War On Drugs Frontman Speaks At Length About “Unhappy Old Dude” Mark Kozelek, Plans “A Lot Of Recording” Next Month

The most surprising thing about the biggest music beef of last year was that it was relatively one-sided. While Mark Kozelek pumped out two different diss tracks, hinted at a third, and wouldn’t let up at concerts, the War On Drugs frontman Adam Granduciel stayed pretty quiet. Granted, one of the few times he did talk about it in an interview, he called Kozelek a “douche,” but other than that, the beef mostly consisted of Kozelek making an ass of himself. But Granduciel is staying silent no more: In a new interview with Uncut, he talks at length about his issues with Kozelek. “The whole thing, honestly, it’s been mildly amusing and sometimes hurtful, but you know, people have their opinions and they can say what they like.”

Granduciel seems level-headed about the whole situation, recounting a time when he experienced the festival sound bleed-over that kicked the whole thing off:

I remember playing Glasgow recently and there was a DJ doing a huge club night below the venue we were playing and even though we were playing real loud, I could still feel the bass from below and it was really throwing me off because it was very obviously very different to the tempo we were playing. So I can understand the frustration of playing a festival and having a louder band on a stage nearby. But that happens all the time when you have festivals with multiple stages. It’s part of the game. Get on with it.

You know, the guy used to be an actor. So maybe he was just like playing this part of someone who was outraged, or whatever. I’m not really interested. But some people, they like fucking with people and putting stuff out there and sitting back and laughing at it and not really caring. I don’t see the point. I mean, forget it, dude. Get over yourself.

And he still seems to be a fan of Kozelek, the musician:

As a fan, how has all this affected your opinion of him as a songwriter?
?I don’t know. I mean, it hasn’t really changed. I was watching some performance videos the other night, going through some websites, and I watched some stuff of him playing and he’s got a cool band. He’s got a guitar player who plays a Black Les Paul Custom, which I thought was pretty cool. That’s the one I want next. I love his songwriting, so I think, ‘Who cares what he says?’ Then he makes fun of us for covering “Tangled Up In Blue”. And it’s like, “Hey, dude, you did a whole fucking album of fucking AC/DC covers. Come on.”

He concludes:

I just don’t get this cut-down-the-other-guy thing he has going. That’s not something I’m into. It doesn’t have any value for me, whether it’s an act or not. I have my fans and I’m grateful for them, whether they’re new fans or old fans, casual concert goers or record heads or whatever they are. Everyone’s entitled to like who they want to like, cheer who they want to cheer. But he’s like, “I don’t tweet, I play shows.” Hey, dude, we played 175 shows this year, fuck you. You know, this is probably the most I’ve spoken about all this, because I didn’t really want to get into some pointless public spat with some unhappy old dude. And it really is pointless. He has no real point. There’s nothing to defend. It’s a non issue.

Hopefully that’s the last we’ll hear about that. Good news is that the War On Drugs are getting back in the studio soon to work on their Lost In The Dream follow-up! “We’re going to be doing a lot of recording in February. I’ve been doing a lot of writing,” he says. “I have a lot of ideas, but who knows what will happen when we get in the studio. That’s part of the excitement of making a record. It’s like a trip into the unknown. The next record could be about a million different things.”