It’s early yet, but there’s a possibility that Vampire Weekend’s fourth album will start a new era of sorts for the New York quartet.
As it prepares to hit the road again May 31 to support its third album, 2013’s Grammy Award-winning “Modern Vampires of the City,” percussionist Chris Tomson tells Billboard that the group “sort of wanted to make these first three (albums) some sort of trilogy. I think we knew when our first album came out we thought it would be cool if someone bought our three records and put them on a bookshelf, one-two-three, they would look connected and look like something that was part of a continued whole.”
Tomson adds that frontman and lyricist Ezra Koenig “sees similarities and connections” between the songs on those albums, though not necessarily by specific design.
That said, Tomson isn’t quite ready to predict where Vampire Weekend’s next album will take the group. “I think it’s too early to talk about it,” he explains. “When you’re in the midst of touring, as we’ve been for the last 16 months, it’s really hard to think about conceptualizing something (new). We’ve talked about very, very umbrella ideas, but I think like the last three it’ll take shape as it takes shape. I think we’ll sort of wait and see how it develops before we decide anything.”
Tomson adds that the group has “a couple more tours to go before we can press the rest button.” Its next swing through North America, which begins May 31 in Houston and includes appearances at the Governors Ball Music Festival and the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, “will be our last U.S. tour for a minute, probably on this record,” according to Tomson. Vampire Weekend is booked for the Reading and Leeds festivals during August in the U.K. and will be adding more overseas dates to its itinerary.
“I think we’re excited to get back out there,” Tomson says. “It’s been fun over the course of the past year and a half to mix in these new (‘Modern Vampires…’) songs. We’ve, I think, come up with a good mix of the three records and tempos and vibes, and I think we’re excited to get back out there. We haven’t integrated true pyrotechnics or anything like that. I think this (tour) has been the most (stage) production we’ve had, but even then it’s certainly not a Def Leppard-style production. But we definitely take a lot of care and thought into what the stage looks like. We want it to be vibey. We don’t want it to be four dudes who come on stage and play some songs; we understand it’s an experience, and the visual is a big part of it and it’s not just how we play or the audio component. So it’s definitely a production, but I wouldn’t say it’s too crazy as of yet.”