MVOTC: M___ V____ Of T___ C_____ ?

When I met the band in Singapore, I asked them if they can tell me what MVOTC stands for. They refused, but Ezra was kind enough to tell me what O stands for—-“of”. Hopefully Ezra wasn’t lying (lol) and I’m looking forward to more clues~~

Ezra talking about LP3 (via
I: What are some of the lyrical themes you're going for?
Ezra Koenig: I don't want to give too much away before our fans get a chance to listen to it. Hearing fan interpretations of songs and seeing which lyrics they gravitate towards is one of my favourite parts of the band/fan relationship. I think this album is our most romantic (in all meanings of the word).
I: You mentioned in an interview that it’s going to be “darker”? But the song ‘Unbelievers’ seems pretty upbeat…
Ezra Koenig: "Darker" is a tricky word. We always like things with multiple layers. It wouldn't be a Vampire Weekend album without moments of joy but this album is maybe just a little deeper.
I: Was there much thought about how the third album would differ from ‘Contra’? What are the influences behind it?
Ezra Koenig: Yes, we want every album to be a distinct world unto itself. We're not very good at repeating ourselves anyway. This album feels more American to me. Definitely not "Americana" but more American.
I: Can you think of a song that went into a direction that you wouldn't have anticipated?
Ezra Koenig: There's a song called ‘Diane Young’ that went on a real journey. We always had the heart of the song but a few last-minute decisions made a big impact.
Some LP3 notes via Rostam’s Twitter:
  • image
  • image
  • there are clues
  • image
I: What’s your work process like?
Chris Baio: It depends on the song, there are never any rules. Ezra Koenig and Rostam Batmanglij are the songwriters in the group so sometimes a track will start with them writing on a piano or in front of a computer. At different points, drummer Chris Tomson and I will make suggestions and bring some arrangement ideas in. On our new record, we worked with an outside producer for the first time, the mighty Ariel Rechtshaid.
I: What can fans expect of your next album?
Chris Baio: Our next record is darker than anything we've done previously, but also has some real pop moments. Listening back, it also feels like our warmest record to me.

When can we expect the new album? 
Baio: Very soon. Within the next four months.

When can we expect the new album?

Baio: Very soon. Within the next four months.

At what stage of completion is the record at? Do you guys have a title yet?
Rostam: We do have a title, we can’t announce it yet but we’re very, very close to done.

At what stage of completion is the record at? Do you guys have a title yet?

Rostam: We do have a title, we can’t announce it yet but we’re very, very close to done.

From Rolling Stone:
  • Unbelievers - a jittery pop tune on par with fan favorites like 2009’s Cousins. 
  • Hudson - spare, spooky track
  • Diane Young - rockabilly-styled, includes a section where Koenig’s voice is digitally modulated so he sounds like a pompadoured robot on the fritz

Vampire Weekend in Rolling Stone magazine: Vampire Weekend Find New Direction (photo via @starwart1)

Vampire Weekend in Rolling Stone magazine: Vampire Weekend Find New Direction (photo via @starwart1)

On Vampire Weekend's level of excellence and image (From FasterLouder interview, 2013)
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.
On LP3's album cover (From FasterLouder interview, 2013)
PC: You had some legal issues with your last album cover? Have you selected a cover for the new one? And were you a bit mindful in choosing it this time around?
Rostam: My fingers are crossed that we can get the image that we wanted for this album. With the last one it was sort of this insane situation, we couldn’t have possibly have known how to clear the image given the deception that was involved. But on this one, we’re very mindful [laughs]. I really think we have an amazing cover right now and I hope we can get it; it’s really special, it feels really deep to me. When I found it, it felt like something I’d both never seen before but felt like I had been looking at it my whole life, and that’s how I felt about Contra.
PC: Are you sticking to the Polaroid theme?
Rostam: I don’t want to say too much.
On LP3's sound and lyrics (From FasterLouder interview, 2013)
PC: Does it still sound like classic Vampire Weekend?
Rostam: From what we’ve gauged when I’ve played for friends I think there’s a mixture. Our albums are always going to be diverse because we’re just not capable of making albums that aren’t, but I think that it’s definitely darker. Which is not to say that it’s without energy, but there’s a lot of dark energy, I would say that.
PC: How much of a lyrical input have you had on this one?
Rostam: On Contra I wrote some of the lyrics, but a lot of the lyrics on this album came out of a song writing team between mean and Ezra, where I would write music and he would write lyrics and melody on top of it. He wrote pretty much all the lyrics on this album, compared to in the past where it’s been more collaborative on lyrics or music. I don’t know if you’d call it a new school or old school song-writing approach, but that was a system we found that worked and we got a good rhythm. We even did some writing retreats, which is something we’ve never done before.
PC: Whereabouts?
Rostam: We went to this island of the coast of Massachusetts called Martha’s Vineyard and we went in April and it’s kind of like this summer island but it has this sort of dark, desolate vibe during the winter off-season. Even though it’s April it’s still pretty cold up there. We started about six songs up there and three of them made it onto the record. We were amazed and happy by the quality of what we wrote up there.
On LP3's vibe and theme (From FasterLouder interview, 2013)
Perrie Cassie: Contra had an ‘80s vibe to it. How does the new album evolve or differ from?
Rostam Batmanglij: I think it’s fair to say that vibe is gone. [laughs] I think there was new ground to cover, new things to explore and new sounds that excited us.
PC: What sort of themes are you dealing with on this one? What has inspired it? Are you producing and if so, what have you done differently this time around?
Rostam: I worked with my friend Ariel Rechtshaid [Usher, Major Lazer, We are Scientists] – we produced it together, that’s a new element, having somebody new in there. Musically there are a lot of organic tones. There are some old sounds that have been around forever, like the sounds that bands in America started with, like going back to the roots of music being recorded or being played in a room by a band. Lyrically it’s a bit darker, a bit spookier at times. I think it’s dealing with the consequences of actions and I think it definitely feels more nocturnal than anything we’ve done before.