Apr 01 2008
Photo by Stephen Lindley
After two album releases under Sub Pop, Band of Horses have decided to part ways with the label. Over the past year, tensions have risen between the band’s lead singer, Ben Bridwell, and Sub Pop’s co-founder Jonathan Poneman, after Bridwell supposedly refused to shave his beard at Poneman’s request. In an exclusive interview with Pitchfork, Poneman goes into detail explaining the situation:
I was hoping that this could stay between me and Ben. He chose to make this public on the band’s blog, which has now forced me to address our differences. Basically, I needed Bridwell to shave, or at least trim, his out of control beard. I love the music the guys produce, but I am also a businessman. I like money. It’s clear that sales are directly proportional to the length of his beard. People like clean shaven now. Just read GQ, 70% of females like men with a smooth face. That means that if Bridwell shaved, we could increase sales by 70%. Besides, he doesn’t even wash the thing. There is literally a plant growing out of his beard (figure 2). I think my request was reasonable. He looks like a monkey.
Bridwell vented about his quarrel with Poneman on the Band of Horses music blog. Here is an excerpt:
“I’m a fuckin’ musician, you know? I’m not the only musician with a beard. Get a grip JP. People dig my beard.”
Things between the two got ugly at a show Bridwell performed in San Diego July 6, 2007. Rosemary, an avid fan and good friend of Band of Horses recalls, “yeah, that’s right, I was standing next to Jon Poneman at the show. At Ben’s request, I filmed the band playing “The Funeral,” and before I knew it, he was flicking Poneman off. I glanced over at Poneman, and out of nowhere he was holding up a big pair of sheers with an evil look in his eyes. You know, one of those sheers you see business owners use to cut the ribbon outside their store on opening day. I thought it was a joke between the two. It still gives me the heebie jeebies.”
A credible source tells us Band of Horses is in negotiations with Barsuk Records.
Cease To Begin (2007):
Everything All The Time(2006):