LAFAYETTE, La. — Exalted indie musicians Justin Vernon, popularly known as Bon Iver, and Sufjan Stevens reportedly had an unexpected, hushed spat backstage at a music festival over the weekend, multiple witnesses confirmed.
“It was so damn weird. One would lean in and whisper something to the other who would then recoil in hurt and distress, before leaning in and cooing some metaphorically threatening retort,” recounted live sound engineer Ophelia Long, who is admittedly more of a metal fan herself. “Then a few times they wiped their tears away and hugged, only to misinterpret part of the other’s apology only to resume fighting about God knows what. No one could hear what they were saying. Maybe they were accusing each other of stealing abstruse similes.”
The fight purportedly stemmed from an act of unintentional vandalism in which Stevens accidentally bumped Vernon’s acoustic guitar, causing it to tip over onto a couch.
“Tears washed the glacier as I lamented to Sufjan that he knocked my guitar out of tune, eroding the trust in this dome, leaving trails of spoiled wine,” murmured Vernon, who texted close friend Kanye West for emotional support. “No one else touched the guitar, a bond of wheat so strong, a smothering wind in the womb of our mother. It could only be Sufjan, only be Sufjan. I hope the sweet winds of a southern storm spin him into a haze of lucid memories on the tip of a serpent’s venomous tongue. I know that’s harsh, but I’m really worked up right now.”
In an effort to defend himself, Sufjan Stevens offered his own oblique take on the situation.
“Why does he accuse me? Why does he refuse me? In the Lafayette parish, under Eden’s tree?” purred Stevens, who claims he admired the guitar from a distance, but was at a local indie bookstore at the time of the guitar tipping. “With notes so consonant from June to June, I left his guitar perfectly in tune (perfectly in tune). Three eyes of God observe my pain, as angels lift my last remains.”
The gentle indie artists’ fight continued, as both have released diss tracks against the other featuring layers of auto-tuned, barely audible weeping.