Apr 01 2008

Band of Horses Leave Sub Pop Records

Published by at 12:04 am under MP3's,Muse News,Video


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.”

(figure 2)

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.”

Video shows Bridwell flipping the bird

A credible source tells us Band of Horses is in negotiations with Barsuk Records.

Cease To Begin (2007):

Band of Horses – Ode to lrc

Band of Horses – Detlef Schrempf

Everything All The Time(2006):

Band of Horses: The Funeral

Band of Horses: Wicked Gil


Band of Horses: Wicked Gil (live on the interned)

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9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Band of Horses Leave Sub Pop Records”

  1. Adamon 31 Mar 2008 at 11:59 pm

    Is this guy fuckin serious? I laughed out loud when I read this article (and the graph). Who the hell cares about how long his beard is? It has nothing to do with how the music sounds. I can’t really see people actually choosing not to buy a BOH record after seeing the beard. I for one won’t be buying any records produced by Poneman. This guy seems like a real ass.I guess a 100% decrease in BOH records sales is much worse than a “supposed” 70% potential loss, eh Poneman?

  2. […] the marketing pukes to shove off… oh wait, you did. Good boy. [Band of Horses Leave Sub Pop Records] …after Bridwell supposedly refused to shave his beard at Poneman’s request. In an […]

  3. Aprilon 01 Apr 2008 at 2:40 am

    So…. April Fools?

  4. Curton 01 Apr 2008 at 6:08 am

    It’s a pity it’s come to this – doesn’t Poneman know that Bridwell suffers from Neckus Follicitis, a rare psychological phobia that causes the sufferer to want to hide his neck by growing his beard to cover it? Sam Beam of Iron and Wine has the same condition, while the most famous musicians to suffer from it are two of the members of ZZ Top. It’s a pity that so little is known about this bizzare phobia, and the needless suffering it causes.

  5. Akhilon 01 Apr 2008 at 9:27 am


  6. Davidon 01 Apr 2008 at 1:51 pm

    I only wish this was an April Fools joke…

    Curt, thank you so much for your insightful research into this awful, under acknowledged phobia. I had never heard of Neckus Follicitis until you brought it to my attention. I didn’t believe you at first, thought it might be a joke, so I looked it up on WebMd, but sure enough, there it was–Neckus Follicitis. Unfortunately, we will never be able to find a cure if people like Poneman deny the problem exists. It’s a real shame there are such assholes out there like Poneman.

    P.S. Akhil, you are a real jerk, you know that? Don’t laugh at people who have to battle this dreadful disease. You disgust me.

  7. Jacobon 02 Apr 2008 at 12:12 am

    what a sad time it is when a band has to drop from an indie label due to beard length

  8. Linda Adamson 16 Sep 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Great post. Thanx for sharing.I really enjoy it! looking forward to more.

  9. Joey Yunon 07 Oct 2008 at 10:06 am

    Very interesting post, i loove site where i get to learn something new;D look forward to more thanks!

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