Marcus Mumford says he “actually really begged” Winston Marshall not to leave Mumford & Sons

Marshall helped form the folk-rock band in 2007, but faced an online backlash in March 2021

Marcus Mumford has spoken out in a new interview about Winston Marshall’s decision to leave Mumford & Sons.

Marshall helped form the folk-rock band in 2007, but faced an online backlash in March 2021 after tweeting praise for a book by the controversial US journalist Andy Ngo titled Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan To Destroy Democracy.

In a since-deleted tweet, Marshall said the book was “important” and hailed Ngo as a “brave man”. After taking an initial break from the group following the backlash, Marshall officially left Mumford & Sons in June 2021.

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Speaking about Marshall’s departure now, Mumford told GQ: “I actually really begged him not to leave.” Despite not sharing his political beliefs, Mumford added: “I think you can disagree and work together.”

Mumford & Sons’ Winston Marshall (Picture: Getty)

He went on: “I just don’t think it’s the job of musicians to have all those thoughts. And I think Win probably agrees. I don’t know. But I should think he probably agrees. Which is part of the reason why he wanted to quit. Because he felt like his priorities couldn’t align in the way he wanted to speak about things and live life.

“He wanted to do a different thing. And that’s why I support him doing a different thing. Even though we disagree on a lot. A lot. And more now.”

Asked if he disagreed with Marshall’s politics, he added: “With a lot of it, yeah and the way of interacting. This is why I love [social justice activist] Bryan Stevenson. And this is why I don’t like [controversial academic] Jordan Peterson [who was once pictured with the band at Marshall’s request].

“I think grace matters in the way that you talk to people. I think if you present like a cunt and you are an angry man, particularly at this time, an angry, older, white man – I’m just fucking bored of it, man. We need grace. So, I, you know, I don’t want to get into an argument with these guys at all. It just feels like a zero-sum game. A race to the bottom. Boring. Mostly it’s boring. And mostly it’s not my job.”

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In the same interview, Mumford also spoke how his recent solo track ‘Cannibal’ deals with his childhood experience of sexual abuse.

Mumford is set to release his debut album of the same name on September 16 via Island.

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