When Justin Vernon of Bon Iver dropped his latest album I,i on Aug. 9, he met up with Beats 1’s Zane Lowe in his hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin to discuss pretty much everything. Some highlights included discussing mental health, Kanye West, and calling out Eminem on Twitter.
In regards to West, Vernon said that because there are so many cooks in the kitchen, the rapper has the ability to say no to a lot of things until he’s sure about something. “I definitely witnessed how you can…you can have music be cooking on a stove, like over here, and you can respond to it,” he said.
“That was very stunning to watch him just to A) hear it all, and have the bandwidth to communicate that well with that many folks,” he continued. “There’s such a thing as too many folks. I remember in Wyoming, we were out there and there was one time where it was really just four of us, and then there was another time where there has to be 45 of us, like in multiple houses. I remember we had a small conversation, he’s like, ‘I don’t know who’s even here.'”
“So there’s all sorts of drawbacks there, but…he cares about music a lot,” he concluded.
Vernon also touched on mental health and how at one point, he wasn’t even able to leave his home: “I had to cancel a tour because, I don’t know if other people have this. I know of other people have anxiety and stuff, but it’s just something I feel it’s so important to talk about. Because I couldn’t move, I couldn’t leave the house. It’s so strange. I was sick. You know what I mean? It’s not helpful unless, like I was saying before, you have to be vulnerable to show or to share that you’re feeling an extreme discomfort and you don’t know why.
“That’s a pretty weird place to start a conversation, but holy hell is super important. I did therapy. I did the SSRI meds. I’ve gotten away from those now, which I’m happy about. Which, it can be dangerous to go on and off of those things.”
He continued to explain that he’s much happier now, mostly because of therapy: “Just to unload with somebody that doesn’t necessarily love you or something. They are professionals at helping you sort out what’s wrong. When you look back, I can’t actually feel the pain I felt. And I’m just like, ‘Wow, I must’ve felt really bad.’ Where I had to lay down on the bathroom floor. But I’m so glad that things do feel sweeter on this side. I’ve just been crying to cotton commercials again. ‘The touch, the feel of cotton.’ That’s when you know you’re a happy person, when you’re crying.”
Additionally, the “Hey, Ma” singer addressed the tweet he wrote last year, which called out Eminem for using a racial slur when rapping about Tyler, The Creator in “Fall,” which Vernon was featured on. “Not a fan of the message, it’s tired. Asked them to change the track, wouldn’t do it,” Vernon wrote at the time.
“I made that huge mess out of the Eminem song, and I was just in a carwash, and I just tweeted. It’s like, what was I doing? I should’ve just probably chilled out and actually just said, ‘Please don’t put this song out,'” he reflected. “And it was very rude and I felt really bad about it. I think people have not figured out how to calculate how easy it is to say something on there with how much you should say it.”
Watch the full interview below.