Young The Giant Promise Pterodactyls, Hendrix For VMAs

The up-and-coming California band will make sure you know who they are after Sunday night's show.

Young the Giant know you’ve probably got a few questions in the lead up to their performance on this Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards. Like, for example, who the heck are they?

“Yeah,” frontman Sameer Gadhia laughed. “You might not know who we are, but we’re in Hollywood already preparing [for the show], and we’re very, very excited to play for you guys.”

So, yes, while the California quintet are relative unknowns — though, chances are, you’ve heard their hits “My Body” and “Cough Syrup” on rock radio — all that will likely change following Young the Giant’s VMA performance . Which, sort of makes them this year’s version of Florence and the Machine, who rode their bombastic performance at the 2010 show to Stateside success.

“We’re definitely in the Florence slot,” Gadhia said. “We consider it a real honor.”

But that brings us to another question: Just what will that performance entail? Well, from the sound of things, it could be one for the ages … the Mesozoic ages.

“For our VMA performance, [guitarist] Jacob [Tilley] is actually at work, breeding pterodactyls, and he’s prepared for just this one event,” Gadhia smiled. “We’re going to be flying in on pterodactyls. They’re going to do an air show; they’re going to drop us in, fireworks, we’re going to have Jimi Hendrix performing, it’s going to be amazing.”

Seriously. And while we suspect Gadhia was joking (especially since Tilley added “We’re not really doing any gimmicks, it’s just us doing what we do: playing live with lots of energy,”) there’s no debating the fact that their VMA performance is a very big deal for Young the Giant. And for proof, all you have to do is check their schedule, which, until very recently, included high-profile slots at the U.K.’s Reading and Leeds Festivals.

“We canceled Reading and Leeds because of the VMAs,” Gadhia said. “I mean, we always watched them, ever since we were little … and we’re from Los Angeles, so we figured it would be a great opportunity. Hopefully people in the U.K. will forgive us. I know some people are already annoyed.”

The 28th annual MTV Video Music Awards will air live Sunday, August 28, from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles at 9 p.m. ET/PT, following the Selena Gomez-hosted pre-show at 8. See the list of nominees, revisit last year’s highlights and vote for Best New Artist by visiting VMA.MTV.com.