Vampire Weekend Video Sparks Controversy

diane youngIndie rockers and baroque poppers Vampire Weekend have recently pushed back the release date for their third album, titled Modern Vampires of the City, from May 7th to May 14th. While this announcement garnered some negative attention, the band is receiving major criticism over their recent music video for the single “Diane Young.” In this video (for those who haven’t watched it), the single plays with a visual of two 900-series Saab cars burning in slow motion. Hopefully by now the the pun in my title has landed.

The idea for this video comes from the song’s beginning lyric, “You torched a Saab like a pile of leaves.” So, I suppose the video is justified. However, passionate Saab owners are now showing their disgust for the band’s artistic choice (read this short article). These detractors have found out that the cars purchased for the video were “deeply loved by their owners who wanted to see them go to a nice home” and that “the old owners were completely unaware of the cars’ fate.”

Lead singer of the band, Ezra Koenig, has responded with the following apologetic and innocent statement:

“I want people to understand that we do respect cars and the last thing we want to do is to fuck up a collector’s item or something like that. Hopefully people believe me when I say that our record label was trying to purchase the cheapest, oldest cars possible… From what I understand those old ones actually had a lot of electrical problems. If the people selling their cars felt mislead by the production company that bought them… of course if we had been there, if we had been a part of it we would never lie to somebody just to get a car — we could have easily found something else. Stuff like that, we hope that that wasn’t done dishonorably. [Bandmate] Rostam [Batmanglij] especially loves Saabs. When he grew up, his family drove a Saab. Stuff like that, we hope that wasn’t done dishonorably.”

Quite a long and heartfelt message for an issue that effects a small faction; he must feel genuinely bad. We’ll see if the controversy continues or if the auto-lovers forgive the irreverent musicians/arsonists.

By Garren Orr

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