Justin Vernon of Bon Iver had a pretty remarkable 2011, what with the attention for his self-titled album, his work with Kanye West, and his sudden demand as a collaborator and producer. He’s up for a handful of Grammys next Sunday, February 12, and may just walk away with some gold, but you will not see him onstage with a guitar.
The conversation certainly happened, though it broke down in apparently spectacular fashion. Billboard spoke to Vernon last night (he’s in New York for a performance on Saturday Night Live this weekend), and he laid out the story in rather verbose terms.
“We wanted to play our music, but were told that we couldn’t play. We had to do a collaboration with someone else,” Vernon told the magazine. “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 f—ing 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 ‘f— 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 didn’t divulge who the Grammy producers wanted him to collaborate with, but he did not that they were “awesome people.” “But you know what? F—in’ rock n’ roll should not be decided by people that have that job,” Vernon added. “Rock n’ roll should be the f—ing people with guitars around their backs.”
So while Vernon will not be joining the likes of Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen, Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Foo Fighters, and Nicki Minaj on the Grammys stage, who are the “awesome people” the producers wanted Vernon to tag-team with for a song or two? Leave your guesses, conspiracy theories, and wild accusations in the comments.
Read more on EW.com:
Best New Artist Grammy winners over the past 25 years: Did they live up to their title?
Grammy Nominations: Snubs and Surprises
Bon Iver releases ‘Holocene’ video, lets disillusioned little boy be great: Watch here
Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon talks about his new album, Kanye, and why home is where the heart is: An EW Q&A