Entertainment

Mumford & Sons’ Winston Marshall says he’s “lost a lot of friends” after Andy Ngo’s tweet led to his departure from the band

Former Mumford & Sons banjoist Winston Marshall has reflected on the 2021 controversy that prompted him to leave the band after 14 years.

The musician left the folk-rock group after backlash he received in March last year when he tweeted his admiration for a book by controversial right-wing American journalist Andy Ngo.

At the time, Marshall said that while he had experienced abuse in public before, it was “on a different level” and also affected his friends and bandmates.

Electro-punk duo Sleaford Mods called him a “c***” who supports fascism, while comedian Nish Kumar called him a “Nazi”.

In a recent interview in The Sunday Times MagazineMarshall said that while he received private support, including from some world-renowned artists, during the Twitter storm, many people quickly spoke out against him publicly.

“I was surprised at how other artists judged me,” he told the publication. “I lost a lot of friends”

He added that those who railed against him might not remember. “I’ve met a bunch of other people who got canceled, whatever that means, and they talk about a couple of years later people who were part of the bullying coming up and saying, ‘Hey buddy, are you there? ‘” said Marshall.

“They helped destroy your life, but it happened so casually they don’t even remember it.”

In the same interview, he spoke about how his Mumford & Sons bandmates – Marcus Mumford, Ted Dwane and Ben Lovett – were “pulled under the bus with me, it was a horrible experience for them”.

Mumford and Sons perform live

(Getty Images for NARAS)

When asked if he and the band are still in touch, he was apparently reticent, saying: “I really wish them the best, I really want them to be successful and have a great career. I have only good wishes for her personally and in business.”

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Marshall also spoke about the impact leaving the band had on his life, saying, “I got my soul back. I felt like I could sleep again, it’s amazing the effect it had on me. It was completely liberating. I feel like it was the right decision.”

Social media was divided over Marshall’s decision to leave the band. Many people at the time praised him for his “integrity” and said his decision to leave the band was “heartbreaking”.

Others poked fun at the band, joking that it was an achievement to be considered right-wing in a group that has been ridiculed over the years for its conservative politics.

In 2018, Marshall and fellow band members Lovett and Dwayne were photographed in the recording studio with conservative YouTube personality and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson.

Marshall co-founded Mumford & Sons in 2007. The original band released four albums together, including their 2009 debut sigh no more and 2012s babelwhich won a Grammy for Album of the Year.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/winston-marshall-mumford-and-sons-andy-ngo-b2074520.html Mumford & Sons’ Winston Marshall says he’s “lost a lot of friends” after Andy Ngo’s tweet led to his departure from the band

JOE HERNANDEZ

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