Marcus Mumford on how advice from Neil Young influenced his debut solo album

Marcus Mumford has spoken of how the advice Neil Young gave him a decade ago influenced his debut solo album.

The Mumford & Sons frontman is due to release ‘(self-titled)’ this Friday (September 16) via Island (pre-order here). He’s already previewed the project with the singles ‘Grace’ and ‘Cannibal’.

  • READ MORE: Marcus Mumford on solo album ‘(self-titled)’: “I’ve never felt so fulfilled around a project”

Speaking to NME recently, Mumford explained how the process of writing the imminent new record has changed him as a songwriter.


“Neil Young sat me down about 10 years ago and told me the importance of recorded music,” the musician explained, “and that I should pay more attention to the way in which we record because I was always [like], ‘Ah, it’s just an advert for a live show.’ He was like, ‘No man, these things last.’”

Mumford continued: “I felt like on this record, I listened to that [advice]. I paid closer attention to the way it sounded than anything I’d ever done before.”

The singer-songwriter also spoke to NME about the experience of participating in jam sessions at Joni Mitchell‘s house.

“I played ‘My Funny Valentine’ for her, and Chaka Khan was there and at the end, I fucked up one of the lyrics,” Mumford recalled. “Chaka leans down to Joni in a stage whisper and she goes [shouting], ‘He really fucked that up! Do you want me to do it?!’, which was hilarious.

“It was just magical. Joni actually said to me, ‘Your instincts are good, you should just play’, when I was worried about a song. I was like, ‘Well, that’s a tattoo I’ve gotta get! Joni Mitchell says I have good instincts.’ It was just so sweet.”


Mumford performed as part of Mitchell’s surprise show at the Newport Folk Festival back in July alongside the likes of Brandi Carlile, Blake Mills (who produced Mumford’s first solo album) and Wynonna Judd.

In a four-star review of ‘(self-titled)’, NME hailed the record as “Mumford’s most crafted studio recording to date; this album is a career-best for the musician”.

Marcus Mumford will embark on a UK and Ireland headline tour in November – you can find any remaining tickets here. It’ll follow an extensive run of North American concerts this autumn (buy tickets here).