Vampire Weekend Discuss GRAMMY Win In Exclusive Interview With Kevin & Bean
By Nadia Noir
Last night at the GRAMMYs, Vampire Weekend walked away with Best Alternative Music Album for Modern Vampires of the City. In their category was Nine Inch Nails with their album Hesitation Marks and after Trent Reznor’s volatile tweet preceding the Grammys, drummer Chris Tomson quipped to Kevin & Bean that they thought they had “disrespected” NIN. “We saw that last night and we were worried for a second that it was about us because NIN were in our category. So we thought, ‘Oh, damn. Is Trent Reznor pissed at the Dubs?” Reznor wasn’t remotely “pissed at the Dubs,” but he was irritated that the rock supergroup including greats like Lindsey Buckingham, Dave Grohl, Josh Homme, and himself, were interrupted rudely as the Grammy Awards were closing out.
Kevin & Bean’s Interview With Vampire Weekend (Part 1)
For Vampire Weekend, they seemed to be taking their Grammy win casually. They didn’t seem remotely wrapped up in the self-indulgent importance of the event although frontman Ezra Koenig joked that they finally “go their revenge” after losing a Grammy three years ago. For one thing, the ceremony where the band received their award was a lot “less glamorous than the one that you see on TV.” It included 72 nominees, was hosted by Cyndi Lauper, and took place at the Nokia Theatre.
“All the awards right before us were for people getting ready for the big show,” said Koenig. “’Oh you know, Macklemore is next door getting ready. Imagine Dragons is next door getting ready. And Vampire Weekend…,’ we’re like, ‘We’re here. We’re good. We’ll take it.’ According to Tomson and Koenig, the band was surrounded by “their people,” who were the “jazz and bluegrass” people. Once they got to the venue, they were twenty feet away from Beyoncé, had Taylor Swift’s robotic dancing in their sight line (“It’s almost like they make her dance. I think they plan it,” observed Koenig), and left two-thirds of the way into the night. They even missed the controversial closing performance despite being thrilled that they were sitting right in front of Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham. “He’s a legend,” said Tomson.
Kevin & Bean’s Interview With Vampire Weekend (Part 2)
In their own way, Vampire Weekend are becoming legends of indie rock. They said seven years ago while they were sitting in New York they “never would have guessed” that they would have gotten as big as they are—or become Grammy winners.
“I think it was also a kind of interesting time in music,” said Koenig. “The bands that we looked up to weren’t playing Hollywood Bowls or arenas. The bands that we looked up to were playing Bowery Ballroom…but once we went past that I was like, ‘Maybe the sky’s the limited.’ But it took awhile to believe it.”
It took Tomson and Rostam Batmangli being roommates after months of touring in the same van. It took years of being on the same music grind and tons of early morning calls. Although Tomson and Koenig joked that their appearance on Kevin and Bean might be one of the “most extreme” things they’ve done: “In some ways, it’s the most rock star thing we’ve done in awhile,” said Tomson.
And it might be the most rock star thing they do in the next two months; the band is taking a well-deserved break to “start feeling like a normal person.” One thing Koenig’s excited to do? Go to the Big Game. “It’s going to be my first act back in New York,” he said, later joking that he’s going to be “suiting up in all sorts of foul weather gear.” It might not be the perpetually sunny vibes of Southern California, but it sounds like Vampire Weekend will have the perfect “Holiday” to inspire new music.