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After Successful Year, Mumford Takes “Indefinite Hiatus”

February 16th, 2013 will remain in my memory as an extraordinary day. After waiting for months, having purchased tickets the day they became available (only to have them sell out minutes afterwards) I would finally be seeing Mumford and Sons. It doesn’t stop there, however, because by some stroke of luck, I managed to nab pit tickets. And, to brag some more, I managed to get there early enough that I witnessed Marcus Mumford and his band, in all their glory, from the front row at the very center of the stage. Needless to say, many tears were shed that evening.


Given this astonishing experience, it came as a major disappointment to hear that Mumford and Sons would be taking an “indefinite hiatus” beginning this past month. However, it also didn’t come as much of a surprise. The band just had an incredibly successful, but long year.  They finished their Babel tour, which lasted well over a year, and hit major cities throughout Europe, Australia, North America in September and reported that they would be taking a much-needed “break.”  Furthermore, they found major success with the release of their album, Babel. Heck – they managed to score the “Album of the Year” Grammy! From that album, songs like “Hopeless Wanderer” and the title track “Babel” saw great success in the US Hits, Alternative, and Rock charts, with “I Will Wait” hitting number one on a few of them.


When asked about the duration of this hiatus by Rolling Stone, keyboardist Ben Lovett stated, “We have no idea. We just know we’re going to take a considerable amount of time off and just go back to hanging out and having no commitments or pressure or anything like that. It feels like the last week of school right now, before school holiday when you’re in high school. The atmosphere on the road is one of . . . I think everyone’s excited about being free of schedules.” They also commented on how demanding an arena tour is, noting that it is considerably different than the venues they had performed at before. Lovett went on to state, “We have a bigger responsibility to be in better form. We can’t be dropping the set 20 minutes because Marcus has tired legs.”


The hiatus also comes as little surprise following a health scare from bassist Ted Dwane, an event that contributed to the excitement and drama of the past year. Just days before the band was supposed to headline Bonnaroo, it was discovered that Dwane had a blood clot on his brain that had to be immediately removed. While the surgery was a success, the group had to cancel their appearance at Bonnaroo (thankfully Jack Johnson jumped in to save the day) as well several other dates.


Looking back on the band’s successful career, one would notice that it is the band’s first true break since they really came onto the scene in 2009, with Sigh No More. I believe the group realizes this fact and is hoping to take time and allow their lives to resume to relative normality – although it remains to be seen how normal can life be after such success. Given how crazy the past few years have been for the band, I’m glad Mumford will be taking a well-deserved break. I mean, winning Grammys, topping music charts, and performing at sold-out arenas can get old after a while, I guess.


Plus, strategically, this hiatus could be a rather smart move for the band. If they continued to tour and release music immediately after all the hype they built up for the past couple years, people might start to tire of them. Plus, I would imagine constant touring and work could build tension within the group.


I personally would rather them take a break from each other so they can make even greater music in the future. And, there’s no need for alarm – bands do stuff like this all the time! For example, the Red Hot Chili Peppers took a several-year hiatus back around 2007 and came back even stronger and more popular. Mumford and Sons will end up building hype in their absence, as people anticipate their return.


So Mumford, enjoy your hiatus, but not for too long. Your fans will be anxiously awaiting a return that sees you better than ever.

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After Successful Year, Mumford Takes “Indefinite Hiatus”