VAMPIRE WEEKEND is an American rock band from
New York City
New York City , formed
in 2006. They are currently signed to
XL Recordings . The band
consists of lead vocalist and guitarist
Ezra Koenig , drummer and
Chris Tomson and bassist and backing vocalist Chris Baio
. The band's first album
Vampire Weekend (2008) – which included the
singles "Mansard Roof ", "
A-Punk ", "Oxford Comma ", "
Cape Cod Kwassa
Kwassa " and "The Kids Don\'t Stand a Chance " – was acclaimed by
critics for its world music influences. Their following album, Contra
(2010), was similarly acclaimed and garnered strong commercial
success. Their third studio album,
Modern Vampires of the City (2013),
won the group a
Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 2014.
* 1 History
* 1.1 Formation and rise to fame (2006–2007)
Vampire Weekend (2007–2008)
* 1.3 Contra (2009–2011)
* 1.4 Modern Vampires of the City, departure of Rostam Batmanglij
* 2 Members
* 2.1 Timeline
* 3 Image
* 4 Other contributions
* 5 Discography
* 6 Awards and nominations
* 7 References
* 8 External links
FORMATION AND RISE TO FAME (2006–2007)
The band members met while enrolled at
Columbia University ,
beginning with a rap collaboration between Koenig and Tomson named
"L'Homme Run". They bonded over a shared love of punk rock and
African music . Koenig toured with The
Dirty Projectors during a
period of experimentation with African music, inspiring the band to
incorporate world sounds into their earliest work. The band chose the
name "Vampire Weekend" from the title of a short film project Koenig
worked on during the summer between freshman and sophomore years in
college. While home for the summer, Koenig watched a 1980s vampire
The Lost Boys
The Lost Boys ) and was inspired to make a Northeastern version
of the film in which a man named Walcott travels to
Cape Cod to warn
the mayor that vampires are attacking the United States. Koenig
abandoned the project after two days. The band began playing shows
around Columbia University, starting with a battle of the bands at
Lerner Hall in 2006. After graduating from college, the band
self-produced their debut album while simultaneously working full-time
jobs, Tomson as a music archivist and Koenig as a middle school
Vampire Weekend in 2007
In 2007, Vampire Weekend's song "
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa " was ranked
67th on Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Best Songs of the Year." In
November 2007, they toured the UK with
The Shins . The then-nascent
influence of blog hype and internet buzz played a role in their
success and led to a large prerelease following sufficient to support
them performing on three tours before their debut album was released.
They were declared "The Year's Best New Band" by Spin magazine in the
March 2008 issue, and were the first band to be shot for the cover of
the magazine before releasing their debut album. Four songs from the
band's first album also made the
Triple J Hottest 100, 2008 . The
internet hype had its backlash, however, as critics reacted against a
perceived image of
Vampire Weekend as privileged, upper-class Ivy
League graduates stealing from foreign musicians. One critic went so
far as to call
Vampire Weekend the "whitest band in the world," to
which they took exception, given their Ukrainian, Persian, Italian and
Hungarian heritages. Koenig responded in a November 2009 interview
by saying, "Nobody in our band is a WASP ." Furthermore, the backlash
involving their social backgrounds was largely unfounded, as Koenig
explained in the interview that the band members got into Columbia on
scholarship and used student loans; he himself was still paying off
student loans in 2009.
VAMPIRE WEEKEND (2007–2008)
The band's first album
Vampire Weekend was released January 29, 2008.
A success in the US and UK, it peaked at number 15 on the UK Albums
Chart and number 17 on the
Billboard 200 . Four singles were released
from the album; while "A-Punk" peaked at number 25 on the Billboard
Modern rock chart and number 55 on the
UK Singles Chart , "Oxford
Comma" peaked at number 38 in the UK. "A-Punk" was ranked the 4th on
Rolling Stone\'s Readers' Rock List: Best Songs of 2008. "A-Punk" was
also used to open the Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly feature Step
Brothers , and featured in the UK television show
The Inbetweeners and
the video games
Guitar Hero 5 ,
Just Dance 2 and
Lego Rock Band
Lego Rock Band .
