After nearly a decade of playing with Vampire Weekend, Rostam Batmanglij has announced he is leaving the band.
The songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist announced the news on Twitter this afternoon, writing, “My identity as a songwriter + producer, I realized, needs to stand on its own.” He added that he’ll “continue to collaborate on future projects” with Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig, as well as new songs with the band.
Batmanglij has played guitar and keyboard for Vampire Weekend since co-founding the band at New York’s Columbia University in 2006. He’s also been one of its most important creative forces, having single-handedly produced VW’s 2008 self-titled debut album, as well as its 2010 follow-up, Contra. He split production duties with Ariel Rechtshaid on the band’s latest album, 2013’s Modern Vampires Of The City.
Aside from Vampire Weekend, Batmanglij has written and produced tracks for a growing number of artists, including Charli XCX, Carly Rae Jepsen and Ra Ra Riot. Earlier this month, he released a solo song called “EOS” via XL Recordings.
In a recent interview with Pitchfork, Batmanglij hinted at his desire to focus on production, saying, “I understand the idea of me being ‘a dude in a band,’ because people got to know me through Vampire Weekend, but it has caused a lot of frustration for me because I came from a different place from the get-go. Even though I’ve been making electronic music since I was 14, it’s hard for people to see you as a producer with a musical identity when you’re contextualized in a band that performs on a stage.”