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MGMT is an American Psychedelic Rock Duo founded by Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden. After the release of their first album, the members of their live band, Matthew Asti, James Richardson and Will Berman, joined the core band in the studio. Formed at Wesleyan University and originally with Cantora Records, they signed with Columbia Records and Red Ink in 2006.[1][2][3]

On October 5, 2007, named MGMT "Artist of the Day."[4] On November 14, 2007, Rolling Stone pegged MGMT as a top ten "Artist to Watch" in 2008.[5] The band was named ninth in the BBC's Sound of 2008 Top Ten Poll.[6] They were also named as's most played new artist of 2008 in their Best of 2008 list.[7]

MGMT's first album, Oracular Spectacular, debuted at No. 12 on the UK album chart, No. 13 after 34 weeks in the New Zealand RIANZ charts, number six on the Australian ARIA Charts, and hit number one on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart.[8] It has also been named the 18th best album of the decade by Rolling Stone magazine. It was named the best album of 2008 by NME.[9] MGMT also appeared prominently in Australia's Triple J Hottest 100 2008, coming in 2nd with "Electric Feel", 5th with "Kids" and 18th with "Time to Pretend".[10] MGMT was nominated for the 2010 Grammy Award for Best New Artist, and their track "Kids" was nominated for Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group with Vocals.[11] These are the first Grammy nominations for the band. At the 2009 Grammy Awards, the Justice remix of "Electric Feel" won the Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical.[12] Their second album, Congratulations, was released on April 13, 2010.[13] In January 2011 they began work on their third album, MGMT.[14] It was released on September 17, 2013, and was released as an early exclusive on the Rdio music service on September 9, 2013.[15]


Formation (2002-2005)

Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden formed the band while attending Wesleyan University during their freshman year.[16] "We weren't trying to start a band," remarked Goldwasser. "We were just hanging out and showing each other music that we liked." They experimented with noise rock and electronica before settling on what Paco Alvarez of Spin calls "their current brand of shape-shifting psychedelic pop."[17] They graduated in 2005 and toured extensively in support of the Time to Pretend EP, opening for indie pop band Of Montreal.[18]

The band first started with the name The Management, releasing various demo albums including Climbing to New Lows, but since this name was already being used by another band, they later changed it to MGMT. This abbreviation stands for Management.

Oracular Spectacular (2006-2009)

In the autumn of 2006, Maureen Kenny signed the band to Columbia Records.[19][20] When they got a phone call from the A&R department of Columbia Records saying they were interested in their music, they thought it was a joke.[21] The duo recorded with Flaming Lips/Sleater-Kinney music producer Dave Fridmann in 2007 for their major label debut, Oracular Spectacular.[22] MGMT opened for Of Montreal on tour in autumn 2007 as a five-piece touring band including Matthew Asti (bass), James Richardson (drums), and Hank Sullivant (guitar).[23] In November 2007, they performed for the first time in Europe, supporting the band Samantha and The Courteeners at Koko in London, England.[24] After March 2008, Hank Sullivant left the band to pursue his own band, Kuroma. Will Berman joined as the new drummer, James Richardson switched from drums to guitar, and Matthew Asti remained on bass.

The band supported Radiohead on the Manchester date of their world tour[25] and went on a headline tour of the UK during November 2008, playing at venues such as Manchester Academy and Shepherd's Bush Empire.

MGMT opened for M.I.A. on the Vassar College date of her 2008 tour,[26] and also played several shows with Beck while he toured in 2008. They appeared at the 2008 and 2009 editions of the Bonnaroo Music Festival. Bruce Springsteen was in attendance during their 2009 Bonnaroo late-night set, which followed his headlining appearance on What Stage. They also toured Australia with a headlining spot on the Meredith Music Festival line-up.

They also played a show at the Virgin Music Festival on the Toronto Islands on September 6, 2008, playing nine songs off their Oracular Spectacular album. They also played the 2008 Street Scene festival in San Diego, California. On February 27, 2009, MGMT performed alongside Spectrum at The Dome in Finsbury Park. MGMT also played another show in Australia at the 2009 Splendour in the Grass Festival. MGMT headlined this music festival along with other well known bands such as Bloc Party, The Flaming Lips, Happy Mondays, and Jane's Addiction.[27]

MGMT opened for Paul McCartney, an admitted fan,[28] at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, on August 5 and 6, 2009.

