Ezra Koenig Talks New Vampire Weekend LP, Rostam Batmanglij's Exit

Frontman says band has begun work on fourth album, he and multi-instrumentalist will continue to collaborate

Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig said the band is at work on a new record and that he and Rostam Batmanglij will continue to collaborate Credit: Chiaki Nozu/Getty

Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig said the band is at work on their fourth album and confirmed that he and Rostam Batmanglij will continue to collaborate after the multi-instrumentalist announced his departure from the group Tuesday.

In a note on Instagram Koenig wrote, "A couple years ago, Rostam and I sat down at his house & talked abt [sic] 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."

Batmanglij said in his own letter that he and Koenig would continue to work together on future projects and Vampire Weekend songs, but stressed, "My identity as a songwriter and producer, I realized, needs to stand on its own."

Koenig suggested that he and Batmanglij had already begun bouncing ideas off of each other for Vampire Weekend's fourth album, noting, "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."

While details about the new record were otherwise scarce, Koenig said writing and recording is Vampire Weekend's top priority, with more news to come later this year. "There will be a lot of familiar faces in the studio but also some fresh, new ones," he said, before cracking: "Working title is 'Mitsubishi Macchiato'… for obvious reasons."

Batmanglij helped found Vampire Weekend with Koenig, bassist Chris Baio and drummer Chris Tomson while they were students at Columbia University. Koenig and Batmanglij shared primary songwriting duties, while the latter served as producer on the group's three records through 2013's Modern Vampires of the City (which was co-produced with Ariel Rechtshaid).

During his tenure with Vampire Weekend, Batmanglij released a handful of solo songs and just a few weeks ago shared a new one, "EOS." He's also worked as a songwriter and producer for other artists including the Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser, Charli XCX and Carly Rae Jepsen.