Brooklyn-based rockers MGMT may not have been headlining the Virgin Fest with Oasis and Foo Fighters, but the duo was among the main attractions. Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden are still riding on the success of their debut album Oracular Spectacular released early this year. The album’s lead single “Time to Pretend” brought the breakthrough artists to new heights when the song received rave reviews and prominent spots in the blockbuster film 21, TV’s Gossip Girl and recently the pilot episode of the new 90210.
The young men’s success fueled their current world tour and Toronto counted itself lucky to be part of their flight plan.
Ben managed to take the time to talk about their success and dealing with fame.
Are you surprised by the crowds MGMT has drawn in from around the world?
I’m always surprised to find out that people know about our band, especially in a country that we have never been to before. Our album isn’t even out yet in some places like Brazil, Australia and Japan.
Your tour just brought you to Japan. Now you know you’ve really made it when you’re big in Japan!
Yeah! That’s something we joked about, being big in Japan. It is something a lot of musicians talk about. It’s like a milestone. We’re really excited.
Do you remember what it’s like to have spare time?
Spare time is a foreign concept to me right now. But when I have spare time, I get anxious and I don’t know what to do with myself. We’ll be really busy until the end of this year, but we’ll stop in mid December for the holidays and then take three months or so to write and record demos for our next album.
What is one thing about fame that you had trouble getting acquainted with?
I remember the first couple times that we went to Europe We had no idea how to deal with jetlag we were in a zombie state for a lot longer than we should have been. We slept all day and couldn’t sleep at night. We realized we have to take a couple days off and not do anything.
Are there any misconceptions about MGMT that have developed along the way?
People seem to think there is some mysterious side to MGMT. We’re just regular guys who love music.
You should realize that there’s not much depth to us.
How do you keep you feet on the ground with all the hype surrounding your music?
It’s simple.We kind of exist in a vacuum and we want to stay the same as we’ve always been. I still get weirded out by fame.
Like the Converse ad campaign that we’re in. I was walking down these stairs in the New York subway and I looked up staring myself straight in the face!
And still I don’t really feel like a rockstar. We’re just normal guys and always will be.