On August 15, 2009, MGMT played in Hamburg, Germany, at the Dockville Festival and performed several songs from their upcoming album.

MGMT was one of the headlining bands for the Treasure Island Music Festival on Treasure Island in San Francisco, California, on October 17, 2009.

Congratulations (2010-2011)

MGMT's Congratulations was released on April 13, 2010. The band, including Matthew Asti, James Richardson, and Will Berman from the live band, spent the summer of 2009 in Malibu, California, recording the album with Pete Kember (a.k.a. Sonic Boom) formerly of Spacemen 3 and Spectrum serving as producer/guru, and long-time friend, Billy Bennett (also an NCAA record holding kicker for the University of Georgia), as engineer.

MGMT originally suggested that they might not release any singles from the album.[29] By July 2010, however, four single releases from the album had been confirmed. The album cover art for Congratulations was created for MGMT by Anthony Ausgang and the overall design of the packaging is by Josh Cheuse of Sony Entertainment. On March 9, 2010, MGMT released the song "Flash Delirium" for free download on their official website. On March 20, the band allowed users to stream their new album from their website.

MGMT started their Congratulations Tour on April 12, 2010, in San Francisco, California, at The Fillmore. They performed on April 23 at Brown University's Spring Weekend; on April 27 at Yale University's Spring Fling; on April 30 at the University of New Hampshire's Spring Climax; and on May 1 at Fordham University's Spring Weekend.

They performed on Saturday Night Live on April 24, 2010, and on the Late Show with David Letterman on May 12 to promote their new album, and on June 11, MGMT played their largest headlining show anywhere in the world with a sold-out, 9,500 capacity gig at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado.[30] On June 25, MGMT performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and on July 23, they were the musical guests on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

On August 25, MGMT released a music video for "Congratulations", the third video of their second album. MGMT was one of the third tier bands for the 2010 Coachella Festival in Indio, California. The event draws nearly 120,000 attendees annually. On October 31, 2010, the band performed for the Voodoo Experience in New Orleans, Louisiana. The band decided to dress as the main characters from Scooby-Doo for Halloween; Andrew dressed up as Daphne and Ben dressed up as Velma. They headlined at Fun Fun Fun Fest which was held at Waterloo Park in Austin, Texas on November 6, 2010. The performance was the last show in the US for MGMT in 2010. Their first 2011 gig was at Mar del Plata, Argentina, in front of a crowd of more than 40,000 on the beach in a free event which they headlined.[31]

MGMT began their first Asian tour on February 22, 2011.[32]

On September 22, 2011 MGMT performed the Pink Floyd song "Lucifer Sam" during Late Night with Jimmy Fallon's "Pink Floyd Week".[33]

MGMT (2012present)

In January 2012, MGMT confirmed in an interview with Intercourse Magazine that they had started work on their third album, with VanWyngarden stating that he had written five songs.[34] On February 27, 2012, MGMT began recording the album with Dave Fridmann at his Tarbox Road Studios.[35] In March 2012, VanWyngarden said that MGMT will perform new songs on their upcoming shows in Latin America.[36] On March 30, 2012, the band premiered a new song, entitled "Alien Days", at a show in Bogotá, Colombia.[37] The band performed on August 3, 2012 in Montreal, Quebec at Osheaga, and on August 5, 2012 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, US at Musikfest.

In January 2013, NME and Rolling Stone published an interview in which the band announced that the album was tentatively scheduled for a June 2013 release.[38] As of March 2013, the process of recording the album at Tarbox Road Studios with Fridmann was near completion.[39]

On April 20, 2013, the band released the studio version of "Alien Days".[40] The band then embarked on a spring tour, followed by fall/autumn and winter tour dates for North America.[41][42][43] Following VanWyngarden's shoulder surgery in mid-2013, former touring member Hank Sullivant rejoined the band to play live guitar for the remainder of 2013. Sullivant played with VanWyngarden when they were in high school and is in the band Kuroma, whose next album is produced by Goldwasser.[44]

The self-titled album was released September 17, 2013.[45] An exclusive early release of the album, along with a full-length music video called Optimizer, was available from the Rdio music service on September 9, 2013.[15]

Legal proceedings

In January 2009, MGMT demanded compensation from the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) Party. The UMP, headed by Nicolas Sarkozy (the former President of France), used the song "Kids" without permission at a party conference and in two online videos in 2008.

