Vampire Wekeend's Ezra Koenig Talks New Album Collabs, Supporting Bernie Sanders

Ezra Koenig
Burak Cingi/Redferns

Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend performs onstage at Islington Assembly Hall on March 22, 2019 in London.

Vampire Weekend’s frontman Ezra Koenig revealed many details about his band’s upcoming album (including collaborations with Danielle Haim and Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer) and spoke about the complexities of his identity as a Jewish American. In addition to revealing some intriguing clues behind the meanings of some of VW's lyrics, Koenig also talked about his own political leanings.

In the interview, Koenig -- who thinks it’s a “bizarre phenomenon” how successful the band has been -- confirmed that the title of Vampire Weekend’s Father of the Bride was indeed inspired by Steve Martin’s 1991 romcom of the same name. Although Koenig is now a father himself, (he had a baby with longtime partner, actress Rashida Jones, last year), he revealed that he wanted that name before their child was born.

“No, I came up with it too early for that, but I was clearly looking to adult themes," he told the Sunday Times. "Even though I didn’t imagine when I chose the title that I’d be a father by the time it came out, I certainly wanted to look at responsibility and relationships, and those things happened in my life, too.”

The interview also detailed some of the collaborations on the band’s first LP in six years, including co-writing credits for German composer Zimmer, and a duet with Haim guitarist/singer Danielle Haim on the tracks “Married in a Gold Rush” and “We Belong Together."

The 35-year-old also mentioned another track entitled “Unbearably White,” and how there’s an aspect of, “infighting among white people about who is marginally more or less white is not particularly interesting.” On the album’s closing song, “Jerusalem, New York, Berlin,” the Jewish singer-songwriter said he wants fans to listen to their new music before he “offers context.” However, he did express how the song explores Jewish identity today, and tied it back to his own personal identity.

Koenig also talked about headlining events with 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders back in 2016 and how the band would “help out” again during his campaign this year. “I like to believe he’s less of a sociopath than a lot of people who want to be president, but it’s hard to be as excited as I was in 2016,” he said. “That was the first time I felt deeply about a candidate.”

To read the full story, head to the Sunday Times article here.