After nearly a decade of playing with Vampire Weekend, Rostam Batmanglij has announced his departure from the band.
The songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist broke the news on his Twitter account this afternoon. “My identity as a songwriter + producer, I realized, needs to stand on its own,” he wrote. “Still connected to the ppl I work with, but through the songs we make together.”
He continued: “I can’t even begin to express the joy I get from writing songs, both on my own + with others, I hold it all sacred. There is so much amazing music — all of it dear to me — on its way to you. It’s an exciting time. And I feel lucky to share it with you.” Batmanglij does note that, while not an official member of VW, he will still “continue to collaborate on future projects + future VW songs.”
Read his full post below.
Update – Tuesday, January 26th at 5:00 p.m. CT: Frontman Ezra Koenig has addressed Batmanglij’s departure in an Instagram posting. “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.”
Koenig went on to add that work is underway on Vampire Weekend’s new album. “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.
Batmanglij has been a vital member of Vampire Weekend since the indie rock group’s formation at New York’s Columbia University in 2006. Between VW albums, however, he’s kept busy with countless side projects, including Discovery, his venture with Ra Ra Riot’s Wesley Miles, and production duties for the likes of Charli XCX, Wavves and Cloud Nothings, and Carly Rae Jepsen. He also reportedly has a hand in forthcoming LPs from HAIM and Ra Ra Riot.
Earlier this month, Batmanglij shared his excellent new solo single “EOS”; revisit that below.