In an official statement, MGMT remarked that "the fact that the UMP used our song without permission while simultaneously pushing anti-piracy legislation seemed a little wack."[46]

The UMP initially offered a symbolic compensation of 1 to MGMT (about $1.34), but the band refused that offer. Finally, in April 2009, the parties settled out of court, and the UMP agreed to pay MGMT around 2,500 for legal fees and 30,000 for copyright infringement. MGMT donated this money to an artists' rights organization.[47]


They have collaborated with the rapper Kid Cudi, and are featured on one track "Pursuit of Happiness" from his album Man on the Moon: The End of Day. For the 2010 MTV VMA's Kid Cudi was nominated for Best Hip-Hop video for "Pursuit of Happiness" a track which features MGMT and Ratatat. They also collaborated on the track "Worm Mountain" on The Flaming Lips' Embryonic.

On September 4, 2009, Beck announced his second Record Club covers album, Songs of Leonard Cohen. MGMT contributed, alongside Devendra Banhart, Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother and Binki Shapiro of Little Joy. Andrew VanWyngarden chose the album.[48]

Band members

  • Andrew VanWyngarden lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass guitar, drums (2002present)
  • Benjamin Goldwasser vocals, keyboards, guitar (2002present)
  • Will Berman drums, percussion, harmonica, backing vocals (2005, 2008present)
  • Matt Asti bass guitar, keyboards, percussion (2007present)
  • James Richardson drums (2007-2008); lead guitar, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals, multiple instruments (2008present)
  • Hank Sullivant guitar (2007-2008; 2013-present)


Main article: MGMT discography
  • Oracular Spectacular (2007)
  • Congratulations (2010)
  • MGMT (2013)

