Mark Kozelek and Ben Gibbard had an email conversation for The Thread where they talked about a bunch of different things, including alienating their fans, San Francisco’s gentrification, and Almost Famous. (The two singers have known each other for a while — “Ben’s My Friend” on Benji is about Gibbard.) Gibbard gets things started with a question about Kozelek’s string of incidents over the past few months. Here’s how Kozelek responds:
To be honest, in the moment, when I make jokes, people seem to respond well. If you’re there, you get the context of where I’m coming from. I truly believe that 95% of my audience is with me from the beginning to the end of my shows, because I don’t recall a show in recent years where I’ve seen anyone leave, and my shows are two and a half hours long! I think people choose to be offended by things as a way of bonding, as a hobby. They embed some piece of information into their brain without thinking it through, because it’s easier. “Mark Kozelek is an asshole.” It’s lowest common denominator stuff. Things get taken out of context. The bummer is that the banter ends up eclipsing the music. People are more excited to read about me knocking “hillbillies” or the band The War on Drugs than they are to hear about the music.
Read the rest of their talk here.