Ezra Koenig and Karen O are both the leaders of iconic and important New York rock bands, and the two of them sang Karen O’s “The Moon Song” together at last year’s Oscars. They seem to be real-life friends. And in a new piece for GQ, Koenig interviews Karen about nothing in particular. The winding conversation touches on things like selfies — about the idea that it’s a way for shy kids to push themselves out in the world — and about how the experience of being in a hyped-up rock band changed drastically in the few years between the respective rises of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Vampire Weekend. The interview took place the day D’Angelo surprise-released Black Messiah, and Koenig asked Karen if she’d ever be willing to walk away from music for a decade, as D’Angelo did. Her answer sure implied that she wouldn’t mind disappearing for a little while:
Part of me is curious about what would happen if there wasn’t the obligation to release music into the public for a long time. I’ve had that pressure — once you start that conversation with an audience, one of the hardest things is to walk away.
It’s funny that you ask that, because I just read The Playboy Interviews With John Lennon And Yoko Ono. They took place shortly before he was murdered. He’d disappeared from the public for about five years and basically became a househusband raising Sean. He talks about how it was the hardest thing he’s ever done, walking away from that conversation that we’re talking about. He needed constant reinforcement from Yoko against that nagging insecurity of “Who am I — what am I?” But that five years really renewed his spirit for music, for art, for life. So that made me scratch my head like, “Hmm, what would it be like to do that?”
The whole interview is worth a read; it’s right here.
[Photo via Getty]