Last week, we tipped you off about Vampire Weekend and their new music video for the song Diane Young, a short film that consists entirely of setting fire to two perfectly nice-looking Saab 900 automobiles. The indie rock band's video – viewable by scrolling down – predictably triggered the internet ire of classic car enthusiasts – Saabophiles in particular – and word of the unrest eventually got back to the band itself.
According to music site Spinner (nb: owned by Autoblog parent AOL), the group was "stunned" at the backlash – enough that lead singer Ezra Koenig felt compelled to respond himself. According to Koenig, the band was under the impression that their record company was "looking to purchase the cheapest, oldest cars possible; they weren't trying to buy a beautiful perfect condition car." By way of apology, Koenig even goes so far as to note that bandmate Rostam Batmanglij is a keen fan of Saab.
Other reports have claimed that the cars may have been purchased under false pretenses, sold by owners who "wanted to see them go to a nice new home," but Koenig takes issue with that characterization, countering that he understood that the cars had substantial electrical problems.
Interestingly, more vitriol appears to have been spilled over the fiery deaths of these two Saabs than was drummed up by Jay Z and Kanye West in their music video for Otis, which saw the superstar rappers take a blowtorch to an exponentially costlier Maybach. Either way, Koenig and Co. appear to have at least some regret that they elected to base their video on the song's opening line, "You torched a Saab like a pile of leaves."