The following feature appears in the August 2017 issue of NYLON.
Ed Droste has a love-hate relationship with the internet. The Grizzly Bear frontman doesn’t have a personal Twitter, preferring instead to occasionally drop by his band’s account. He helped craft the group’s Facebook post about their upcoming album, Painted Ruins, poking fun at their extended promotional cycle in today’s fast-paced digital era. And the idea of the dark web seriously freaks him out: “It sounds so scary and horrible,” he says over artfully displayed salads at an eatery in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood. “I read an article about how you can go onto the dark web and hire hits on other people. It’s so crazy. Transfer the cash—‘I want that person killed’—see you later.”
Even so, earlier this year Droste inadvertently created an online secret society when he previewed the new record for a handful of fans—142 of them, to be exact. “I [played] some songs on Instagram Live because no one could rip it,” he explains. “It sounded crappy but people were like, ‘Cool!’ They all remember it really well. It was a fun connection with a very small group of people. Someone was like, ‘We’re the 142 Crew.’ Every once in a while someone will hashtag 142 [and say] ‘I was there!’ It’s cute.”