Ezra Koenig Reveals Why Vampire Weekend Took A Six-Year Break

By Katrina Nattress

September 22, 2019

iHeartRadio Album Release Party With Vampire Weekend At The iHeartRadio Theater LA

Back in April Vampire Weekend released Father of the Bride, their first album in six years. The record ended up topping the charts as fans celebrated the band's return, but why did the indie rockers decide to take so much time off? Frontman Ezra Koenig recently opened up about the extended break during an interview with Billboard.

When asked if he intentionally took a long hiatus after the last album cycle, Koenig didn't hesitate to say yes. "Yeah. I wouldn’t have quite guessed six years, but I was very sick of everything. I didn’t want to get back into the studio, I didn’t want to get back on the road, I was really not wanting to think about music or Vampire Weekend at all," he admitted.

But no matter how uninterested he felt at the time, there was never a thought to pull the plug on the band. "When people in the past have asked me if I would make a solo album, it barely made sense to me because I’d reach out to the same collaborators, I’d approach it the exact same way," he explained. "The truth is, I’ve put my identity as a songwriter into Vampire Weekend since the beginning. I never got to that extreme place where I was like, 'I’m done with music.' As long as I’m interested in music, there will be a Vampire Weekend."

The long break did mean rethinking his creative approach, as the music industry has shifted since the band released its last album Modern Vampires of the City, in 2013. "The only shackles on Vampire Weekend, ever, have been the public’s expectations. But when I think about what constitutes a Vampire Weekend album, I can’t help but feel like it needs to check at least a few boxes, especially coming back after six years with a lineup change," he said. "The indie rock that we never particularly wanted to be associated with, but were, is now pretty unfashionable, so coming back with this album felt like walking through a minefield. If this album didn’t have some immediate singles, I can imagine the way people would have reacted. Maybe that’s why I needed to make 18 songs, just to have enough room to hit all those marks."

Vampire Weekend are currently on the road in support of FOTB. Check out their full list of tour dates here.

Photo: Getty Images

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