the band members or let’s face it, any trace of originality for the US market release?’

MM: ‘Well we’ve been friends along time Gavin, I trust and believe in you. Don’t forget golf saturday afternoon. By the way, what about getting Brian Eno in for the third?’

  1. Only, their first album broke them in America. On the back of it they got to play the Grammys, sharing a stage with Bob Dylan & The Avett Brothers, performed at the Whitehouse, numerous festivals & toured all the compass points & everywhere in between.

        1. Oh no! The “poor / lazy journalism” jibe! In which case the author MUST be wrong; furthermore thereafter, he should acknowledge this publicly and come round to your point of view TWR. I thought this was a funny vignette. My only criticism was that Sean should have left it as LSE, not spelled it out. It actually gives me a hopeful vision, a dream if you will, that Mumfords’ could have an entire future career playing American Renaissance Fayres, and get out of our hair completely. Being popular doesn’t necessarily make you great. Nor does playing at the Whitehouse. Harry Connick Jr anyone?

          1. Excellent. What you’ve done there is assume I am a disgruntled fan sticking up for the band. I didn’t say they were great, or that being popular automatically made them (or anyone) great. Nor did I say playing at the Whitehouse made them (or anyone) great. I was pointing out, with the use of widely documented fact-based knowledge, the assertion in this piece (that they needed a concerted, conceited effort to ‘break’ America with their sophomore LP) rendered the core ‘satirical’ element of it null & void. The piece has since been edited, so I can understand your confusion at not being able to tie the 2 elements together.

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