How To Dress Well Defends Sun Kil Moon’s Hopscotch Outburst

At this past weekend’s Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, Sun Kil Moon main man Mark Kozelek faced a loud audience head-on, taking the stage by calling the crowd “fucking hillbillies” and telling them to “shut the fuck up.” Kozelek later said he’d been joking, and he’s certainly got a history of dry onstage humor, the type that might not necessarily translate as humor when someone records it and posts it on Instagram. But it was still the kind of outburst that people talk about. And now another emotive auteur, and another guy behind one of the year’s best albums, has become the first peer to come forward and support Kozelek. In a very recent interview, Tom Krell, better known as How To Dress Well, had some things to say about Kozelek’s Hopscotch moment. Here’s what he said:

It’s tough when your job is that unpredictable. I feel for Mark Kozelek. Honestly, that’s what I wanted to say last night in Louisville too – I’m just not established enough to do it. Luckily, he’s an old dude who can be like, “Fuck you!”

I used to be super antagonistic with crowds when they weren’t giving it. I’d be in the middle of a song and be like, “Stop. Stop the song… Really? This is your vibe tonight? This is good? OK, we’re done.” I walked off stage a couple of times in Switzerland and a couple of other places where people just didn’t give a shit. I don’t know if it’s because people are self-conscious or if it’s because they don’t have respect for what creative people are trying to do. Sometimes crowds just don’t care. I made a resolution with myself to be less antagonistic, and to try to be more open and sweet on stage, and to not be defensive. Because the 30 people in Louisville last night had a beautiful experience. And there were 170 other people who were dicks. I could have turned on them and went Kanye and ruined the show, but instead I was looking at the people right in front of me, like, “OK.”…

I think that’s what Kozelek was picking up on. It is entitlement. It’s like, “Dance, monkey! Dance! We paid for you to be here.” There should be reciprocity. That reciprocity means everything.

(via Brightest Young Things)

UPDATE: In a series of tweets this afternoon, Krell backed off his defense of Kozelek and made a point to say how much the support of his fans means to him. Here’s what he wrote:

How To Dress Well’s album “What Is This Heart?” is out now on Weird World, and it is fantastic.