Recently, Vampire Weekend have been spending plenty of time with Steve Buscemi , which sort of makes sense considering a) he’s bassist Chris Baio’s cousin; and b) he’s directing their American Express Unstaged concert on Sunday night.
And though Buscemi has basically bent over backwards to help VW promote the show — doing everything from handing out flyers on the subway to introducing them to NYC mayoral candidates — it turns out his work isn’t done just yet. It seems like he’s taking a hands-on approach to every aspect of the concert … including picking the set list.
“Well that’s up to Steve, primarily,” frontman Ezra Koenig told MTV News. “We’re going to meet up with him, swing by his house for breakfast on Sunday and see what he has to say.”
Of course, no matter what Buscemi suggests, Vampire Weekend plan to use the Amex Unstaged show as a way of road-testing material off their upcoming Modern Vampires of the City album … but fans can also expect to hear plenty of their hits, too. After all, there’s a science to this sort of thing.
“Our personal belief is that we take making our albums so seriously, that there’s part of us that doesn’t want to play every song before people hear the record, because the record is kind of what it’s all about,” Koenig said. “We want to strike that right balance; we just played at Coachella , and I think we did it, we had the right mix of songs from the first two records, new songs that people really got into, and it felt really perfect.”
And, in Buscemi, they thing they’ve found the perfect collaborator … and not just because he’s family, either.
“Other names were bandied about [to direct the livestream], but when Chris found out about the connection, and he suggested it, it made perfect sense; Steve’s from New York, he’s somebody who’s done dramatic stuff, comedic stuff, he fit our vibe in a lot of ways,” Koenig explained. “People are going to get to enjoy the artistry of Steve Buscemi; people should go watch ‘Trees Lounge,’ and then look for the connections.”
Vampire Weekend’s “Unstaged” will be broadcast live from New York City this Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT