Explore Vampire Weekend’s Secret Lives As Preppy Social Outsiders

“It’s a little bit unnerving to have somebody call you total trash or garbage.”
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Vampire Weekend (Photo: Alex Rauch)

Vampire Weekend (Photo: Alex Rauch)

Vampire Weekend might currently be riding high with the No. 1 album in America, thanks to their third full-length, Modern Vampires of the City, but there’s more to the band’s notoriously preppy image than meets the eye.

During an exclusive interview with CBS News, Vampire Weekend’s primary songwriters, frontman Ezra Koenig and multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij, discussed the irony and humor involved in their preppy persona, and how it was inspired by the pair’s shared outsider status in their respective communities growing up.

“Ezra was one of the only Jews in his town, and I was one of the only Iranians in Georgetown, where I grew up,” Batmanglij explained. “So we had like a little bit of a fire that you get, I think, from being an outsider. That does kind of inspire us. People would call us WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants), which is really interesting,” he continued, laughing.

“There always seems to be something worth exploring about preppiness, and the fact that some people reacted so strongly to it, I think proves that there’s something inherently interesting,” added Koenig about the backlash that came with after the band’s early success.

“It’s a little bit unnerving to have somebody call you total trash or garbage,” Koenig joked. “But truly, this happens to all bands.”

Much too early one morning in New York City, Radio.com asked Vampire Weekend, to play a round of LIFE while they answered questions of the great philosophical thinkers. The Columbia grads revealed their thoughts on some pretty heavy subjects like God and the unmoved mover, the nature of good and evil in man and why they’re so into making album covers out of found art.

Watch below as they navigate through choosing a college and career, adopting pets and embracing Marxism in a quick game of LIFE.

 

Check out Vampire Weekend’s full interview with CBS News here.

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