Ezra Koenig with the band in 2009
The band's second album, Contra , was released on January 11, 2010 in
the UK and the following day in the US, after being pushed back from
the original release date for the fall of 2009. The album's first
single, "Horchata ", was released on October 5, 2009. The album's
second single, "Cousins ", was released as a single on November 17,
2009. Initial copies of the CD and LP sold at independent records
stores in the US include a 3-track bonus CD containing two "melts",
which featured bits of album tracks and a remix. Contra was the band's
first album to debut at No. 1 on the
Billboard 200 .
On January 9, 2010, the band did an acoustic show for
MTV Unplugged .
The following month, the band toured Europe and Canada with Canadian
electro duo Fan Death as their support. The video for their next
Giving Up the Gun " was also released on February 18, 2010
which included cameos from
Joe Jonas ,
Lil Jon ,
RZA and Jake
They also played festivals across the USA such as Coachella ,
Austin City Limits Music Festival , All Points West and the
Groovin' The Moo festival in Australia. Their third single, "Holiday
", was released on June 7, 2010.
On June 25, 2010, the band played the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury
Festival , in Pilton, Somerset, UK. The band were also on the main
T in the Park 2010 at Balado Kinross, Scotland, on June 8,
and played the
Oxegen Festival in Ireland on July 9. They also
Latitude Festival in Suffolk, UK on July 18. On 16 July
the band headlined the Main Stage at the Festival Internacional de
Benicàssim . In the summer of 2010 the band played at the Utopia
stage on Peace and Love, Sweden's biggest Festival. On July 30, 2010,
the band played at Jisan Valley Rock Festival in South Korea.
Vampire Weekend embarked on a North American tour with Beach
Dum Dum Girls . The tour started off on August 27, 2010, in
British Columbia at the
Malkin Bowl . Koenig mentioned to
the audience that before this concert, the band had the longest
"vacation period" that they have had in a while.
Contra was nominated for a
Best Alternative Music Album ,
but lost to
The Black Keys 's Brothers .
MODERN VAMPIRES OF THE CITY, DEPARTURE OF ROSTAM BATMANGLIJ
On November 11, 2011, it was revealed that
Vampire Weekend had been
in the studio, writing and recording material for their third album.
On April 26, 2012,
Rolling Stone reported that the new album could be
released by the end of the year. Koenig said, "We do have a ton of
stuff. It would be cool if it was this year...We just never want to
be in a position when we put out something, we feel could've
benefited from more time." Until its release, the band was discreet
about the details of the next album, stating that a band "can give a
bunch of interviews when they're working on stuff" but they "don't
want something said six months ago to influence how people hear it
when it's done."
Vampire Weekend in 2013
Modern Vampires of the City was released in May 2013, and written and
recorded in various locations including SlowDeath Studios in New York,
Echo Park "Back House" in Los Angeles, Vox Recording Studios in
Hollywood, Rostam Batmanglij's New York apartment and a guest house on
Martha's Vineyard. The album was co-produced by Batmanglij and Ariel
Rechtshaid . After Batmanglij produced the first two albums himself,
this marked the first time the band worked with an outside producer on
any of their records.
In an interview for the February 2013 edition of Q (released in
mid-January), Koenig described the upcoming album as "darker and more
organic" and "very much the last of a trilogy". Says Koenig, "Things
that we might have found boring in the past, we've started to find
more fresh. This album has more piano and acoustic guitar and organ."
Modern Vampires of the City also marks the band's first use of digital
voice modulation, as heard in the songs "Diane Young" and "Ya Hey."
(first use was actually in the song "California English" on the Contra
album) The album was recorded and co-produced by
Ariel Rechtshaid in
his Los Angeles Studio (alongside Batmanglij). The band discussed the
The FADER and appeared on the cover of the magazine's 84th
issue. On March 16, 2013, the band played the closing show at Stubbs
on the last day of the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. In the show
they played two new songs from the upcoming album: "Diane Young" and
"Ya Hey". On March 18, 2013,
Vampire Weekend released a double-sided
single , "Diane Young"/"Step". On May 11, 2013,
Vampire Weekend were
featured as the musical guest on
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live with Kristen Wiig
hosting, their third time on the show.
Released on May 14, 2013, the album debuted at #1 on the Billboard
chart, marking the second time
Vampire Weekend has achieved the feat:
its second album Contra also debuted at #1 in 2010, making this the
first time an independent rock band has entered at #1 with two
Modern Vampires of the City also shattered the
previous record for first week vinyl sales, moving nearly 10,000 units
on vinyl alone and debuting at #1 on the Soundscan Vinyl Charts.
