Ezra Koenig & Justin Vernon Talk Playing Beer Pong Together, Touring Hardships On Time Crisis

Vampire Weekend and Bon Iver entered the indie rock A-list around the same time, but apparently Ezra Koenig and Justin Vernon — the respective leaders of each group — haven’t crossed paths too much over the years. Koenig recently had Vernon on his Beats 1 Time Crisis show and they started off their conversation by reflecting on one of the few times they do remember meeting: When Vernon came to see Vampire Weekend play in Minneapolis and they spent the pre-show at a sports bar nearby playing beer pong.

“It was the type of really big place that’s was probably blasting Black Eyed Peas. It’s like made to be packed on a weekend. I don’t know if we were there on like a weeknight, but just kind of like, really bad vibe when it’s empty,” Koenig reflected.

They go on to talk about the time when Vernon sat in with Dead And Co. and commiserate over the hardships of touring and learning to live with life on the road.

“I’d always feel like we laid it all out on the field … and then we’d be fully exhausted when the album came out,” Koenig said. “And then it’s like, and now suit up. So there was always something about that that just felt like getting like, you know, running out of the house in the horror movie. Like you finally made it out of the house, then you get hit by a truck. That’s how I always felt.”

Listen to Koenig and Vernon’s interview together here. Both their bands have new albums out this year: Vampire Weekend’s Father Of The Bride came out in May, and Bon Iver’s i,i came out in August.