Mumford & Sons know the knocks against them, but in a new interview with The Guardian, the English folk group brush off detractors who question the band's authenticity, citing Bob Dylan as an inspiration. "The authenticity thing has never been an issue for me," frontman Marcus Mumford said. "Not since I came to the realization that Dylan, who's probably my favorite artist ever, the richest artist for me, didn't give a shit about authenticity. He changed his name. And modeled himself on Woody Guthrie. And lied to everyone about who he was."
Banjo player Winston Marshall chimed in, "We get accused of inauthenticity because we play the instruments we play," but also pointed to British blues guitarist Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac and his background as an example of a misguided focus on authenticity. "He's from [East London District] Bethnal Green – and he's this fucking incredible blues guitarist. Nothing fucking authentic about that, right?" said Marshall. "But actually there is. He loves it. It's what he's good at. It's not like he's saying he's from the Delta. It's not like we're saying anything like that."
And despite Marcus Mumford's Christian family background and supposedly spiritually inclined lyrics, the band makes clear they're not a religious group. "We said we're not all Christian, so we can't be a Christian band," Marshall said of meeting a fan who asked how they defined themselves. "We're not all religious. In fact none of us are, really. We, er, we have a full spectrum of beliefs," added bass player Ted Dwane. "I don't know many artists who've managed to go a career without bringing these things up. "Saying the word 'God', 'Jesus' – it happens in a million rock songs."