Guess who else wasn’t expecting Brooklyn psych-pop act MGMT to receive multiple Grammy nominations on Wednesday night? “I was going to watch the nomination-announcement concert thing just for fun,” MGMT singer Andrew VanWyngarden (pictured, left) tells the Music Mix. “It was a complete surprise. I freaked out!” We chatted with VanWyngarden this afternoon about the band’s Grammy prospects, the new album they plan to release in late spring 2010, and working (or not) with the likes of Kid Cudi, Jay-Z, Paul McCartney, Brian Eno, and avant-garde German film director Werner Herzog.
EW: In the Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals category of the Grammys, your song “Kids” is up against artists like the Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, and Hall & Oates. Do you think you have a shot at winning?
ANDREW VANWYNGARDEN: My instinct would tell me that Black Eyed Peas will probably sweep everything. Even at the nomination ceremony, every camera shot was Black Eyed Peas; every go-to-commercial music was Black Eyed Peas. They, like, own the Grammys. But maybe some people will want to vote for the underdog or some music that’s a little left of center, as they say. I like how we have a video for “Kids” that’s got these crazy monsters terrorizing a toddler and an animated ending with everything coming out of a woman’s vagina in space. I don’t think the Black Eyed Peas have that going for them.
The other category you’re up for is Best New Artist. You’re probably a little more in touch with the up-and-coming music scene than a lot of Grammy voters—
You’d be surprised.
If you had to pick a Best New Artist, who would it be?
All the bands that I think are “new” aren’t new. It would be cool if a band like Beach House or Grizzly Bear got some recognition. But I don’t know.