Bon Iver, founded by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon in the year 2006, has two Grammy Awards to its name. Here are some really interesting things to know about the indie-folk band:
The name “Bon Iver,” is actually derived from the French phrase “Bon Hiver” meaning “Good Winter,” taken from a greeting on the CBS comedy-drama “Northern Exposure.”
It is reported that Vernon started writing the opening song "Perth," from the album "Bon Iver" around 3 years before the album was released. It was actually while filming the video for the single "Wolves," from "For Emma, Forever Ago."
Before forming Bon Iver, Vernon even spent some time as a band member for the Rosebuds. Most of his contributions to the band are included in their third album "Night of the Furies."
In live performances, Vernon is joined by Carey (drums, vocals, piano), Michael Noyce (vocals, baritone guitar, guitar, violin) and Matthew McCaughan (bass, drums, vocals). Vernon and Carey have been bandmates since Bon Iver's first gig, while Noyce was Vernon's guitar student during high school. McCaughan and Vernon met while on tour with indie-rock band The Rosebuds in May 2007.
Vernon's pervious band's name was DeYarmond Edison, with whom he parted ways before leaving to his home state. The band's name is actually Vernon's middle name as his real name is Justion DeYarmond Edison Vernon.
In late August 2011, Bon Iver collaborated with the critically acclaimed English post-dubstep musician and singer-songwriter James Blake uploaded a track called "Fall Creek Boys Choir" to Blake's YouTube channel.
Vernon wrote and recorded the first Bon Iver album, “For Emma, Forever Ago,” after retreating to his father's isolated log cabin in north-east Wisconsin following the break-up of the relationship with his then-girlfriend Christy Smith and the split of his former band DeYarmond Edison. He was also diagnosed with mononucleosis hepatitis.
Apart from Bon Iver, Vernon is also a member of the bands Volcano Choir, The Shouting Matches and Gayngs.
The hit single "Skinny Love" from the debut album "For Emma, Forever Ago," was announced at #92 in the Triple J's Hottest 100 of All Time Countdown in July 2009.
Vernon is an avid hunter and is often known for rescheduling tour dates if they align with hunting season. He learned hunting from his father and used to spend weekends hunting with him while growing up.
Vernon's first gig as Bon Iver was in his hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It was before this gig that he met drummer Carey, who approached him asking if he could join him. The duo tried a few songs backstage, and took the stage together. Since then, they have been bandmates.
Initially, the band's first album "For Emma, Forever Ago," was released independently in July 2007. However, it was later wide released on the Jagjaguwar label in February 2008.
In the year 2008, Bon Iver designed a T-shirt for the Yellow Bird Project, with all profits benefiting the Interval House women's shelter in Toronto, Ontario.
The first single "Perth" from the self-titled album "Bon Iver," is actually named after a city in Australia. Vernon named the song after the city, as it was director Matt Amato's friend Heath Ledger's native. Vernon started writing the song, as Amato was sobbing and telling the stories of Ledger, who passed away at that time.
In 2010, Bon Iver worked with rapper, Kanye West, on his fifth album, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy." Vernon sings on two tracks on the record, "Monster" and "Lost In The World," the latter of which heavily samples Bon Iver track, "Woods."
He named his studio, which was an old veterinary clinic, as April Base, inspired from an Air Force compound from the show "The X-Files." The flooring of the studio is of basketball court material that he got from Craigslist.
It was while singing a Mahalia Jackson song, just for fun, when he was a member of the DeYarmond Edison band that Vernon discovered he could sing in falsetto, defining him as a singer.
The most popular single "Skinny Love," from the first album "For Emma, Forever Ago" was featured in the first episode of the fifth season of "Grey's Anatomy."
Vernon's favorite song is Indigo Girls' "Fugitive." He loves the song so much that he got the lyrics "I said, remember this how it should be" from the track tattooed on his chest.
It was not just the fallout of his former band DeYarmond Edison, the breakup with his girlfriend, and the bout of mononucleosis, that drove him to Wisconsin, but also a very bad case of gambling - as he lost $220 in online poker. He even addresses this event of his life in the "re: stacks" single from "For Enma, Forever Ago."
Bon Iver contributed "Brackett, WI" to the AIDS benefit album "Dark Was the Night" produced by the Red Hot Organization, in the year 2009.
Before "For Emma, Forever Ago," he did not even intend to make an album but decided to self-release it after the strong encouragements from friends. The album went on to be listed in many charts and also received several awards.
For his collaboration with Kanye West in the album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," West agreed to come to Wisconsin, but had to stay back in Hawaii due to heavy snow. So, Vernon flew to Hawaii for the recording.
It was in October 2009 that Bon Iver first appeared on the cover of "The FADER," in the publication's 64th issue.
Vernon purchased an old veterinary clinic in Fall Creek, Wisconsin, and transformed it to a studio in the year 2008. It was in this old veterinary clinic that the band's self-titled sophomore album was recorded.
On June 30, 2014, the band released a new song titled "Heavenly Father", which was featured on the soundtrack of Zach Braff's film "Wish I Was Here."
In the year 2009, Bon Iver teamed up with St. Vincent to record "Rosyln" for the "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" film soundtrack.
The last single "Re:Stacks" from the band's debut album "For Emma, Forever Ago," was featured in the Fox drama "House," and was also used for the closing sequence of the "Silent Witness" episode "Death Has No Dominion."
On September 30, 2016, the band released their third album "22, A Million," which was noted by many musicians as a large stylistic shift for Bon Iver.
Their debut album "For Emma, Forever Ago" was ranked number 29 in Rolling Stone's list of the Top 50 Albums of 2008, and was also ranked number 92 on their list of the 100 Best Albums of the 2000s.