Mumford Is Doing Just Fine Without Sons

He got a tattoo of an Oscar

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 15: Marcus Mumford attends Apple's "Ted Lasso" Season 2 Premiere a...
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For a long time, the big GQ profile meant: here’s a cool guy. These days? The big GQ profile means: here’s a cool guy, burdened by sadness. Whatever, it’s a changing world, I don’t make the rules. At the helm of this month’s cool guy burdened by sadness is Marcus Mumford, formerly of “& Sons,” who has abandoned his children (sons) to work on a solo album.

Mumford explains to GQ that the album was written when his life was “slightly falling apart.” He isn’t exaggerating: his life was slightly falling apart. His band of over a decade was dissolving, sure, but now they’re on the other side of it. Mumford himself had taken to some substance abuse problems with alcohol that he’s since cleared up (quick!). He also began to grapple with the sexual abuse he experienced as a child — a no doubt difficult process that he’s been handling in therapy.

Okay, well, seems like he’s figuring it out. Not saying it’s an easy thing for him to do, just seems like it’s basically under control for Mumford, whose parents live next door and whose wife Carey Mulligan is also possibly too normal to be interesting.

Even the drama with Mumford’s former bandmate Winston Marshall is brushed aside. Marshall, who had grown increasingly conservative and can now be seen spouting anti-trans rhetoric on a podcast, left the band via Medium post, saying that his departure would grant him the freedom to speak his mind and liberate the remaining Mumford and Sons to not be affiliated with him. To all this, Mumford says: “I just don’t think it’s the job of musicians to have all those thoughts.” Great point.

Really, the craziest thing that we learn about Mumford is that he has a tattoo of an Oscar, something he got on a bet with Mulligan when Promising Young Woman’s release delay put it right in the center of the awards season conversation. “At this point, if you don’t get nominated for an Oscar, you have to be punished. You have to get an Oscar tattoo. And so the agreement was if she did get nominated, then I would get the Oscar tattoo,” Mumford explains. I agree that there should be punishment for people who do so much press that it tricks everyone into giving them an Oscar nomination. Anyway, Mulligan was nominated for Promising Young Woman, and Mumford did get the tattoo which sits on his right shoulder. Even this — the undoubtedly most interesting aspect of their relationship — feels basically normal.

Well, good for them: seems like a tried and true life, full of hardships and successes, reflection and joy, the exact type of thing people love to read about in a hypebeast-aspirational magazine.