Brooklyn Heights Resident Andrew VanWyngarden of MGMT Talks New Album with New York Times

Brooklyn Heights resident/hipster God Andrew VanWyngarden of the band MGMT discusses with the New York Times the band’s new album, “Congratulations”, which “drops” this Tuesday. You can preview the album for free now on their website.

NY Times: “I’m a very stressed-out person,” Mr. VanWyngarden said, picking at a salad at a restaurant in Brooklyn Heights, where he lives. “I just can’t relax. I haven’t been able to in what seems like years now.”

Mr. Goldwasser nodded sympathetically. So much for youthful exuberance; instead, there is self-doubt. “It’s like the only songs we have that have really been noticed on widespread levels are songs that we wrote in college,” he fretted.

Mr. VanWyngarden piled on. “We should really be listening to, like, the masses,” he said, “instead of making an album that no one is going to like.”

That new album, “Congratulations,” to be released Tuesday on Columbia/Sony, is mostly a departure from “Oracular Spectacular” — nine tracks of sprawling psychedelia and little feel-good dance pop. The synths are there but layered beneath other instrumentation. It’s not singles driven; the trippy-folkie centerfold song lasts 12 minutes. Even before the album leaked in mid-March, it was a highly anticipated release. But it didn’t sound anything like anyone expected, and Mr. VanWyngarden and Mr. Goldwasser knew it.

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  • alexa

    Its okay, i love the album anyways.(:
    and i love MGMT!

    keep making great music, don’t let the “KE$SHAs” and “Gagas” take over, or my ears will explode!


  • AEB

    Ah, the travails of being in one’s (early, it appears) twenties and a (sorta) celeb! The STRESS! The responsibilities imposed by MONEY!

    Methinks this guy needs to…be very, very still. At least offstage.

  • Adam


    you have no idea what you are talking about. You probably wouldn’t make it through one national tour, let alone world. This is one of the most stressful lifestyles there is, I can tell you from experience, and it’s not as glamorous and easy as people who have no idea what they are talking about think it is. Had you had a clue about how the music industry and being on a touring band works, you’d know that artists these days are mostly profiting from revenue made on the road, meaning artists are required to live on the road more and more to stay financially afloat. MGMT got a good advance for their albums but have not recouped that money through album sales, so they are one of these bands.

  • The Where

    Adam are you a stand up comic? You should be!

  • Banivas.

    I feel as if Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser worry a bit too much. I mean, yes, certainly, most people who listen to MGMT only know a certain song off of “Oracular Spectacular”, or they’re just a little obsessed with songs like “Kids” or “Time to Pretend”. But I honestly think they should take more pride in “Congratulations”. The album, although different from “Oracular Spectacular” is amazingly distinct, in a very good way. It almost feels as if they’ve grown, and they’re nurturing their sound. To say that they should have listened to the masses instead of writing an album that no one is going to like, slightly saddens me. “Congratulations” is amazing. There aren’t many other words that can describe it, or can describe MGMT. I wish I could thank them for writing the album, for sharing it with the world, even though some overlook it. If anything, MGMT fans should continue to support them and their decisions to think, write, and play differently. Nothing ever stays the same and everything changes. They’ve obviously gone through a few changes, but they might just be for the better. Last night (August 18th) I was at Radio City Music Hall, at their sold out show. I truly can’t recall a time where I had been so anxious, and yet strangely happy to be there. They performed every song I had ever imagined they would, and I loved each one. They also played “Siberian Breaks”, that although long and confusing to some of the other attendees, seemed to make MGMT pretty content to perform it. Andrew actually remarked about how long a song it was, but that they liked it anyway. I hope they can take that sort of pride and optimism and apply it to any song they doubt. They’re still remarkable, and I know they’re going to continue to grow and change.Still, thanks for writing “Congratulations” and for pushing forward even when stuck in self-doubt.