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"I still listen to a ton of the classic music my parents played as I grew up – Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Talking Heads," he says, and that influenced the songs I connect with most.When I got to Wesleyan College, I loved the noisier, avant-garde bands, like Royal Trux [whose ex-singer Jennifer Herrema guests on Congratulations], who had a dirtiness, a grossness, like they were trash people.This year's follow-up album, Congratulations, ignored any attempt at "Kids 2", instead secreting the line "hope I die before I get sold" in its 12-minute, shape-shifting centrepiece "Siberian Breaks".It revealed the MGMT who had been typed as ironic, twentysomething paragons of pop pastiche to be serious inheritors of the 1960s tradition of mind-expanding music."We feel like it's easy listening, or an extended folk song.It's not like some of the music we listen to, where they're just jamming, and some Japanese guy's making up his own language over it. Our music is so controlled and poppy compared to that. Things are fine." MGMT's rebellious instincts were forged in isolated pockets of America. It was small-town America, before the internet and before there were 300 channels on television.
Do these two twentysomethings feel that's an unfinished project? You start laughing, you feel like a dorky, New Age hippie."I don't know if anyone still feels in their heart that the tactics and approaches of revolutionary hippies really work," Goldwasser considers carefully. But I think that's the revolutionary, subversive thing that could be happening, if people did try." Being afraid to step off into the unknown accounts for many of MGMT's dull indie peers, who have been only to happy to repeat past successes. '" "We still use aliens as an excuse," says Goldwasser."I think there is a thread that runs from some of the subliminal, transcendent moments that grew out of psychedelic music, up to the present. Far from career suicide, Congratulations is the sound of a band creating their own future. "There are moments on the first album we jokingly blamed on aliens," admits Van Wyngarden. "We get so involved making music, even we don't understand what we're doing." MGMT play Glastonbury on Sunday.Few of the bands playing Glastonbury's 40th anniversary this weekend fit the consciousness-expanding ethic of the festival at its best as well as MGMT.They remain best known for the joyous electro-psychedelic single "Kids", which has soundtracked everything from TV ads to President Sarkozy's election rallies (the band successfully sued).