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Sheff not a fan of Mumford, Lumineers

Staff Writer
Austin 360

By Michael Corcoran

Editor’s note: This article was originally published September 24, 2013

In an interview with Will Sheff last month, before his band Okkervil River performed a warm-up show at Stubb’s for “The Silver Gymnasium” tour, he talked about numerous topics and, as always, had some astute observations about the current state of pop music.

“I’ve always loved the ecstatic in art, but it’s been metastatized into this sort knee-jerk, pseudo, fake, epic, anthemic pop music which you now hear in bands like Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers,” he said. “It’s pretending to be authentic, but it feels about as genuine as Duran Duran to me.” When Okkervil River was formed, Sheff was very much into folk music from the British Isles and used the same instrumentation. “Now when I look back on our career, I wish I never touched a (expletitive) banjo. I wish I had never sang la-la-la. But a lot of that was coming out of a really sincere feeling about gospel, Irish, folk. We were trying to be genuine with people emotionally.”

Okkervil River plays ACL Fest Fridays Oct. 4 and 11 at 5 p.m. on the Honda Stage. Mumford & Sons is not on the bill. In fact, one reader pointed out that they’ve never played ACL Fest (after this item mistakenly said they did). How is that even possible?