Mumford and Sons started playing banjos because it was easier to get work than as guitarists.

The folk-rockers use fiddles and banjos on their tracks rather than more traditional pop instruments, and started out with them because it helped differentiate them from other acts.

Singer Marcus Mumford told RedBulletin magazine: ''If you're looking for session gigs as a guitarist, there's not much around, because there are so many good guitarists. That's why we went straight for the banjo: there's less competition.''

He added despite playing traditionally influenced music, he also listens to lots of more modern groups, such as French electro duo Justice.

He said: ''I really like Justice. My absolute hero at the moment is Nathaniel Rateliff, an American singer-songwriter. He has the most powerful stage presence I've ever experienced. Every folk fan should own his albums.''

Mumford and Sons have just released their second album, 'Babel', and Marcus says it holds special memories for all the band members.

He added: ''The best thing is that our new album sounds exactly the way we wanted: It's very personal to us.''

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