Earlier this month, a bit of festival-stage sound bleedover led to a tiff between the War On Drugs and Sun Kil Moon, the two bands who made Stereogum’s two favorite albums of 2014. The two bands were playing at the same time during the Ottawa Folk Fest, and when the War On Drugs’ sound threatened to drown out his own, Sun Kil Moon mastermind Mark Kozelek said, “I hate that beer commercial lead-guitar shit. This next song is called, ‘The War On Drugs Can Suck My Fucking Dick.'” The War On Drugs were not amused, asking on Twitter if Kozelek had been “talking shit.” And it looks like Kozelek isn’t done having fun at the War On Drugs’ expense.
When the writer Patrick Singer asked Kozelek recently about how new listeners should try to hear Sun Kil Moon’s astounding 2013 album Benji, Kozelek said, ” It sounds best when War on Drugs isn’t drowning it out with beer commerical lead guitar, and it doesn’t go over well in a bar full of drunk hillbillies.” This comes after Kozelek wrote a slightly conciliatory non-apology to the War On Drugs on his site:
To War On Drugs from Mark Kozelek in regards to Ottawa:
I had never heard of your band prior to taking the stage in Ottawa the other night. But to give you an idea of how bad the bleed was, my drummer said that it would have been easier for him to play along to your set than ours. It could have been any band’s music blaring from over the hill, and I still would have made jokes.
I hope to catch your set someday when it’s not drowning out my own. The schedule wasn’t your fault — I get it. That was my third rodeo with The Ottawa “Bleed” Fest. They’re still figuring things out over there. I hope they get it together someday.
Peace and all the best,
In that same Smile Politely story, Kozelek also says that he isn’t interested in selling vinyl copies of his music on tour:
Dealing with vinyl is a pain in the ass. It is actually a very limited demographic of people who buy vinyl, and in my opinion, 75% of people who buy it don’t actually listen to it. Its extremely expensive to ship, and to carry around on tour. There are logistical headaches involved with vinyl that the average person has no concept of.
So if you were wondering why you can’t find Benji on wax, that’s what’s happening.