Winston Marshall, the banjo player who left Mumford & Sons after a flood of attacks for a post on Twitter praising Andy Ngo’s book about Antifa, said he got his soul back.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Marshall celebrated feeling free to talk about what’s been on his heart since leaving the band after he and his friends faced immense pressure over a tweet. Marshall says he still stands by the tweet because it was inoffensive. After reading Ngo’s book, Unmasked, he posted the tweet, saying, “Congratulations, @MrAndyNgo. Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man.”

Although Marshall told UnHerd last year that he’d instead be playing music in a rock’n’roll band than not, he didn’t want the band to suffer for his views. After going through this experience, he even saw his Wikipedia page change to identify him as being a “fascist” falsely. He now feels liberated and freed because his voice isn’t constrained by PR or gatekeepers. Because “words are important,” Marshall said he’s now even more careful to make sure he’s “speaking the truth.”

“I got my soul back. I felt I could sleep again,” he told The Sunday Times, speaking about the ordeal and his feelings after leaving the band in 2021. “It’s amazing the effect that had on the ordeal me. It has been completely liberating. I feel like it was the right decision.”

Earlier this year, Marshall also launched a Spectator podcast called “Marshall Matters,” where he regularly shares his thoughts about cancel culture. Before Matters posted the tweet that upended his career, for years, the musician enjoyed life on the road with his band, earning money and winning numerous awards, including a Grammy.

mumford and sons
Roberta/Wikimedia Commons

“Your initial reaction is, ‘I’m so sorry I’ve offended you. I apologized because I felt like maybe I don’t understand this topic fully, and I need to understand it,” Marshall said. He added that after reflecting on his tweet and the backlash that ensued, he did more research into the matter and later realized he wasn’t in the wrong.

His bandmates also dealt with the backlash from Marshall’s comments, prompting the musician to apologize. However, after giving it some thought, the banjo player questioned his decision to apologize publicly. “As I continued to research, I felt more and more that I’d participated in a lie,” Marshall said. “That really affected my conscience.”

Through this process and introspection and looking more into radicalization, Marshall told the Times: “Through that, I found a higher appreciation for my own cultural background, for the Judeo-Christian tradition and belief system.” According to the U.K. Times, Marshall has returned to his Christian faith “after a long hiatus” that caused him to question the wellbeing of his soul. And he walked away from the band because he didn’t want his public comments to impact his bandmates.

Leaving the band, he said, was an “incredibly difficult” decision. “I imagined being in my 60s and still playing with the band. That’s one reason it was so hard to leave. I thought we’d always be together,” he said. However, Marshall said he doesn’t regret his decision because he believes everyone, especially artists, should be free to express themselves without being canceled.

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