Fresh off his Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album wins, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver talks about Minneapolis’ best kept secret and why he wants to be in the studio with James Blake.
Fresh off his Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album wins, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver talks about Minneapolis’ best kept secret (and why he wants to be in the studio with James Blake).
by Blaine McEvoy
During your Best New Artist acceptance speech, you praised “all of the non-nominees that have never been here.” In light of that comment, who is your favorite new artist?
I’ve been listening to this band Polica from Minneapolis a lot lately. They’re the best band I’ve ever heard.
You’ve warned fans that a new Bon Iver album may not be ready for another few years. Who are you hoping to collaborate with in the meantime?
There are a lot of people that make music sound good that aren’t famous that I’m very interested in working with. One is Frank Rogers in Nashville. I’m a big fan of modern country, and he works with some performers that I really admire. Another name is Oz Fritz. He’s a great engineer that works with Tom Waits. In the business of music, there’s a lot of talk about producers and singers and shit like that. But the shit that I geek out on is engineers.
What about performers? Who is the one artist you’d like to appear on the next Bon Iver record?
We all really care about this musician from London named James Blake. He’s a guy we’ve considered bringing in. But let’s bring in his team, the men behind James Blake, too.
The James Blake hit squad.
Exactly. We met those guys and they’re great. Whenever you work in this business, you run into a lot of people that remind you of yourself. I think it’s important to be honest and care about what you do. And when you run into people that are doing shit that’s totally different, but you all agree about how to do it, then you win.