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Marcus Mumford addresses experience of childhood sexual abuse on new track

The singer says the incident occurred when he was six-years-old

By Nick Reilly

Marcus Mumford
Marcus Mumford (Picture: Alamy)

Marcus Mumford has discussed how his recent solo track ‘Cannibal’ sees the singer tackling his childhood experience of sexual abuse.

The Mumford & Sons frontman debuted the solo song last month, marking the first preview of his self-titled debut solo album which is due for release on September 16 via Island.

In a nw interview with GQ, Mumford discussed the frank and honest ‘Cannibal’ lyrics.

He sings on the solo effort: “I can still taste you and I hate it / That wasn’t a choice in the mind of a child and you knew it.”

Opening up on his experiences of abuse, he said: “Like lots of people – and I’m learning more and more about this as we go and as I play it to people – I was sexually abused as a child,”.

GQ noted that the incident occurred when Mumford was just six-years-old.

He continued: “Not by family and not in the church, which might be some people’s assumption. But I hadn’t told anyone about it for 30 years.”

Mumford then explained how he played the track to his mother, who asked him about the lyrical content a “couple [of] days later”.

“[She said,] ‘Can I ask what that song’s about?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s about the abuse thing’. She was like, ‘What are you talking about?’,” Mumford recalled.

“So once we get through the trauma of that moment for her, as a mother, hearing that and her wanting to protect and help and all that stuff, it’s objectively fucking hilarious to tell your mom about your abuse in a fucking song, of all things,” he added.

In turn, that conversation inspired ‘Grace’ – his latest song to emerge from the record.

“That thing that happened when I was six, that was the first of a string of really unusual, unhealthy sexual experiences at a really early age. And for some reason, and I can’t really understand why, I didn’t become a perpetrator of sexual abuse – although I’ve done my fair share of cuntish behaviour.

“String of really unhealthy shit when I was under the age of 12, which set my brain up in a way to deal with stuff later on in life in an imbalanced way. And so the last three years has just been trying to look at that and correct some balance,” he said.

The interview further explains that Mumford went into therapy in 2019,  after he tried “to find connection in the wrong places” around the same time Mumford & Sons released their most recent album, Delta in 2018.

One of the therapists, the article added, spoke to Mumford about what had happened to him as a child for the first time.

Mumford first sparked rumours of a solo career in June when he delivered a live set during a Spotify event on the French Riviera to mark the Cannes Lions International Festival Of Creativity 2022.

Meanwhile, the future of Mumford & Sons is unclear after banjoist Winston Marshall left the band. Marshall faced criticism for praising the work of discredited right-wing US journalist, Andy Ngo.

He will head out on an intimate UK tour in November.