Better known for his project Sun Kil Moon, singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek has to be the biggest troll ever, or at least has let the success of his most recent album get to his head. It seems every time he’s on stage, he has to say something to make the world mad at him. Last month, he played a set in Raleigh, North Carolina as part of Hopscotch Music Festival, and was quite nasty to his audience. He said stuff like "Everybody, all you fucking hilbillies, shut the fuck up. I don't give a fuck if I get paid or not, I'm gonna walk,” and telling random people to “shut the fuck up”. Really uncool for an artist to insult an audience like that, but it gets funnier. After receiving a lot of backlash for his banter, to immortalize the event, on Caldo Verde’s (Kozlek’s label) website, you can buy t-shirts that read "All You Fuckin' Hillbillies Shut The Fuck Up”. It doesn’t stop there, though, as the t-shirts will be printed in Raleigh by Tannis Root. Obviously, Kozelek isn’t the type to let stage drama go, he has to take it to ridiculous levels, and make it funny.
But wait! He keeps going! At Ottawa’s Folk Festival, Kozelek was set to play at the same time as indie rock band The War on Drugs, and apparently there was some sound-bleed between the two stages. Of course, Kozelek wasn’t going to let this slide, he said stuff like "I hate that beer commercial lead-guitar shit” and introduced one of his songs as “The War on Drugs Can Suck My Fucking Dick.” Obviously, The War on Drugs didn’t take too kindly to the comments made, causing Kozelek to post a note on his website saying
“I had never heard of your band prior to taking the stage in Ottawa the other night. But to give you an idea of how bad the bleed was, my drummer said that it would have been easier for him to play along to your set than ours. It could have been any band's music blaring from over the hill, and I still would have made jokes.”
“I hope to catch your set someday when it's not drowning out my own. The schedule wasn't your fault—I get it. That was my third rodeo with The Ottawa ‘Bleed’ Fest. They're still figuring things out over there. I hope they get it together someday.”
Sounds like a nice apology, right? Wrong. This was definitely not the end of Kozelek’s fun, not by a long shot. Right after issuing the apology, when asked by Smile Politely how listeners should enjoy his new album Benji, he responded with
"It sounds best when War on Drugs isn't drowning it out with beer commercial lead guitar, and it doesn't go over well in a bar full of drunk hillbillies."
AND THEN, when everyone recognized his statements, which do actually sound like some kind of apology, he said
"I did not apologize to War On Drugs." "I gave them an explanation of the events that lead to my comments. I do not, and will not, apologize for stage banter. I was just letting WOD know that it wasn't personal."
You think he would just stop there? Just recant his statement on the thing, and let it go? No. Not Mark Kozelek. He would never let it end there. The letter he posted to his website had the headline:
"I DID NOT APOLOGIZE TO WAR ON DRUGS AND I CHALLENGE THEM TO HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR OCTOBER 6TH AT THE FILLMORE"
Shit. It's happening all over again. He went on to say
"I challenge War On Drugs to let me join them onstage and play a hilarious song I've written called: 'War On Drugs: Suck My Cock/Sun Kil Moon: Go Fuck Yourself' at the Fillmore, October 6th, provided they let me handle the beer commercial lead guitar."
Damn, it's going down. Mark Kozelek actually wrote a song just for the events. Obviously, The War on Drugs must not have responded to letting Kozelek on stage with them too kindly, because on October 3rd, Sun Kil Moon's website announced that the song would be available for streaming on October 6th. You can listen to it, and I advise you do, here
The song covers everything that he's come under fire for over the past couple of weeks, calling people hillbillies, his fight with WOD, and people calling him out on his comment. He politely tells all of the parties (including himself) to "go fuck yourself", "shut the fuck up", and to "suck my cock", as well as saying that the War on Drugs are "the whitest band i've ever heard." It’s all absolutely brilliant. Just the irony of Kozelek calling another artist the whitest band he’s ever heard, the repetition of the same banter that took place on stage, saying that the WoD have greasy hair and hoping they don’t have lice. It’s an amazing self-parody, with an insane amount of blowing things out of proportion. Even the songwriting is a parody of that on his newest album, as he gives almost TOO much detail about every event. You've got to hand it to the guy, even if you don't like the music his sense of humor is golden, and it will never let him stop once something’s started. Never.