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Bon Iver Refuses To Play At The Grammys

Christina Hong |
February 3, 2012 | 6:30 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Bon Iver (wikimedia)
Bon Iver (wikimedia)
Bon Iver have had quite a successful year, with four Grammy nominations, including Best Alternative Album and front man Justin Vernon’s collaboration with Kanye West. 

 While they may be walking away with some awards, you won’t be seeing them perform at the Grammys.

The Grammy Foundation offered Bon Iver a chance to play at the Grammys had they only collaborated with an undisclosed artist on stage, but Vernon refused.

Vernon told Billboard, “We wanted to play our music, but we were told that we couldn’t play. We had to do 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.”

Though Vernon described the collaborating group as “awesome people. People I would love to play a song with” he also said “fuckin’ rock n’ roll should not be decided by people that have that job. Rock n’ roll should be the fucking people with guitars around their backs. And their friends. And their managers.”

There may have been some disagreement with the Grammys, but the group will still appear with their song “Holocene” in a Grammy campaign from ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day and The Recording Academy.

“We had to deal with all this shit, we wanted to get a promo out of the deal. Go ahead, pay for our commercial. There’s a big misunderstanding – I don’t want to sell music. But if people are going to be selling music, and they want to sell our music without disturbing the medium of what it actually is, we want to fucking do that. I want people to hear the music that we make, I don’t want to do it in any shitty way.”

Vernon’s response all sounds a bit familiar from a couple months back when he called his nominations “ridiculous” and “not important.”

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