Mumford & Sons and Jason Sudeikis have become fast friends and collaborators since the British outfit played a Beatles cover band in a 2012 Saturday Night Live sketch that Sudeikis wrote. After starring alongside Jason Bateman, Ed Helms and Will Forte in Mumford’s “Hopeless Wanderer” video, Sudeikis culminated his collaborative trilogy with the band moderating a loose, intimate fan Q&A.
Fielding questions from Facebook, Mumford & Sons discussed making art for personal fulfillment, rather than critical acclaim; their listening habits and the friends and family members they trust to bounce new musical ideas off of; and, of course, their divisive decision to swap the banjos for electric guitars on their new album Wilder Mind.
“It was happening already,” bassist Ted Dwane said of the shift. “On the last record, we were sort of on that path, and this feels like a continuation of that journey. And, you know, the fourth record will be a hip-hop album.”
“Yeah, it’s gotta be!” Sudeikis said with a grin. The comedian went on to note that having already released a few hit albums, the band could move in new directions while still maintaining the interest of fans.
“We grew up playing electric guitars and drum kits, electric basses and keyboards, so these are like our first instruments,” Marcus Mumford said. “I think we want to just keep trying different things, because if you just do the same thing again and again, it gets a bit boring. Amongst the four of us, and especially because we’re all songwriters and all play different instruments, we want to keep changing things up. So, it’s whether or not people come with us for that; but if they don’t, I think we’ll still do it.”
One fan who didn’t have any interest in keeping up with the band was the woman who posted the final question: “Is this all a joke?”
“‘I bought the banjos, I bought the Londoners playing banjos, that I get,'” cracked member Winston Marshall, amidst the band’s laughter. “‘But now, Londoners playing electric guitars?!'”