Winston Marshall has spoken about his decision to leave Mumford & Sons, claiming he “got his soul back”.
Marshall helped form the folk-rock band in 2007 but faced backlash after tweeting praise for a book by 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”. He intially took a break from the group but three months later, he quit Mumford & Sons.
“What a blessing it was to be so close to such talent as those three lads. I will look back at it all with immense pride and love. However, after much reflection and consideration, I have decided it is time to move on. This is a difficult decision first brought about by an unintentional Twitter storm,” he said in a statement.
In a new interview with The Times, Marshall has said “I really didn’t think Antifa would end up being the hill I died on. It’s not even a topic I actually care that much about.”
Elsewhere he admitted that “I love the band, I love the music. Some of those songs I love dearly and part of me is sad that I won’t be playing them again,” but added that he doesn’t “miss fame.”
Speaking about his departure from the band, Marshall said: “I got my soul back. I felt I could sleep again, it’s amazing the effect that had on me. It has been completely liberating. I feel like it was the right decision.”
“Obviously artists have a right to boycott,” he continued. “The difference now is that it’s ‘silence him or I’m out’. This feels so bizarre and I don’t think it ends well. Musicians’ careers are all about self-expression, so how can they think that’s going to work if they’re not up for people expressing themselves?”
Elsewhere in the interview, Marshall revealed he’d been writing songs and working with a “well-known” pop singer on new material.
Since leaving the band, Winston Marshall has launched the Marshall Matters podcast to “explore the taboo and totemic issues within the creative industries.”