Vampire Weekend heads to Merriweather

Popular indie band is budgeting more time to write its third album

  • Indie rock band Vampire Weekend headlines at Merriweather Post Pavilion Saturday. Pictured, from left to right: Ezra Koenig, Christopher Tomson, Chris Baio and Rostam Batmanglij.
Indie rock band Vampire Weekend headlines at Merriweather… (Handout photo by Soren Starbird,…)
September 09, 2010|By Sam Sessa, The Baltimore Sun

When Vampire Weekend set out to record its second album, "Contra," the whole process was a whirlwind.

After 18 months of touring, the popular indie rock band had two weeks off and set about recording the follow-up to its acclaimed 2008 self-titled debut, according to bassist Chris Baio. "Contra" came out in January and was warmly received by critics. On Saturday, Vampire Weekend headlines at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Now, with the band talking about a third effort, members want to budget more time for writing and recording — and for themselves, Baio said.

"We haven't really written a note of it as a band or arranged a note of it, but it's an exciting thing to know that it's the next big project for all of us," Baio said.

On "Contra"

"A lot of bands do two things when they're following up a relatively successful first record. They can try and react against it. We're proud of our first record and we didn't think doing that with our second record would be really true to ourselves. The other thing bands do is try and replicate it or write very similar songs, but it usually ends up not being as good. We also weren't interested in that. We tried to strike a middle ground between the two. I think that made it more of a progression or evolution than either of those two paths."

On vampires

"It is an interesting thing, because our band is very, very tangentially related to a vampire movie. [Singer] Ezra [Koenig] watched "Lost Boys" one summer seven years ago, after his freshman year of college, and decided he was going to try and make a movie himself that would be like an East Coast vampire movie. He made about a minute and a half of it, and was going to call it "Vampire Weekend." He found the footage right at the formation of the band.

"It's funny to think that, in a way, we're connected to vampire movies. Now, I guess they're very popular again. It's kind of a funny coincidence. My major vampire culture touchstones are Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and the movie with Keanu Reeves from the '90s. I really love that movie. I haven't seen it in a long time — maybe like 10 years — but one of these days, when I'm home from tour, maybe I'll relive it.

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