"We never record songs because we feel we have to, we record them because we want to": An interview with Mumford & Sons

"We never record songs because we feel we have to, we record them because we want to": An interview with Mumford & Sons

After twelve years, Mumford & Sons finally made its long awaited debut in Singapore to a capacity crowd at Neon Lights 2019. It was undeniably a headlining performance worth waiting for, and more than lived up to the hype. 

Below, we speak to the band about their first show in the country, their latest album and more. 

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How does it feel to finally be playing in Singapore?

Marcus Mumford: "I'm at a loss for words. It's been twelve years since we formed the band, and we're only now making it out to Singapore. It's been a long time coming. I bet Ted's happy, too."

Ted Dwane: "I'm very happy. I used to live here, actually. I grew up here from 11 to 18 years old, so I spent a lot of important years here, and it's beyond incredible to be back. We were driving in, and I saw a Singaporean in a Mumford & Sons t-shirt, which I never imagined I would see in my whole life. We're very, very excited to be here, and to play our first show in Singapore finally."

Congratulations on the success of Delta. About a month ago, the band released ‘Blind Leading The Blind’, and it was a track that wasn’t completed in time for Delta’s release. I’m certain the band has an entire vault of unfinished tracks and demos. What happens to the rest of them after the recording cycle for the album? Do you rework them for future use, or are they done?

Marcus: 'Forever' was a song that we had as a demo from the Wilder Mind sessions, actually. We had written that just after we released Babel, so that track has been around for awhile. I think you find that to be the case with bands that sometimes, for whatever reasons, fall out of love with a song or lose enthusiasm for it.

We never record songs because we feel we have to, we record them because we want to, and so we just go with what we're the most passionate about that the time. Take my favourite band for example: Radiohead just put a song on their last album that they'd been teasing live for years and years.

That happens, with a lot of bands actually. The riff on Delta was a demo from Wilder Mind as well. So, I think the answer is, there is no fixed idea on what happens to a riff or a demo. Sometimes we re-purpose them, sometimes they just die."

A lot of bands tend to begin the writing process for new material while on tour. Some prefer to do it in the solace of their homes and studios. What's your writing process like?

Ben Lovett: "We've definitely written while on tour. Whether the material actually ends up on the record, that's hard to say but we do write as a form of therapy and release while on the road. It's a great outlet. I think that's the great thing about writing while being on tour; you can live your life, and whenever inspiration strikes, you can easily create a demo on your iPhone, on Garage Band, or if you're in your room with your guitar, you can actually play it then and there, and record it via your phone. There process for every album, let alone every song, however, is completely different. I don't think we're completely bound to any format yet, I think we just like to feel like anything's possible."

The band did an incredible job with Johannesburg. Are there any other cultures that you might be interested to work around? 

Ben: "Thank you, that was honestly one of the most fun experiences we've had making a record. There was this unexplainable outpouring of creativity. We've picked up with a couple of collaborators again, especially Baaba Maal, and Johan from The Very Best. We've visited Baaba's hometown in Podor, on the Senegal River. We did this in December 2017, and we made a movie, that's coming out in the new year alongside new music."

Stream Mumford & Sons' Delta below.