Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig regrets the band’s decision to dress like prep school kids in their early days.
The indie rockers burst on to the scene in 2008, gaining raving reviews for their self-titled debut album, which they then followed up with two U.S. number one records before going on hiatus in 2014.
However, the group’s background as students at the Ivy League Columbia University caused some to write them off as over-privileged, and Ezra, who shares a daughter with his actress girlfriend Rashida Jones, regrets playing up their wealthy image.
“I thought the idea of this preppy band was funny,” he tells Britain’s NME magazine. “It wasn’t how I dressed all the time, but it was something funny that felt playful to me, and not everybody got the joke,.”
The Sunflower hitmaker says that the band’s early look still dogs him to this day, as writers still cite them as an example of indie rock’s class issues.
“You still have people writing these wild articles about how we were ‘the most privileged white band on the planet’,” he explains. “But if you were listening to indie-rock in the mid-2000s, you can objectively say that we’d be tied with about 30 other bands being ‘privileged’. You just can’t get hung up on misconceptions.”