Vampire Weekend Poster

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The band members met while enrolled at Columbia University, beginning with a rap collaboration between Koenig and Tomson named "L'Homme Run". They bonded over a shared love of punk rock and African music. Koenig toured with The Dirty Projectors during a period of experimentation with African music, inspiring the band to incorporate world sounds into their earliest work. The band chose the name "Vampire Weekend" from the title of a short film project Koenig worked on during the summer between freshman and sophomore years in college. While home for the summer, Koenig watched the 1987 vampire film The Lost Boys and was inspired to make a Northeastern version of the film in which a man named Walcott travels to Cape Cod to warn the mayor that vampires are attacking the United States. Koenig abandoned the project after two days. The band began playing shows around Columbia University, starting with a battle of the bands at Lerner Hall in 2006. After graduating from college, the band self-produced their debut album while simultaneously working full-time jobs, Tomson as a music archivist and Koenig as a middle school English teacher.