Additionally, the band charted #1 at Indie, Alternative, Digital and
the top 200. In 2014,
Modern Vampires of the City won a
Best Alternative Music Album .
On January 26, 2016, Batmanglij announced his departure from the band
on Twitter. He noted that he and Koenig would continue to collaborate.
Later the same day, Koenig announced that
Vampire Weekend is in the
studio working on their upcoming fourth album, with Batmanglij
contributing to the record.
Chris Baio – bass guitar , backing vocals (2006–present)
Ezra Koenig – lead vocals , guitar , piano , lyrics
Chris Tomson – drums , backing vocals, percussion
Rostam Batmanglij – guitar, backing and lead vocals, keyboards ,
production , lyrics (2006–2016)
Vampire Weekend at the
Bernie Sanders rally in Washington Square
Park in 2016
In 2010, the band, along with their record company
XL Recordings and
Tod Scott Brody , were sued by Kirsten Kennis, the model
on the cover of Contra, over the use of her image. Kennis'
accusations were that the band used her image without her permission.
Vampire Weekend settled with Kennis in 2011.
In January 2012, President
Barack Obama added
Vampire Weekend to a
short list of musical artists that he sought support from for his
Vampire Weekend made it onto this list with
John Legend , and
Alicia Keys .
In January 2016,
Vampire Weekend joined presidential candidate Bernie
Sanders in Iowa for a rally two days before the Iowa primaries. The
Rostam Batmanglij and
Chris Baio were replaced by members
Dirty Projectors and an all female a cappella group from the
University of Iowa, due to Batmanglij's departure from the band and
Baio being on tour with his side project. Lead vocalist Ezra Koenig
expressed his support for the candidate in various ways through social
media and on his Beats 1 show "Time Crisis".
Vampire Weekend contributed a cover of "
Exit Music (For a Film) " for
Stereogum Presents... OKX: A Tribute to
OK Computer (2007), a free
tribute album celebrating 10 years of
Radiohead 's album
OK Computer .
They have also covered "Everywhere " by
Fleetwood Mac , "Ça Plane
Pour Moi " by
Plastic Bertrand , "I\'m Goin\' Down " by Bruce
Springsteen , "
Have I the Right? " by
The Honeycombs , "Blurred Lines"
Robin Thicke , "Fight For This Love" by Cheryl Cole and "Ruby Soho
" by Rancid .
The band also contributed the song "Ottoman" to the soundtrack to the
2008 film Nick and Norah\'s Infinite Playlist . Ottoman was then taken
and sampled by alternative hip-hop artist
Kid Cudi . Two tracks from
their debut record also appeared in the 2009 comedy
I Love You, Man .
A new song, "Jonathan Low", was released on June 8, 2010, appearing on
the soundtrack to the third installment of the Twilight Saga films,
The song "Worship You" is featured in the soundtrack for the 2013 EA
Sports video game
FIFA 14 .
Vampire Weekend contributed a cover of
Con te Partiro by
Andrea Bocelli on the Valentine\'s Day compilation, Sweetheart 2014.
Vampire Weekend also contributed a cover of Bruce Springsteen\'s I\'m
Goin\' Down on the Girls Vol. 2 Soundtrack.
Vampire Weekend discography Studio albums
Vampire Weekend (2008)
* Contra (2010)
Modern Vampires of the City (2013)
AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Vampire
* ^ "Best Albums of 2008". NME - New Musical Express.
* ^ "The 2014
Grammy Awards". Electronic Musician.
* ^ "Video Hits Interview Vampire Weekend". YouTube. Retrieved
* ^ "
Vampire Weekend interview (PSL)". YouTube. Retrieved
* ^ A B C "Interview: Vampire Weekend". Artist Direct. 2008-01-23.
* ^ Josh Eells (2010-02-04). "The Semi-Charmed Life of Vampire
Weekend". Retrieved 2016-09-23.
* ^ "A few more facts about
Vampire Weekend al.com". Blog.al.com.
* ^ "
Vampire Weekend with Beach House opening". Facebook.
2010-09-01. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
* ^ "The 100 best Songs of 2007".
Rolling Stone . 2007-12-27.
* ^ "
Rolling Stone Magazine The 100 Best Songs Of 2007". Rolling
Stone . 2007-12-27.
