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Vampire Weekend's fortunes keep rising

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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With a second chart-topping album and a Grammy Award, it's fair to say Vampire Weekend isn't exactly sucking these days.

The arty New York rock group, formed in 2006 while its members were attending Columbia University, logged its second consecutive No. 1 album with last year's "Modern Vampires of the City," which spawned the alternative rock radio hits "Diane Young" and "Unbelievers." The set also took home the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album and was named the best album of the year by Rolling Stone Magazine, NPR and Pitchfork Media.

Percussionist Chris Tomson says he'll probably have more perspective on this success "three years from now," but certainly he and his three bandmates aren't complaining about their fortunes.

"We're all super-pleased, obviously -- but that's been the case for all three (albums)," says Tomson, 30. "We just want to make the sure the album is as good as we think it can be before it comes out, and luckily for our first three people have responded and seemed to enjoy it in the way we presented it.

"The stuff like (going) No.1, it was cool. That's not what I think we expect, but obviously it was cool in a weird way. It was just one of those things that comes and goes and we've got to get back out there on tour and play shows no matter where it goes."

The group's Grammy experience was also "cool," according to Tomson -- and better than Vampire Weekend's previous experience for 2011's "Contra," and not only because the band won this time.

"Even with the loss for 'Contra,' I think we'd sort of seen how the ceremony worked," Tomson says. "Like, we knew to bring snacks this time, since can't really at for five or six hours...

"But I think that we knew we had a good chance, and our label helped out and there's things they can do. (The trophy) just came in the mail, but I haven't figured out what to do wtih mine yet, so it's just sitting there."

Vampire Weekend -- Tomson, singer-guitarist Ezra Koenig, keyboardist-guitarist Rostam Batmanglij and bassist Chris Baio -- is also starting to contemplate what comes next. Tomson says "Modern Vampires of the City" ends a kind of era for the band. "We sort of wanted to make these first three (albums) some sort of trilogy," he explains. "I think we knew when our first album came out we thought it would be cool if someone bought our three records and put them on a bookshelf, one-two-three, they would look connected and look like something that was part of a continued whole."

Does that mean a dramatically different course for the group's fourth album, then?

"I think it's too early to talk about it," Tomson says. "When you're in the midst of touring, as we've been for the last 16 months, it's really hard to think about conceptualizing something (new). We've talked about very, very umbrella ideas, but I think like the last three it'll take shape as it takes shape.

"I think we'll sort of wait and see how it develops before we decide anything. I wouldn't want to get more specific than that."

Vampire Weekend and Cults perform at 8 p.m. Friday, June 6, at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester Hills. tickets are $50.50 and $36 pavilion, $26 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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