On Thursday, Vampire Weekend began trending on Twitter for dropping two new songs after a six-year hiatus.
“Harmony Hall” and “2021” sent the Twittersphere into a frenzy, with many users questioning where the band has been and whether they are going to drop their next album.
According to Variety, bandleader Ezra Koenig spoke to Beats 1 on Wednesday about the new music, and have announced that their fourth album, “Father of the Bride”, will be released this Spring on Columbia Records.
With all this time in the spotlight, you may be curious about who the band members are. Who’s part of Vampire Weekend? Who has left the group?
Vampire Weekend was formed in 2006 in New York City. The founding members are Ezra Koenig, Chris Baio, Chris Tomson, and Rostam Batmanglij.
The group formed during their time as undergrads at Columbia University. Lead singer and guitarist Ezra Koenig was joined by bassist Chris Baio, drummer Christopher Tomson, and keyboardist-guitarist Rostam Batmanglij.
According to Variety, Koenig and Batmanglij bonded over Radiohead at a party their freshman year of college, and promised one another they would form a band one day. That’s when they recruited Tomson, who was a fan of the band Phish. Baio, meanwhile, was Koenig’s suitemate sophomore year.
The band stayed strong from 2006 to 2016, when Rostam Batmanglij left the band to pursue a solo career. However, as Variety notes, he is still a contributor and is listed as a producer on “Harmony Hall”.
Batmanglij announced he was leaving the band on Twitter. He did write, however, that he and Koenig would continue to collaborate. “My identity as a songwriter + producer needs to stand on its own,” he wrote.
In a subsequent interview with Variety, Rostam explained, ”
I understand the idea of me being “a dude in a band,” because people got to know me through Vampire Weekend, but it has caused a lot of frustration for me because I came from a different place from the get-go. Even though I’ve been making electronic music since I was 14, it’s hard for people to see you as a producer with a musical identity when you’re contextualized in a band that performs on a stage. I mean, maybe people don’t see the last Vampire Weekend album as electronic music, but I do—if you were with us when we were making it, you would think of it as electronic music.
Who’s part of the band today?
Last June, Stereo Gum reported that Greta Morgan of Springtime Carnivore was joining the band for their summertime tour. That month, she tweeted a picture of the group, commenting, “ya hey! happy to be playing in this band of true gentlemen. we start this weekend in Ojai. See you out there . . . ???♥️” A rep then confirmed to Stereo Gum that Greta would be she would be part of the band for the tour.
The other musicians to join the band in 2018 include Brian Robert Jones on guitar and backing vocals, Garrett Ray on drums and percussion, and Will Canzoneri on keyboards.