* ^ "
Vampire Weekend To Tour With The Shins". Angryape. 2007-10-11.
* ^ "
Vampire Weekend Interview @ Rock Werchter 2008". YouTube.
2012-01-13. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
* ^ Greenwald, Andy. "Vampire Weekend: The Graduates". Spin .
February 25, 2008. Retrieved on June 28, 2009.
* ^ Rock and Pop Features (March 31, 2010). "Vampire Weekend
interview". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
* ^ A B C "
Vampire Weekend Interview - An Interview with Ezra
Koenig of Vampire Weekend". Altmusic.about.com. 2009-11-23. Retrieved
* ^ Harding, Cortney. "Once Bitten, Twice Shy?: Vampire Weekend]."
Billboard - The International Newsweekly of Music, Video and Home
Entertainment Jan 16 2010: 21-2. ProQuest. Web. 15 Feb. 2016
* ^ "Readers\' Rock List: Best Songs of 2008". Rolling Stone.
2008-12-22. Retrieved 2013-05-31.
* ^ Template:Cite author=Mike Levine
* ^ Caulfield, Keith (2010-01-20). "
Vampire Weekend Lands First No.
1 Album". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
* ^ Rothfeld, Michael (2010-07-20). "The
Vampire Weekend Suit: Much
Ado About an Old Photo - Law Blog - WSJ". Blogs.wsj.com. Retrieved
* ^ Hyman, Dan. "
Vampire Weekend Hatching \'A Ton\' of Material for
Rolling Stone . Retrieved 16 May 2012.
* ^ "
Vampire Weekend Bassist Goes Solo - WSJ.com". The Wall Street
* ^ "Nothing As It Seems". Electronic Musician. June 2013.
* ^ Eliscu, J. (2013, Jan 31). “
Vampire Weekend Find New
Direction.” Rolling Stone, 28.
* ^ "VAMPIRE WEEKEND : contra costa contra mundum, Vampire
Weekend in Q Magazine’s 2013 Forecast".
Teamvampireweekend.tumblr.com. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
* ^ "Vampire Weekend: Upper Classmen".
* ^ ""Billboard" Charts: Over the Counter -
Vampire Weekend Scores
First No. 1 for ADA". Billboard - The International Newsweekly of
Music, Video and Home Entertainment.
* ^ "
Modern Vampires of the City Awards". Retrieved February 13,
* ^ "2013 Alternative Music
Grammy Awards". Retrieved February 10,
* ^ Phillips, Amy (26 January 2016). "
Rostam Batmanglij Quits
Vampire Weekend". Pitchfork. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
* ^ Grebey, James (26 January 2016). "
Rostam Batmanglij Quits
Vampire Weekend". SPIN. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
* ^ Blistein, Jon (January 26, 2016). "
Ezra Koenig Talks New
Vampire Weekend LP, Rostam Batmanglij\'s Exit".
Rolling Stone .
Retrieved January 27, 2016.
* ^ "Onward and Upward with the Arts: School of Rock". The New
* ^ "
Rostam Batmanglij Quits Vampire Weekend".
Pitchfork Media .
January 26, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
* ^ Flint, Jessica (24 August 2010). "Vampire Weekend\'s Mutinous
Muse". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
* ^ "Legal Matters". Billboard- The International Newsweekly of
Music, Video, and Home Entertainment.
* ^ Michaels, Sean (16 August 2011). "
Vampire Weekend settle
lawsuit with Contra cover star". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 April
* ^ "President Obama seeks support from Arcade Fire, Vampire
Jay-Z on re-election campaign News". Nme.Com. 2012-01-18.
* ^ "Watch
Bernie Sanders Sing With
Vampire Weekend at Iowa Rally".
* ^ Puglise, Nicole (2016-06-20). "
Vampire Weekend frontman on the
\'end of the road\' for Bernie Sanders". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077
. Retrieved 2016-09-15.
* ^ John Gentile (January 7, 2014). "
Vampire Weekend Make Timeless
Love on \'Con te Partiro\' - Premiere". Rolling Stone. Retrieved
February 11, 2014.
* ^ Cain Rodriguez (January 14, 2014). "\'Girls\' Vol. 2 Soundtrack
Features Vampire Weekend, Jenny Lewis, Cat Power & More". IndieWire.
Retrieved February 11, 2014.
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