VanWyngarden grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and Goldwasser is from Westport, New York, but they met at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where they graduated in 2005. "A lot of people really hated us," said VanWyngarden. "We were not popular."
Many songs on their debut album Oracular Spectacular were worked up at Wesleyan, but they spent a few years refining them after the graduated, finally releasing the album in 2007.
MGMT was originally called The Management. They found out that the name was already being used by another group, so they shortened it to MGMT.
MGMT singer Andrew VanWyngarden says he originally brushed Lady Gaga off as crap but now respects what the pop star is doing. VanWyngarden told Spin that her videos are "getting more creative" and that he likes that she is "getting more and more bizarre and spreading that to the mainstream."
While recording MGMT's second album Congratulations in Malibu, frontman Andrew VanWyngarden took up surfing. He surfed for a year straight and now keeps it a part of his daily routine whenever possible. He even went to Costa Rica just to surf and wrote the song "Siberian Breaks" about the possibility of surfing in the Arctic Circle near Russia.
In September 2010, MGMT drummer Will Berman was hit with beer during a show in Manchester, England. Berman walked off the stage and the band played their final song "Congratulations" without him. Original reports stated that the liquid thrown at him was urine, but singer Andrew VanWyngarden disputed the claim two days later in an email.
After its completion, MGMT were certain that their label Columbia would reject their sophomore album Congratulations. The band gave the finished version of the disc to record executives over the Christmas Break in 2009 and planned a meeting two weeks later. Singer Andrew VanWyngarden thought for sure that the suits would tell the band to "go record more songs." However, the meeting ended up going well and the executives loved kooky tracks like "Siberian Breaks" and "Brian Eno."
In the early days, MGMT used to do some very odd things onstage to keep the audience interested. For instance, the band once played an hour-long version of the Ghostbusters theme using Digitech Whammy pedals and drum loops.
Another time, MGMT cut open a Dorian - widely known as the smelliest fruit in the world - and passed it around the audience to eat. Although a few people left because of the smell, the people that stayed had a great time.
Before MGMT began recording their sophomore album Congratulations, singer Andrew VanWyngarden believes he saw something strange in the sky in New Mexico. While the frontman doesn't believe in aliens with laser guns flying around in UFOs, he says he definitely had some weird dreams after seeing the phenomenon.
Producer Brian Eno, who is the subject of MGMT's song "Brian Eno," says the reference is "very flattering." Eno adds that he "appreciates how the song is both tongue in cheek and fond at the same time."
If counterpoint and polyrhythms are your thing, you might love these guys. Even by Progressive Rock standards, they were one of the most intricate bands of the '70s. Then their lead singer gave us Bon Jovi.