Bon Iver Joins Forces With Bushmills To Sell Booze

10.06.11 2 Comments

If someone would have asked me as recently as yesterday, “Who’s the one musician out there right now you couldn’t fathom taking part in a major advertising campaign?” I would have said Justin Vernon, aka Bon Iver, without hesitation. It’s not that I think there’s anything wrong with an artist of any stripe “selling out” every now and then — after all, Daddy’s gotta pay the light bill!– but it’s just that he’s positioned himself to be THE ultimate indie guy, what with his frequent rants against the influence of money and big corporations on the music industry. For example

Why are the lights so bright? isn’t our talent as artists enough? Why do we try SO hard?…Why don’t we just have MUSIC? DO music? soul?…Its becoming increasingly clear as I think about it more and more, that the dollars, if they ARE apart of why you are doing something… they are apart of why you are doing something. that’s f*cked to me. that’s the absence of spirit, glue, fabric of what makes us a person. it distracts us from what we could be doing: WORK. on EARTH.

But now he’s joined forces with Bushmills Irish Whiskey and is slated to appear in advertisements for the company like the one above and will create “custom pieces of music and art” for the booze company, and I’m kind of taken aback by it — though Bushmills does seem like a very Bon Iver-y brand.

For his part, Vernon had this to say in a press release…

Bushmills approached Bon Iver about collaborating with them on ‘Since Way Back,’ and I didn’t hesitate when I knew all of us – Nate, Kyle and Brian – could be involved. The way the campaign was presented to us, as a program that rewards groups of friends who have built success around what they love, made it feel right and appropriate for us to participate. The founders of Bushmills developed a recipe that lasts. We hope to do the same with our music.”

And here’s video from Bushmills-sponsored Bon Iver afterparty recently posted to YouTube…

So is Justin Vernon a selling-out hypocrite? I’ll wait for Hipster Runoff to decide.

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