Ezra Koenig Explains How Kanye West Studio Session Inspired New Vampire Weekend LP

Ezra Koenig has been giving a lot of interviews since his animated Netflix series Neo Yokio debuted a few weeks ago, and everyone inevitably asks about the state of the next Vampire Weekend album. He’s respectably vague when revealing what they’ve been up to, but has shared some notable updates. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, he explains that the new LP was inspired by a studio session with Kanye West in Mexico where a wide array of musicians were filtering in and out, presumably the same one that Dave Longstreth talked about earlier this year. Koenig also mentions some potential collaborators that might show up on the finished album:

I had this experience where I was in the studio with Kanye in Mexico, and it was so different than anything I’d done: One day Dave Longstreth is there; the next day Big Sean shows up. Sometimes it wasn’t people working, just talking about music. I was, like, “I like this atmosphere. I need to loosen up.” So I’ve been working with this 68-year-old guitarist, Greg Leisz, and this 18-year-old guitarist, Steve Lacy. A bunch of other people have been coming in and out. Now we’re moving into the final stage where it’s about, “How do you take all that energy and reduce it to the sound of the album?” It’s tricky.

He also offered some more generalities about his mind frame going into LP4:

Well, after this period of smoking weed and making cartoons, I came back fresh. Back to chapter four, feeling renewed. I don’t want to say too much about the sound, but this is the first album I’ll be making in my thirties, and when a band gets to their fourth album, it’s a lot like hitting your thirties and figuring out how to dress: You might love seeing the newest sweatshirt collabs from some brands you like, but at some point you pull it over your head and look in the mirror, like, “Hm. This doesn’t make sense anymore.”