Former Mumford & Sons Member Winston Marshall: ‘I Got My Soul Back’

Photo from Winston Marshall’s Instagram

Former Mumford & Sons Member Winston Marshall: ‘I Got My Soul Back’

By Movieguide® Contributor

Former Mumford & Sons banjo player Winston Marshall shocked the music world when he left the popular band in 2021. But in a new interview, Marshall called it the “right decision.”

Marshall left the band in 2021 after creating controversy when he enjoyed reading “Unmasked,” a book that explores the dark sides of political movement Antifa. 

He then left Mumford & Sons in order to “speak my mind without [the group] suffering the consequences.”

In a recent interview with The Sunday Times, Marshall revealed that his departure from the group has been a blessing in disguise. 

“I got my soul back. I felt I could sleep again,” he explained. “It’s amazing the effect that had on me. It has been completely liberating. I feel like it was the right decision.”

“I don’t miss fame. I don’t think it was real,” Marshall continued. “I was seduced by it. I got pulled into it. Particularly through this recent experience, I’ve realized that a lot of my friends in that world weren’t my real friends.”

Despite the downsides of fame, Marshall said that leaving the band was an “incredibly difficult” move to make. “I imagined being in my sixties and still playing with the band,” he said. “That’s one reason it was so hard to leave. I thought we’d always be together.”

However, all the upheaval in his private life — including a divorce from actress and wife of four years Dianna Agron — has led Marshall back to his Christian faith. 

“If I can quote the great American theologian of all time, Kanye West, he said, ‘Fear God and you will fear nothing else,'” Marshall told Premier Christian News. “And I love that because for me, I do fear God. And I think it’s true. That if you fear God sincerely, then you won’t fear worldly issues, worldly problems.

Movieguide® previously reported on Marshall’s departure from Mumford & Sons: 

Winston Marshall, the banjo player and guitarist for Mumford & Sons since 2007, announced his departure from the band after he received backlash for his political beliefs.

The musician shared an emotional farewell online.

The shocking announcement left many fans wondering what motivated Marshall to say goodbye.

“At the beginning of March I tweeted to American journalist Andy Ngo, author of the New York Times Bestseller, Unmasked. ‘Congratulations @MrAndyNgo. Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man,’” Marshall explained. “Posting about books had been a theme of my social-media throughout the pandemic. I believed this tweet to be as innocuous as the others. How wrong I turned out to be.”

“Over the course of 24 hours it was trending with tens of thousands of angry retweets and comments.” Marshall continued saying that did not mean he was far-right. 

“Nothing could be further from the truth. Thirteen members of my family were murdered in the concentration camps of the Holocaust. My Grandma, unlike her cousins, aunts and uncles, survived. She and I were close. My family knows the evils of fascism painfully well. To say the least. To call me ‘fascist’ was ludicrous beyond belief.”

While Marshall apologized for the pain he caused the other band members, he said he stood by what he wrote in the tweet.

“Rather predictably another viral mob came after me, this time for the sin of apologising. Then followed libellous articles calling me ‘right-wing’ and such,” Marshall said. “Though there’s nothing wrong with being conservative, when forced to politically label myself I flutter between ‘centrist’, ‘liberal’ or the more honest ‘bit this, bit that.’ Being labeled erroneously just goes to show how binary political discourse has become. I had criticised the ‘Left,’ so I must be the ‘Right,’ or so their logic goes.”

“I have spent much time reflecting, reading and listening.” Marshall added. “The truth is that reporting on extremism at the great risk of endangering oneself is unquestionably brave. I also feel that my previous apology in a small way participates in the lie that such extremism does not exist, or worse, is a force for good.”

Marshall revealed that his decision to leave the band was out of the respect and love he has for his bandmates of over a decade.

“For me to speak about what I’ve learnt to be such a controversial issue will inevitably bring my bandmates more trouble. My love, loyalty and accountability to them cannot permit that. I could remain and continue to self-censor but it will erode my sense of integrity. Gnaw my conscience. I’ve already felt that beginning,” Marshall said. “The only way forward for me is to leave the band. I hope in distancing myself from them I am able to speak my mind without them suffering the consequences. I leave with love in my heart and I wish those three boys nothing but the best.”