Interview: Chris Baio of Vampire Weekend

We’re pretty obsessed with schools in Singapore. You guys went to Columbia. Has that helped or hindered your career?
Definitely helped: in the sense that we met each other at school. There’d be no band if we’d never met one other. Also, New York City is a great place to play music, so Columbia was definitely a positive thing.

When are you most productive?
I find I’m most productive early-ish in the morning while drinking my second cup of coffee of the day. Coffee definitely inspires me. As do my bandmates.

When did you realize you wanted a career in music?
Probably from the time I was nine years old or so. To be honest, when I was in college I wasn’t sure I wanted to pursue that path anymore, but when Vampire Weekend started I felt strongly that it was the only thing I wanted in the world.

What’s your work process like?
It depends on the song, there are never any rules. Ezra Koenig and Rostam Batmanglij are the songwriters in the group so sometimes a track will start with them writing on a piano or in front of a computer. At different points, drummer Chris Tomson and I will make suggestions and bring some arrangement ideas in. On our new record, we worked with an outside producer for the first time, the mighty Ariel Rechtshaid.

What can fans expect of your next album?
Our next record is darker than anything we’ve done previously, but also has some real pop moments. Listening back, it also feels like our warmest record to me.

What drew you to the Big Night Out?
We performed in Singapore for the first time a little over two years ago and had a great show. All the bands in the line up are great too. I have a soft spot in my heart for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Last time I saw them was at Radio City Music Hall in 2009 and they were fantastic.

Vampire Weekend performs at Big Night Out 2013 on January 30 at Fort Canning Park.