By Conor Bezane
Wednesday night on the spooky set of “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” — the fourth video from Vampire Weekend’s self-titled debut — the witching hour was upon us. And the MTV News crew was getting restless. As anyone who works in the entertainment business can attest to, being on the set of a music video can be like watching grass grow.
At the lovely Jersey Shore town of Sea Girt, the scene we were invited to witness took place on a private beach on the grounds of the New Jersey National Guard Training Center. We threw down a beach blanket and waited while the guys finished up a photo shoot for an upcoming NME cover story. Meanwhile, the director and crew began the arduous process of lugging equipment onto the beach to set up the shot.
The previous night, they shot a party scene at a fancy beach house in the nearby town of Spring Lake. According to the band, the treatment for the video was inspired by ’80s John Hughes movies.
After hanging out for a couple of hours while the film crew waited for the sun to go down, we finally decided to take a break for dinner. John Norris, as always, was bummed out at the lack of vegan options, but he still managed to order a salad at the Irish Pub down the road.
Upon returning to the set, we witnessed a total transformation. For the performance portion of the video, the beach was decked out with upside-down crosses and a bonfire. Vampire Weekend are famous for their preppy, Ivy League image, but for this video, the guys donned heavy eyeliner and dark makeup, finally living up to their name. Ezra wore a bushy brunette wig in a hairstyle similar to Robert Smith of the Cure.
We kept hoping they would light the bonfire while we were there, but I’m guessing it didn’t happen until 1 a.m. or later. With an hour-and-a-half drive back to New York, it just wasn’t in the cards. Oh well.
Check out John Norris’ report from the video set. Also, here are some more images from our visit.