This exclusive Vampire Weekend interview was conducted by The Future Tense as part of the ON/OFF project.
Each artist was asked the same series of questions relating to the live music experience, before being photographed just before and again immediately after performing.
Band: Vampire Weekend
Interviewee: Chris Tomson (drummer)
Venue: Alexandra Palace, London
Date: December 4th 2010
What is your most memorable live moment as a fan?
The most special concert was my second ever concert when I was 10 and my father took me to see Tom Petty at Madison Square Garden. Besides just being a memorable performance there’s the whole experience around live music of going to see artists with people you are close with and sharing that common passion.
What is your most memorable live moment as a performer?
I have a couple of places I really like playing, but a recent memorable one was headlining Super Bock Super Rock in Portugal. The amount of energy from the crowd that day was insane. It was very dry and there was a huge amount of dust kicking up from people jumping up and down, and it just reminded me of being 16 and going to Punk festivals. I think with vampire weekend our performances are generally pretty reliable and consistent, and for me the audience engagement makes a huge difference to me as a performer.
Have you had any disasters on stage?
Well you’re obviously very reliant on your gear on stage, and there have been many times that bits of kit has gone wrong and left us standing on stage looking like idiots.
Do you have any live performance aspirations?
I’d like to play Eastern Europe. I studied Russian in college and spent some time in Saint Petersburg, but I would love to go there as a musician and play there as an artist.
Any pre/post performance rituals?
I do a lot of ankle roles and stretch my legs out. I think there are a lot of commonalities with being a professional musician and an athlete – it’s important to treat your body right when you’re performing.
A full list of featured artists and interviews can be found here.
Dates: 2009 to 2014
Photographer: Tom Oldham
Curator: Ed Bartlett (The Future Tense)
Featured Artists: Arctic Monkeys, Basement Jaxx, Beady Eye, Beth Ditto, Chase & Status, CSS, Duran Duran, Editors, Ed Sheeran, Elbow, Faithless, Flying Lotus, Friendly Fires, Grimes, Janelle Monae, Jessie J, The Kills, Labrinth, Lana del Rey, Lykke Li, MIA, Muse, My Chemical Romance, Mystery Jets, Paul Weller, Plan B, Primal Scream, Prodigy, Pulled Apart by Horses, Rizzle Kicks, Rudimental, Snoop Dogg, Suede, Swedish House Mafia, Take That, Tinie Tempah, The Vaccines, Warpaint.
Partners: War Child, Pledge Music