Vampire Weekend has become a staple in most indie rockers’ playlists, finding a lot of success with their second and third studio albums (their latest, 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City, won the band a Grammy for Best Alternative Album in 2014). The band was again in the spotlight recently performing “This Land Is Your Land” at a Bernie Sanders rally in Iowa.
A few days before that rally, some mixed news bubbled through Twitter and Instagram regarding the band’s future. Rostam Batmanglij, a driving force behind the band’s songwriting, announced on his personal Twitter that he is no longer a member of the band:
I wanted to let [people] know I’m no longer a member of VW but that Ezra and I will continue to collaborate on future projects + future VW songs. My identity as a songwriter + producer, I realized, needs to stand on its own.
The same day, Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig took to Instagram with the following note:
A couple years ago, Rostam and I sat down at his house & talked abt whether our collaboration was dependent on being members of the same band. We both firmly agreed that nope, it was not. In fact, we agreed that our collaboration was more important. I’m psyched about the work we’ve already begun for LP4 and I’m psyched to hear anything else Rostam is a part of. Also very excited to continue playing music with CT and Baio but there will be plenty of time to talk about that later in the year. For now in the Vampire Weekend universe, it’s all about recording the next album. There will be a lot of familiar faces in the studio but also some fresh, new ones. Working title is “Mitsubishi Macchiato”…for obvious reasons.
Shout-out to the fans who have been waiting for new music – it’s coming. ?????? Also tomorrow, we gotta talk abt Iowa.
While the departure of Rostam came as an unexpected shock to fans, it should reassure them to hear that he plans to still contribute to the band’s work and that Vampire Weekend has a new album in the works. No details beyond what Koenig’s mentioned regarding Mitsubishi Macchiato are available.
In the meantime, check out a solo track recently released by Rotsam, featuring an ambient minimalist rock sound.