PC: Because the first two albums were so acclaimed, do you feel you have a level of excellence to maintain?
Rostam: We definitely have a level of excellence to maintain. That’s why we didn’t put out a record a year ago, we could have, and it would have been filled with some great songs and some mediocre ones, and we knew that was not the time. So we scrapped a lot of things, which is something we’ve never done, it’s been a much more organic process in the past of knowing exactly which songs go on album and maybe one doesn’t make it, but with this album I feel like there were a lot of ideas that we threw against the wall and then it sort of became clear which ones we should leave on the cutting room floor. Which I think is important for every artist. I think every artist has to do that as the make more and more albums, that’s crucial for us. And so the answer is yes. [laughs]
PC: Since the beginning you guys have been penned as this sort of band of preppy Ivy League scholars with learned lyrics and themes, is that something that’s ever bothered you, or is it something you embrace and try to stick to? Is that the Vampire Weekend image?
Rostam: I think it’s something that’s going to be interesting to see on this next record. I think that lyrically it’s simpler, but at the same time it’s deeper. It’s simpler and deeper, and I think that’s true of the music too. In some ways it’s much more simple but I feel like there’s a lot of depth. A lot of the musical decisions I made on the record were just very instinctual, there wasn’t very much thought in a calculated way. So much of it was improvised and in the past I feel like there’s always been a kind of improvising on how we’ve written songs, but on this record there was a lot of trusting the gut. I feel like over the years I, and we, have developed a way of approaching writing music, and it’s very much internalised at this point. There’s definitely references, and a lot of uniqueness, but we were sort of inspired by classic songs, and we wanted to make an album of classic songs. Like I said it’s going back to the roots of music being made by bands in America.