How do you correctly pronounce your last name?

  • Rostam Batmanglij: If you want to do it up right you would say: BOTT - MONN - GHEL - EECH. The 'gh' is a sound you don't have in English, it's similar to the R in French because it comes from the back of the throat. In the 80s my parents simplified the spelling of our name, and I'm grateful for that. Any considered attempt at a phonetic pronunciation of "Batmanglij" is cool with me.

Was coming out publicly as gay ever a real dilemma for you?

  • Rostam Batmanglij: Not so much whether or not to do it— my mind was made up on that for a long time: pretty much from the beginning of going out on tour in 2007. But when and what context would make the most sense in terms of press-- that was certainly something I thought about.

You told Out Magazine that you intended Discovery's song “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” to be a gay anthem. Can we expect any gay themed songs in an upcoming Vampire Weekend album?

  • Rostam Batmanglij: Well there's Diplomat's Son on Contra. Who knows what the future holds. I have started working on a song about a boy named Rudy. I get a feeling his story needs to be told over the course of a bunch of songs. I'm not sure if they'll exist in VW world or what.

How did Discovery, your side project with Ra Ra Riot's frontman Wes Miles, begin?

  • Rostam Batmanglij: Wes and I started making music together one summer. He approached me because we'd met through Ezra. Wes was working as a kayaking instructor, I was interning at the OED. Over the course of that year I had been getting interested in this genre Crunk and at the end of my internship I actually ended up defining that word for the dictionary. If you look it up it should be credited to RXB2005, "x" because I don't have a middle name. I downloaded a collection of 808 drum machine samples and I taught myself how to build the kind of synth sounds that I was hearing in Lil Jon's music. I was curious to see if I could write pop songs for myself to sing that were using the template of crunk as a starting point. At the same time I had this idea of producing a solo EP for Wes that would be called "My Name is Wesley"-- each song would feel like it came out of a different decade. By the next summer we found ourselves committed to our respective bands so it made sense to pool our resources and cross pollinate the two projects, out of that came Discovery. So Insane was supposed to have a 70s vibe. Can You Discover? was at one point a surfy, sixties love song. These songs went through different phases and revisions. Our roles reversed when it came time for me to record vocals, Wes was serving as my producer. And in the end some songs have us trading vocals back and forth.