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Interview:
MGMT's confidence grew on third album
 

By GARY GRAFF
@GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Ben Goldwasser doesn't like to use the word "mature" when he talks about MGMT's self-titled third album.

In fact, he feels it's just the opposite.

"I think we're just more confident in what we do and we feel better at pulling it off," says Goldwasser, 30, who formed the Connecticut-based group with musical partner Andrew VanWyngarden in 2002, when both were attending Wesleyan University. "I think in a lot of ways we've gotten back to the kind of playful attitude we had when we started the band. People have such rigid expectations when it comes to popular music, but I think we're getting better at shutting out a lot of the chatter and expectations that are put on us and not think about them too much.

"So this time we weren't really thinking too hard about who our audience was or what that meant for us or anything like that. We just thought it was good music and honest music and felt different than what's out there. And we had a lot of fun making it."

"MGMT" follows the duo's sophomore album, "Congratulations," by three years, and Goldwasser says he and VanWyngarten took advantage of the time to work on other projects and also play some unique gigs with MGMT, including a special show at the Guggenheim Museum in New York that he feels helped. The time, meanwhile, helped the two hone the material they were working on for "MGMT."

"As we were editing and mixing the songs, every time we listened to them they changed, and I think it was really cool not to try to impose too many of our ideas on what the song should be" Goldwasser explains. "We were meticulous about letting you hear what was going on, but at the same time there were a lot of things you'd call mistakes that we left in there. That keeps it exciting for us.

"I still enjoy listening to (the album). It's really the first time we finished something and I was actually still really into it. I wasn't sick of hearing it over and over again, which hasn't always been the case."

MGMT and Kuroma perform Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25-$45. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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