Interview with Vampire Weekend: Unconcerning Perceptions

Vampire Weekend (Vorrasi)Everyone knows Vampire Weekend, for better or worse. They’re that band who met at Columbia University and taught us all what an oxford comma is before getting caught in the hype machine. The band’s self-titled debut finally came out in January of this year, urging some to proclaim their brilliance and others to wonder when boring got confused with good. Bassist Chris Baio talks about touring on one record for two years and the group’s plans for a second album (get ready bloggers!).

Have you gotten sick of playing in support of this one record for so long?

I mean I think it’s still exciting to go out and play for people that want to hear us play music, even if it is with these same 12 songs we’ve been playing for the past two and a half years. It is an incredibly lucky position to be in. At the same time I’m really looking forward to writing the next album and recording these next year.

Have you started writing new songs?

Yeah we have two and then there are some snippets. I think next week we’re going to practice and start working on some new stuff as well. Maybe we do something with that on this last tour, I’m not sure. But at this point we have two new songs written for the next album.

Do the songs feel like a natural evolution from what’s on the first record?

Yeah I think so. We’re playing this one song that’s way more electronic than anything that’s on the first record. There was some programming that Rostam did, but on this one we play live to a beat that Rostam made and then Rostam plays guitar over it and Ezra just sings. So it’s a little bit of a different configuration for us and sort of a different sound because you’re playing along with this track that doesn’t adapt to you as opposed to you playing with other musicians. We’ve been playing it on tour and I’m looking forward to recording it as well. So that’s one where it’s different from our first album. Maybe there will be more songs like that, we’ll see.

Is there a lot of pressure on this next record?

I don’t think so. I don’t think we got to where we are right now by worrying about other peoples’ expectations or other peoples’ perceptions. I think the four of us are tough enough critics that once we’re all satisfied it will be good enough for the next album.

At the same time, obviously more people are going to be interested in this album than the first one—when we release it, how we’re writing it. Maybe that adds some pressure but that’s also a lucky thing to know that people are looking forward to your next album.