Former Mumford & Sons banjo player Winston Marshall battled 'being cancelled' when he was in the band and now that he's left, Marshall says he's free.
Marshall officially left the Mumford & Sons, a British folk and rock band, back in June of 2021. He initially just took a break from the group when he faced intense backlash from the left for tweeting that he enjoyed reading journalist Andy Ngo's book, Unmasked, which explores the dangers of Antifa.
Marshall told CBN Faithwire that he, "failed to foresee that my commenting on a book critical of the far-left could be interpreted as approval of the equally abhorrent far-right."
Initially, after the backlash, Marshall apologized. However, it opened his mind to leave the band, as he could then speak plainly without negatively affecting his band members.
"I could remain and continue to self-censor, but it will erode my sense of integrity, gnaw my conscience," he wrote. "I’ve already felt that beginning. Then the only way forward is for me to leave the band."
The freedom he felt after was not quite what he was expecting from this hard decision.
"I got my soul back. I felt I could sleep again," he told The Sunday Times. "It's amazing the effect that had on me. It has been completely liberating. I feel like it was the right decision."
He started a podcast after leaving the band called Marshall Matters in which he speaks freely, including about cancel culture.
"Obviously artists have a right to boycott. The difference now is that it's 'silence him or I'm out'," he says. "This feels so bizarre, and I don't think it ends well. Musicians' careers are all about self-expression, so how can they think that's going to work if they're not up for people expressing themselves?"
Marshall also expressed his realization of what was real in his life previously and what wasn't.
"I don't miss fame. I don't think it was real," he told The Times. "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."
While it was hard to leave the band, Marshall is glad he did. In 2020, he also divorced his wife of four years, Dianna Agron. That's when he shares he 'came back to Christ.'
"If I can quote Kanye West, he said, 'Fear God and you will fear nothing else,'" says Marshall in an interview with 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."