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In The Press: Paste Magazine

Posted March 10th, 2017

  • Nickolas Butler’s The Hearts of Men

“Eau Claire is not the Rust Belt. And that’s an interesting storyline that I haven’t really seen people pick up,” Butler says. “The Uniroyal Tire plant closed in in the early ‘90s, when I was about 12. Eau Claire could have dried up and blown away. It almost did, but it didn’t, thanks in part to people like Justin Vernon, and local publisher Nick Meyer, who loved this place and just wouldn’t quit it. It might make more sense for them to live somewhere else, but that’s not what they were going to do. They were going to stay here and fight for it. And because of people like them, now we have an arts community, with some high-tech businesses that are starting up here because the young people that are part of those businesses want to be around a great music scene. So I feel like my story is not, ‘Oh jeez, let’s go look at our rusted-out factory and lament the ‘70s.’ We’re not dying here. That’s not my narrative.”

Read the full article in Paste