Awards and nominations

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by MGMT


  1. Ryzik, Melena, MGMT's Sophomore Challenges, The New York Times, April 11, 2010.
  2. Internet Archive Wayback Machine. (February 8, 2008). Archived from the original on February 8, 2008. Retrieved on August 6, 2011.
  3. Cristina Black (August 4, 2009). The Wesleyan Mafia: MGMT, Boy Crisis, Amazing Baby Page 1 Music New York. Village Voice. Retrieved on August 6, 2011.
  4. D'Amato, Anthony M.. Artist of the Day: MGMT. Retrieved on October 5, 2007.
  5. O'Donnell, Kevin. Artist to Watch: MGMT. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on November 14, 2007.
  6. Record of the Week, BBC Radio, January 4, 2008. URL accessed on March 24, 2008.
  7. Best of 2008. (December 14, 2008). Retrieved on December 14, 2008.
  8. Top Heatseekers Oracular Spectacular. Billboard. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
  9. New Musical Express, December 8, 2008 WTFedition.
  10. Sex on Fire tops triple j's hottest 100, Online News, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, January 26, 2009.
  11. Grammy nominations 2010 announced Beyonce, Lady Gaga, MGMT shortlisted | News. Nme.Com (December 3, 2009). Retrieved on September 16, 2013.
  12. The 51st Annual Grammy Awards Winners List. Archived from the original on June 14, 2009.
  13. Goodman, William (February 8, 2010). EXCLUSIVE: MGMT Unveil New Album!. Retrieved on February 16, 2010.
  14. MGMT's ANDREW VANWYNGARDEN issues a vinyl shopping and coffee date invitation. (February 28, 2011). Retrieved on August 6, 2011.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Ingraham, Nathan (September 9, 2013). MGMT's new album and bizarre video are available a week early on Rdio. TheVerge. Retrieved on September 9, 2013.
  16. Landerman, Jessie (April 13, 2004). Weekly Wes Celeb: The magmo. McGill Argus. Retrieved on July 27, 2007.
  17. Marchese, David (November 23, 2007). Breaking Out: MGMT. Archived from the original on February 8, 2008. Retrieved on November 23, 2007.
  18. Of Montreal Plan Late Summer Tour. Pitchfork Media (July 13, 2005). Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  19. Perry, Jonathan, MGMT once sang to annoy. Now they're winning acclaim., Boston Globe, February 8, 2008. URL accessed on July 16, 2008.
  20. Gonzalez, Briana (February 11, 2008). 'Psychic Pilgrims' MGMT Make It All Look So Easy. New York Observer. Retrieved on July 16, 2008.
  21. Interview with MGMT. Lifelounge (December 2, 2010). Retrieved on December 15, 2010.
  22. Dave Fridmann/Tarbox News/Notes. Archived from the original on December 12, 2002. Retrieved on March 24, 2007.
  23. Mystic Future Pop Duo MGMT Heading Out On Major North American Tour With Of Montreal From OctoberNovember. PR Newswire (August 16, 2007). Retrieved on August 28, 2007.
  24. Koko gigs archive. Archived from the original on December 10, 2007.
  25. Radiohead Live  LCCC, Manchester. Retrieved on June 18, 2008.
  26. Reeves, Jackson, M.I.A.-ViCE, students prep for year's biggest concert, The Miscellany News, Vassar College, April 10, 2008. URL accessed on September 27, 2008.
  27. Splendour in the Grass History. Splendour in the Grass Pty Ltd. Retrieved on March 10, 2011.
  28. Paul McCartney: 'I want to work with MGMT' video, NME, June 9, 2009. URL accessed on November 2, 2009.
  29. MGMT: 'We're not releasing any singles from our new album'. Retrieved on April 2, 2010.
  30. Mgmt: It'S Working. Discosalt (June 15, 2010). Retrieved on September 9, 2012.
  31. Ortelli, Juan. MGMT: flash y delirio en Mar del Plata. Rolling Stone.
  32. MGMT starts Asian tour in Japan. Asia Pacific Arts (February 22, 2011).
  33. Jimmy Fallon to Honor Pink Floyd With Week of Tributes. (September 22, 2011). Retrieved on September 16, 2013.
  34. Gibby on MGMT. Intercourse Magazine (January 22, 2012). Retrieved on January 23, 2012.
  35. Dave Fridmann News. Dave Fridmann (February 27, 2012). Retrieved on March 26, 2012.
  36. MGMT revela que repertório terá hits, covers e canções novas Caderno 3. Diário do Nordeste. Retrieved on September 9, 2012.
  37. MGMT @ Bogotá. UStream (March 31, 2012). Retrieved on March 31, 2012.
  38. Dave Fridmann/Tarbox News/Notes. Retrieved on September 9, 2012.
  39. Larry Fitzmaurice (September 11, 2013). Let's Get Small. Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on October 3, 2013.
  40. MGMT Release New Single, 'Alien Days'. Retrieved on April 22, 2013.
  41. Evan Minsker; Amy Phillips (March 4, 2013). MGMT Announce Spring Tour. Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on October 5, 2013.
  42. MGMT Announce Fall 2013 Tour. Audio Ink Radio. Audio Ink Radio LLC (September 19, 2013). Retrieved on October 5, 2013.
  43. Mgmt Announce Winter 2013 North American Headlining Tour. Ltd (September 17, 2013). Retrieved on October 5, 2013.
  44. Hank Sullivant to Rejoin MGMT After Andrew VanWyngardens Surgery. Relix Media Group, LLC (June 11, 2013). Retrieved on October 5, 2013.
  45. Chris Bosman (September 17, 2013). MGMTs Self-Titled New Album: Big Promises, Little Results. Time. Time Inc. Retrieved on October 3, 2013.
  46. MGMT Settles With French Government And Are In The Studio Recording New Album (April 24, 2009).
  47. L'UMP s'arrange et va verser 30.000 euros au groupe de rock MGMT ((French)) (April 28, 2009). Retrieved on September 16, 2013.
  48. Lindsay, Andrew. Beck, MGMT & Banhart cover Leonard Cohen. Retrieved on April 2, 2010.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: MGMT

  • Official website
  • MGMT interviewed for Crash Magazine in 2008
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This article uses material from the article MGMT from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.