PureFM La Radio interviewed Winston Marshall and Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons while the band were in Belgium for Rock Werchter on 30th June 2012. Most of the interview is conducted with Winston speaking French, so you can read the translation below.
Special thanks to Amélie Guérin for translating the interview!
Interviewers: Sylvestre Defontaine (SD) and Emilie Mazoyer (EM)
EM: Yes my dear Sylvestre. Ben, Winston, hello!
EM: And a bilingual band! Finally, in this studio, it was about time.
SD: Mumford & Sons are among us. From beyond the Channel, rumors reach us; a second album will be released soon.
Winston: Yeah, yeah, that’s true.
SD: And since the debut album has been successful, Sigh No More, which was released in 2009, everybody said, everybody wondered, what will happen, what will we hear? So you have to tell us more about this, now that we caught you.
Winston: We can tell the record will be out in September, September 23rd*. We are very happy and proud of the new record, but we can’t tell you the name.
Winston: Not yet, we are not ready.
Winston: When we know we’ll tell you.
SD: Okay, let’s say we forget the title. Some say this record is called Babel*, but fine, let’s forget the title. Is it a posture or, maybe you are afraid. Are you superstitious? Afraid?
SD: Superstitious maybe…
Winston: We can say that there‘ll be songs on the new record.
EM: That’s a good news
Winston: It starts like this. There’ll be some songs rather long, and others rather short. We’ll play some new material today.
Winston: Tonight indeed.
EM: Tonight at the Werchter gig, you’ll play new song?
Winston: There’ll be 4 or 5 I think from the upcoming record.
EM: How did you learn to speak French so well?
Winston: I’m a bit embarrassed, uh… Oh God! I should be better, because my mother is French and she speaks to me in French. I understand, but I’m not fluent.
EM: You could do a song in french, it’d be fun.
Winston: Yeah, yeah, actually Vampire Weekend did Pastic Bert…cover.
EM: Plastic Bertrand, « ça plane pour moi, moi, moi… »
SD: Plastic Bertrand, who is Belgian by the way.
Winston: Yes, it’s true. I saw this in Paris, and I think it’s great. But we are not good enough in French. We already have trouble to speak it, so singing in French…
SD: You have done a song with Birdy, I think so, I read it somewhere. A song for the soundtrack of the upcoming movie from Disney Pixar. How did it happen? We know that Birdy is well, a bit shy.
EM: Oh she’s the young girl who covered Bon Iver?
SD: Yes, she is. She came to our studio with her parents and she said no interviews. I want to play, but no interviews.
EM: How old is she?
Ben Lovett: She is 16, yeah, fantastic singer and we just, we got host to be involved in the film by Pixar, we are very excited by the opportunity, the children inside of us, were like very excited, exactly, you’ll not take the opportunity down. We though we’ll collaborate with Birdy because she has got such a wonderful voice and it suits to the film and you’ll see it.
EM: What’s the movie?
Ben: It’s called Brave.
(then the woman translates into French what has just been said in English)
SD: Thank you very much.
Winston: Thank you
SD: Release of the record between September 23rd and 25th* let’s say. We’ll see what’s the name of the record!
*Mumford & Sons have since announced that their second album, indeed titled ‘Babel’, will be released on these dates in various countries.