Vampire Weekend Apologizes For Being Saab-Burning Dicks

Saab-o-philes of the Internet: Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig wants you to know that he's sorry. He's sorry that his music video, which featured two burning Saab 900s that were much-beloved by their former owners, offended you so much. He says if he had his way, the band would have taken baseball bats to a vintage Bugatti instead. Wait, what?

Koenig gave an interview to the Vancouver Sun in which he acknowledged the controversy behind the "Diane Young" video and said he didn't intend to offend anyone. And he's glad he didn't go with his original plan:

“I hate the idea of upsetting anybody,” Koenig said. “It’s a good thing we didn’t torch a vintage Bugatti. I wanted to buy a $600,000 vintage Bugatti and destroy it with baseball bats. But the label just wouldn’t pony up the money. Given the reaction (to the burning of the Saabs), I’m really glad we didn’t do that.


You should be, Ezra. If you had taken baseball bats to a vintage Bugatti, the backlash over this would have been about a thousand times worse. There were plenty of people who were all like "Who cares, it's just an old Saab?" but if you destroyed an old-school Bugatti, someone may have Sirhan Sirhan'd your ass.

Couldn't you guys have trashed an old Saturn or something instead? No one would have given a shit about a Saturn. Or a newer Bugatti Veyron. I know a guy who says he can get you a great replica on the cheap.

Anyway, after his original, far-more-awful plan fell through, Koenig shifted blame onto the video's production company:

We hired the production company and gave them the basic idea and let them do their thing. We told them, ‘Find some old Saabs and light ‘em up.’ But I hope everybody understands we were trying to find the oldest, cheapest ones possible. From what I’ve heard, people are upset because maybe the production company misled the persons that were selling them. I hate the idea that somebody would not know the actual fate (of the cars). Unfortunately, it was nothing we were actually involved in. I just want to get to the bottom of it.”


Well, Ezra, thanks for doing the stand-up thing and apologizing. I'm sure the Saabistas will find it in their hearts to forgive you someday. In the meantime, stay away from priceless vintage French supercars, please.

UPDATE: There's even more from Koenig over at music website Spinner, which also showed up on Pitchfork. Controversy!

"I want people to understand that we do respect cars and the last thing we want to do is to fuck up a collector's item or something like that", frontman Ezra Koenig told Spinner. "Hopefully people believe me when I say that our record label was trying to purchase the cheapest, oldest cars possible... From what I understand those old ones actually had a lot of electrical problems."

He continued, "If the people selling their cars felt mislead by the production company that bought them... of course if we had been there, if we had been a part of it we would never lie to somebody just to get a car — we could have easily found something else. Stuff like that, we hope that that wasn't done dishonorably."

"[Bandmate] Rostam [Batmanglij] especially loves Saabs," Koenig added. "When he grew up, his family drove a Saab. "Stuff like that, we hope that wasn't done dishonorably."


Hat tip to Francois Marchand!

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As someone who has bought multipl. Cars with the explicit purpose of destroying them, I will be totally honest here (and probably anger some people in the process):

if someone is selling a car, their sentimental attachment to it means approximately dick. I listened to one guy ramble in about the history of a pinto I bought from him, all the memories he its from it, right before he took my 400 bucks and I took the car, which survived barely four hours in my hands. An old beater Saab, like an old beater pinto, is not a collectors item. If it was so special, the owners should Have kept it. I sold my mustang, which I spent several years building, to a guy who totaled it the next day. Did I complain? No, because I had his cash, and cash was what I wanted when I listed the damn thing for sale. If someone wants to torch a couple cheap saabs for the amusement of themselves and others, as long as they paid a fair price for them, I say Godspeed.