Date of birth : -
Date of death : -
Birthplace : New York City,U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2012-03-30
Vampire Weekend is an American indie rock band that formed in 2006 and signed to XL Recordings. The band has four members: Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Tomson, and Chris Baio.
The band's debut 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 list of Best Songs in 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.
During the early stages of their career, substantial media attention surrounded Vampire Weekend's incorporation of African pop sounds into American music, but despite an admitted love of African music, and Koenig's explicit mentioning of 1980's Madagascar pop music as a source of inspiration for the band, Vampire Weekend has always maintined that they are not "an African band". Koenig went so far as to say in interviews that Vampire Weekend feared being perceived as part of what he saw as a western trend of "fetishizing" world music, and would be hesitant to follow so directly in the footsteps of former greats such as Paul Simon in collaborating with and making too great a deal of foreign musicianship in American pop.
The band's second album, Contra, was released on January 11, 2010 in the UK and the following day in the US. On January 12, 2010, "Horchata" was released as a free download on the band's website. The album's first single, "Cousins", was released 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 #1 on the Billboard 200.
On March 6, 2010 the band appeared as the musical guest of Saturday Night Live with comedian Zach Galifianakis as host. It is the second time the band has appeared as a musical guest on the show, the first being during the show's 33rd season in 2008 in an episode which actress Amy Adams hosted. They also played festivals across the USA such as Coachella, Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and All Points West, as well as the Groovin' The Moo festival in Australia.
The band, along with their record company XL Recordings and photographer Tod Scott Brody, are being sued by Kirsten Kennis, the model on the cover of Contra, over the use of her image.In 2010, Vampire Weekend embarked on a North American tour with Beach House and Dum Dum Girls. The tour started off on August 27, 2010, in Vancouver, 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 Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album, but lost to The Black Keys's Brothers.
In August 2011, the band was set to headline the Music to Know Festival in which they said would be their last concert until the follow-up album. The festival was ultimately canceled due to a lack of funding and poor planning, one week before it was scheduled to begin.
In response to questions about their follow up to the album Contra, the band has stated that they will be taking their time, Koenig stating "I see no reason to rush it". The band has been discussing the third album and trying new ideas during sound checks but the writing and recording phase of production has not truly begun. In a recent interview with MTV Koenig stated that while the past two albums were inspired primarily by geography, the band has been drawing inspiration from the pop humor of big-budget comedy films such as The Love Guru featuring the comedy styling of John Oliver and Mike Meyers, and Bride Wars.
During their break, members have been pursuing different projects. Bassist Chris Baio has been performing DJ sets, and recently scored the Bob Byington film "Somebody Up There Likes Me". Rostam Batmanglij has been recording solo material and producing tracks for Das Racist. Ezra Koenig has been collaborating with Major Lazer. On November 11, 2011 it was revealed that Vampire Weekend has been in Excello studios, located in Brooklyn, writing and recording material for their third album, tentatively called "LP3".
-Ezra Koenig – lead vocals, guitar
-Rostam Batmanglij – keyboards, guitar, backing vocals, co-writer, lyricist
-Chris Tomson – drums, percussion
-Chris Baio – bass guitar, backing vocals
View the full website biography of Vampire Weekend.