MGMT

  • Indie/Synth rock band formed in 2002 from Middletown Connecticut. It is headed by Andrew VanWyngarden (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion, bass guitar, drums) and Ben Goldwasser (vocals, keyboards, guitars, percussion). For live performances, they add Will Berman (drums), Simon O’Connor (bass guitar, backing vocals), and James Richardson (lead guitar, keyboards, vocals).
  • Goldwasser and VanWyngarden started the band while in college. Their debut together was at a party in a dormitory where they played the theme song to Ghostbusters over and over again. They experimented with different styles, and settled on psychedelic pop rock. After college, they moved to New York and began touring, opening for the indie pop band Of Montreal. They called themselves The Management, and they recorded 2 demo albums using this name. They discovered that another band was using this name, so they changed their name to MGMT.
  • In 2005, they signed with an independent record label and they released an EP, named Time To Pretend. Prior to this, 1 of their demo tapes, called Climbing To New Lows, was leaked to the internet, so effectively it became their debut music release. On both releases, the songs were full of catchy synthesizer-based pop music, which soon became attractive to national record labels.
  • By autumn of 2006 they were signed by Colombia Records, and they recorded their debut album, Oracular Spectacular. The album was a modest success, reaching #38 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and #8 in the UK. It included 2 singles of note – Kids reached #9 on the Alternative Music chart and sold over 1 million downloads, received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Performance, and Electric Feel, while less successful, became noted for a remix by electronic duo Justice, who won a Grammy award for his 2009 remix of the song.
  • Over the next several years, MGMT toured in Europe, Australia and the U.S. with several acts, increasing their exposure. In 2009, they opened for Paul McCartney for 2 concerts at Fenway Park in Boston. In 2010, they released their second album, Congratulations. The record moved away somewhat from the synth sound of their earlier work – this album was more guitar driven, psychedelic rock. It was their highest charting album, reaching #2 in the U.S. Four singles were released – none of them charted, but at this point their interest was to perform live shows. In 2010, they performed on Saturday Night Live, The Late Show With David Letterman, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and they performed their largest live concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater.
  • In 2013, they released MGMT. It reached #14 on the Billboard 200 chart, and #2 on the Top Alternative Albums chart. The singles Alien Days and Your Life Is a Lie were popular with their fans. Rolling Stone put Your Life Is a Lie on their list of the 100 best songs of 2013, while Alien Days was released on cassette tape with download card as part of Record Store Day in 2013.
  • After taking a break in 2015, the band returned to touring in 2016, and started working on a new studio album. MGMT’s most recent album was released in February 2018 – Little Dark Age. VanWyngarden and Goldwasser initially worked on the album by e-mail, and ultimately they met to complete the recording. The songs are reflections of the political and social climate of the U.S. in 2018 -VanWyngarden was quoted that “…we were inspired to write pop music after evil took over the world.”
  • MGMT is a good example of modern indie alternative music. For you alt rock fans out there, you should give a listen to this band. Here is my fave, Electric Feel.

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