Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend) Talks Drake’s Nothing Was the Same

The title of Drake’s third album is Nothing Was the Same. Surely, this is one of the most aptly named albums of the year because on this...

Rating: 10 outta 10

The title of Drake’s third album is Nothing Was the Same. Surely, this is one of the most aptly named albums of the year because on this outing Drake shows us an entirely different side of himself. The album cover (worth the price of admission alone!) lets the listener know that…

I gotta be honest — I didn’t listen to the whole thing. Obviously, it’s good. You think a Canadian child actor would be this successful as a rapper if he wasn’t good? The dude was sitting on 25 mil at age 25! (I would love to see some documentation on that, by the way. I’m not saying he didn’t have 25 mil, I’m just saying some of that was probably real estate and maybe like potential earnings from complicated endorsement deals.) People love him because he’s good! He gets 10 outta 10, OK?

I have heard SOME of it. I heard that one called “Worst Behaviour,” the “motherfuckers never loved us” one – it really struck a chord. There are SO many motherfuckers out there. I’ve been making music since I was seven years old (started with piano) so I’ve been betrayed more times than I can count. You know how many people talk shit behind your back and then try to be your best friend over the course of 22 years in the industry?? Drake only got into music like five years ago, so if you see how angry he is — IMAGINE HOW I FEEL.

Now, usually I can forgive but I won’t forget. However, there are some cases where I can forgive but I won’t forget OR forgive.

I remember in early 2007 we were opening for this Danish band in Portland. We introduced ourselves after soundcheck. Later in the evening, one of their amps stopped working and their tour manager asked if they could borrow mine. I said ABSOLUTELY, NO PROBLEM.

After the show, I told the singer, Hans, that they sounded great. He said he really liked our set too. Then we talked about how we both LOVED this one Animal Collective song. He said his band was playing in New York in a few months and he would DEFINITELY hit me up when they got into town.

Months later, I’m at home in NYC reading some blogs on my iPad. (Haha nope, it was a Dell desktop computer. Remember this was 2007… motherfucker. GOTCHA.) Oh, look at this — my Danish “friends” are playing tomorrow. Nice! I like those guys.

Next morning, I check my phone. Lots of texts and e-mails from various friends and business associates A$ U$UAL but, curiously, no word from Hans. Later that afternoon, I check my e-mail again. NOT A WORD. I check Facebook. NOT A POKE. I check fucking MYSPACE. NOT A GODDAMN NEW MESSAGE. (I should point out that Hans’ band was in our Top 8 at the time.)

I’m starting to get tight so I call Iggy Azalea. (Oh, Iggy Azalea wasn’t around in 2007? Hmm so I guess she was born in 2008? She’s FIVE YEARS OLD? GO FUCK YOURSELF… motherfucker.) She helps me to cool off. She reminds me that touring is tough and Hans is probably overwhelmed. Maybe I should reach out to him.


“Hans, what’s up dude? I see you’re in New York. Have time for a drink? Also I’d love to come to the show. I see it’s sold out.”

I send the text and feel relieved but after 20 minutes, I start feeling fucking weird again. WHY HASN’T HE RESPONDED?

Maybe his Danish phone doesn’t work so well in America? YEAH, TOTALLY. That’s probably it.

OK, I’ll just hit up my friend who works at the Bowery Ballroom to get on the list. NICE. A PLUS ONE? DON’T MIND IF I DO.

I invite Panda Bear to roll with me. He says “SURE. THANKS FOR INVITING ME. DON’t MIND IF I DO.”

OK, the night’s starting to look pretty good. I start picking out an outfit to wear. My wife helps me look through my closet because I am colorblind.

Why did I invite Panda Bear and not my wife? Fair question. Our son was only two months old at the time, so she didn’t want to leave him with a babysitter. Also, all u eagle-eyed readers might remember that Hans and I bonded over a shared predilection for a certain song by a certain band — that’s right, motherfuckers, the one and only ANIMAL COLLECTIVE.

So I’m picking out my outfit when I hear a buzzing sound — OMG I’M GETTING A TEXT. I run upstairs PRAYING it’s from Hans but… it’s just Panda Bear again. His friend from college, Nathan, is in town. Can I get an extra plus on the list?

FINE. I make it happen.


Me, Panda and Nathan are walking to the show after getting some BBQ in the East Village (NOT MY IDEA). Panda and Nathan won’t stop talking about guys from their college frat. I smile and pretend to follow their rando stories. They keep saying “Oh, this is probably so boring for you. You don’t know anyone from our college.” BUT THEN THEY JUST KEEP ON REMINISCING.

Also, the FIRST thing Nathan said to me was “Where’s the nearest ATM?” Fucking weirdo.

We get to the Bowery Ballroom right as they’re playing their first song. I gotta be honest: they slayed. Hans’ voice sounded really pure. His pitch was great. Also, the bassist had a grunge-y flannel shirt wrapped around his waist. I remember thinking “Good call, dude!” This was 2007, motherfucker.

The band played their encore, the crowd went mental and we headed backstage to say hi. The security guy stopped us and said our passes didn’t give us AAA. OK, LEMME JUST SHOOT HANS A QUICK TEXT.

“AMAZING show man!! I’m downstairs with Panda and his random-ass friend from college. Can we come say hi? Wanna get a drink?”

As I’m waiting for a reply from Hans, Panda says he wants to go say hi to Daniel Bearman from Grizzly Bear at the bar. I didn’t really know Daniel at the time so I stayed put.

OK, now it’s just me and NATHAN standing there like FUCKING LOSERS.

I ask him if he liked the show. He says it was cool and then starts telling me this completely unrelated story about how his cousin plays cello and takes beta-blockers before big auditions.

YIKES, just hit my word count limit. Thanks for listening. FUCK HANS. Panda, you’re cool. Nathan, I’m sorry I didn’t give you more of a chance. You died WAY too young. To my ex-wife, I will never stop loving you. My failure to save our marriage haunts me to this day. I hope you and our son are enjoying life in Atlanta.