Ritual Dance: Rostam Batmanglij, Vampire Weekend

As told to: Alexis Swerdloff

Vampire Weekend are bringing preppy back. Their punky anthems recall any island off New England to which you must take a ferry, and where you then must drink gin gimlets and meet girls who like horses. Since their self-titled debut dropped in 2008, these Columbia grads have found themselves on Saturday Night Live, numerous magazine covers and have acquired a near rabid following. They tour Europe and Asia while making some U.S. outdoor festival pit-stops this summer.

We're OK with people being backstage before we go on. For us, there aren't that many rituals in that sense. However, if we ever had to drive through the night when we're on tour, and if the sun is rising as we are driving, we have to play The Killers. There is something so grandiose about their music, especially their songs "Read My Mind" or "When You Were Young." And if you have to match the sunrise, match it with something epic. One time we were trying to find a hotel in Wyoming, but there was an oil rush going on and migrant workers had come to work for the oil boom, so there were no rooms available. We had to drive through the night to Denver and as we were approaching Denver, the sun was rising, we knew we'd find a hotel room and The Killers were on.

Photograph by Steven Brahms

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