Eau Claire may be a small, northwestern Wisconsin city few have heard of. However, it’s making an impression on the 2012 Grammy Awards in a big way. Eau Claire’s Bon Iver is this year’s Arcade Fire- meaning the band that hipsters adore and the rest of the world is just catching on to. The world was shocked Arcade Fire took home album of the year last year only because no one knew who they were- well no mainstream music fans did. Now everyone owns Arcade Fire’s music and it’s likely after Sunday night, Bon Iver will top iTunes top album and songs lists, too.
Before tuning into the 2012 Grammy Awards, here’s a few things you didn’t know about indie rock gods Bon Iver.
1. Justin Vernon came up with the concept of Bon Iver while recovering from mono in his father’s remote cabin in northern Wisconsin. While watching “Northern Exposure” he fell in love with the concept of “bon hiver” (translated from French to: good winter).
2. Vernon wrote and recorded the 2007 debut “For Emma, Forever Ago” solo in this same cabin. When touring live he was joined (and is still joined by) Michael Noyce, Sean Carey and Matthew McCaughan.
3. Before people knew who Bon Iver was, Vernon would hand out lyrics to the songs before each show. He felt the songs sounded best with a full band and a full house singing along.
4. Bon Iver’s sophomore release, “Bon Iver,” was created from Vernon’s mind again, but he invited Colin Stetson and Greg Leisz to make changes to the guitar and saxophone lines.
5. The band records at April Base Studios in Fall Creek, Wisconsin. Vernon and his brother purchased the space in 2008. The building a remodeled veterinarian clinic.
6. Though Bon Iver is nominated for Best New Artist, Best Alternative Music Album, Song of the Year and Record of the Year for “Bon Iver” and the single “Holocene,” the band is far from a “new band.”