A few months ago, pop-psychologist Jordan Peterson posted a photo with the pop-folk band Mumford & Sons. The band were quiet about the photo at the time, but have decided to address it because now they are releasing a new album, Delta, and what better way to get people to talk about Mumford & Sons in 2018 than to attach themselves to a polarizing political figure.
In an interview with the band on CBC, member Winston Marshall said that he “was very interested in Dr. Peterson’s work on psychology, read both his books and found it very, very interesting,” which is why they invited him to the studio, after meeting him through a mutual acquaintance, while they were recording in London.
When the interviewer questioned the group about whether or not associating with Peterson could alienate marginalized members of society that might be fans of their music, Marshall said:
I don’t think that having a photograph with someone means you agree with everything they say. So I don’t, really. Because then I wouldn’t be able to have a photograph of anyone at risk of trying to offend anyone so I think I don’t see the harm in engaging in conversation. And as I said earlier, primarily I’m interested in his psychological stuff, which I find very interesting.
Marcus Mumford then goes on to muse about whether musicians have a responsibility to speak about politics (yes, he thinks but that bands should “be […] pretty careful”) and says that listening is important:
I think over the last couple years we’ve been in listening mode — I don’t think any of us listen enough, I don’t think we listen enough as a culture — so, we’ve spent as much time as possible making the most of the real privilege that we get to meeting people and listening to them. Whether or not people then assume that we just endorse politics when we’re not saying anything about politics is their end choice and we certainly hope people don’t feel alienated. … I think if we stop listening then we stop progressing, right?
Read the full interview here. Here’s their new single, “Guiding Light”: