You could say Vampire Weekend has experienced a unique trajectory since the release of their saturated and beloved third LP Modern Vampires of the City. Since that record dropped in 2014, founding band member Rostam Batmanglij departed to focus on other music projects, Vampire Weekend became a campaigning tool for Bernie Sanders’ presidential candidacy, and Ezra Koenig now has his own Beats 1 Radio Show called Time Crisis, which carries all of Koenig’s wry, aggregated personality.
Oh, and Koenig debuted the Netflix anime project Neo Yokio this month. The anime features Jaden Smith as Kaz Kaan, Neo Yokio’s demon-hunting, fashionable bachelor who shares a similar DNA with Hamlet. While working on Neo Yokio Koenig—who strongly calls New York home—lived in Los Angeles, familiarizing himself with the city’s finest edibles.
As he told Rolling Stone in a recent interview, Koenig needed this breather before producing Vampire Weekend’s much-anticipated fourth album, which has the working title of Mitsubishi Macchiato. “[A]fter this period of smoking weed and making cartoons, I came back fresh. Back to chapter four, feeling renewed,” he said.
Related Story: 5 Moments Tom Petty Showed His Love For Marijuana
Expectedly, Koenig was cagey when discussing what the new record will sound like with all the changes within the band, whom apparently have brought guitarist Steve Lacey into the mix. He did explain the marked shift between the new change in approach from Vampire Weekend’s first three albums.
I don’t want to say too much about the sound, but this is the first album I’ll be making in my thirties, and when a band gets to their fourth album, it’s a lot like hitting your thirties and figuring out how to dress: You might love seeing the newest sweatshirt collabs from some brands you like, but at some point you pull it over your head and look in the mirror, like, “Hm. This doesn’t make sense anymore.”
Currently the record is about 80 percent done. While Koenig admitted he does “miss New York, it’s been cool to learn more about L.A. All the varieties of edibles, all sorts of stuff,” he said, with a laugh.