MGMT Explain Namechecks

New album references Dan Treacy and more

Brooklyn duo MGMT have revealed their intentions behind name-checking artists such as Dan Treacy on their new album.

Name checks can go one of two ways. On one hand, fans can be introduced to an artist they were previously unaware of. However this could also backfire, with bands appearing to be wilfully obscure.

With their new album ‘Congratulations’ causing huge amounts of discussion – art joke, or simply a joke? – MGMT have revealed their intentions behind name checking artists such as Dan Treacy.

The lead singer with cult indie group The Television Personalities, Treacy is spent the best part of three decades making acclaimed psych-punk. Never making a penny, one of the songs on ‘Congratulations’ is named after him.

Speaking to Pitchfork, singer Andrew VanWyngarden revealed that the duo were worried this gesture could be taken the wrong way.

“We like the idea of being a little divisive without making it into some kind of philosophical musical approach, and maybe we can convert some people to our view of the world”.

“We weren’t trying to be pretentious about it, like, “This is the music you should listen to.” But we definitely wouldn’t mind if people were like, “Who is Dan Treacy?” and then listened to some Television Personalities songs. And this album is just very much about musicians – from Dan Treacy to Lady Gaga – and the oddness of a music career.”

Continuing, the MGMT star insisted that these ‘new’ influences have always been a part of the band’s music.

“It’s also coming from us having the opportunity to meet the people who made the music Ben and I bonded over at Wesleyan, stuff like Spacemen 3, Royal Trux, and Brian Eno. We didn’t realize we were doing it at the time, but it’s funny looking at the album now – it’s like a Jay-Z, all-star-cast album, but they’re our all-stars.”

MGMT’s new album ‘Congratulations’ is out now.

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