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Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon Calls Grammy Awards ‘Ridiculous’ + Unimportant

Bon Iver
Chris Jackson, Getty Images

Bon Iver frontman and founding member Justin Vernon might have just received four Grammy nominations, but unlike most of his fellow nominees, he isn’t bubbling over with excitement. The New York Times posted excerpts from a Feb. 2011 interview with Vernon prior to the Grammy nomination announcements, and the folk singer-songwriter not only doubted that Bon Iver would ever receive Grammy recognition, he also labeled the entire award show as “ridiculous.”

“I don’t think the Bon Iver record is the kind of record that would get nominated for a Grammy — I would get up there and be like, ‘This is for my parents, because they supported me,’ because I know they would think it would be stupid of me not to go up there,” Vernon said. “But I kinda felt like going up there and being like: ‘Everyone should go home, this is ridiculous. You should not be doing this. We should not be gathering in a big room and looking at each other and pretending this is important.’”

It’s understandable as to why Vernon is skeptical of the Grammys, since indie artists like himself tend to get snubbed for big honors. However, Arcade Fire did take home the coveted Album of the Year award in 2011, and Vernon acknowledged the Canadian band as one of the only Grammy nominees who weren’t hoping for an award all along. “98 percent of the people in that room, their art is compromised by the fact that they’re thinking that,” Vernon said, referring to artists who create music with the hopes of someday receiving a Grammy.

Venon continued, “And who is that award given by? It’s like they think it’s literally handed down by the musical-history gods. And I don’t know who the voters are. Like, I have a friend who’s a voter who was like, ‘I had to be a voter because I don’t trust the other voters.’ And I was like, ‘Me either!’ And it’s just not important and people spend too much time thinking about it.”

Although he isn’t really apologizing for his comments, Vernon addressed his thoughts on the Grammys via Twitter, writing, “well, thanks to @joncaramanica … : ) Everyone now knows how I felt back last February about the grammies. Room to grow, but I agree mostly.” What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the singer-songwriter’s opinions on the Grammys?

Bon Iver is up for four Grammy awards in 2012, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year for ‘Holocene.’ The group is also nominated for the Best New Artist award against country trio the Band Perry, rap newcomers Nicki Minaj and J. Cole, as well as dubstep DJ Skrillex. Click here to see a full list of nominees in the pop, dance rap and R&B categories.

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