Vampire Weekend’s Rostam reveals behind-the-scenes info on band’s second album ‘Contra’

Rostam goes into detail about his inspirations, the album cover and the outtakes

2017 marks seven years since Vampire Weekend‘s ‘Contra’ leaked onto the internet. Former band member Rostam Batmanglij held a Twitter AMA yesterday (Jan 6) to answer questions about the album.

Upon its release, NME described ‘Contra’ as Vampire Weekend escaping “their collegiate niche without sacrificing their true essence. Two more years, and they can do it all over again. No problem.”

During the Twitter Q&A, Rostam went into detail about his inspirations, which included M.I.A., Bach, and Chopin; the album cover, and the outtakes. He also reveals that the band recorded a version of ‘Hannah Hunt’. You can see some of his answers below.



Last month, it was revealed that Rostam scored his brother’s new Netflix show The OA. It debuted on the streaming service on December 16.

Starring Brit Marling, it was also co-written by Marling alongside her frequent collaborator Zal Batmanglij – the brother of Rostam Batmanglij. Rostam composed the score with Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans.

Speaking on Rostam’s song ‘Wood’ and its influence on her writing, Marling said, “This story touches a lot of dark places, but ultimately reaches for something very bright and expansive. Sometimes while I was working on the character in my imagination, I would listen to Rostam’s song, and it would remind me of that dazzle.”

Earlier in 2016, Rostam shared two new songs on US radio. While appearing on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic show, the musician premiered a new solo track called ‘Gwan’ and another track taken from his forthcoming collaborative album with The Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser.

Batmanglij also clarified what his future involvement with Vampire Weekend will be after quitting the New York band.

Posting a statement to Twitter in January, Batmanglij said that while he was “no longer a member” of the group, he would still “continue to collaborate on future projects” and “future Vampire Weekend songs” with frontman Ezra Koenig.

“There are no clear lines drawn about what the future holds,” he explained. “For me, it meant [being] open to doing stuff with Vampire Weekend, open to doing stuff on my own, to doing stuff with other people.

“I can’t tell you exactly what’s going to happen in the future, and for me, that’s something that felt necessary to do.”