What photo shoot are you guys headed to now?
It’s Teen Vogue.
You’ve been compared to the Beach Boys. You OK with that?
People don’t realize but our music comes from a long tradition of Christian Rock. Testifying truth to power. But seriously, we like the Beach Boys … We listen to everything, our songs are diverse.
What’s with this preppy, summer in Nantucket look you’ve got going?
We weren’t super conscious of our image at the beginning; we were just trying to dress nicely for pictures. We want to be stylish, obviously, but we were the guys at Harvard who didn’t fit in. We weren’t in final clubs, weren’t on investment banking tracks. It looks ridiculous if you dress hip-hop or try to do the rock star thing. In L. A., you know exactly who is in a rock band. They’re wearing leather jackets.
You’ve been called out for the disparity between your live performances and your studio work. What’s your response?
Why would you want the live shit to sound like a record studio? We’ve always wanted our live shows to be different than our studio songs. We want it to be looser, more organic, and more spontaneous, a little more fun and little wilder.
How did you get your early songs to Kanye West’s manager?
We just used the Internet to find people who were loosely connected to more important people. We tried a lot of the indie crowd, but they didn’t respond to us. We thought Kanye would like us. We listen to all sorts of shit and have a wide range of sensibilities, just like Kanye.
You partied with Perez Hilton in Austin, what’s he like?
He’s a great, funny guy. He’s gonna support us so we like that.
Did one of you grow up part-time in the Caribbean?
Yeah, D.A. here. I’m from Wisconsin, but we have a family place in Nevis. My parents are divorced, but they saved up to buy this place before the divorce. It’s a convoluted story.
In L.A., do people roll their eyes when you tell them you went to Harvard?
I roll my eyes at Harvard because a lot of people there are assholes. But the main thing it’s done is that it’s made everyone know that we are super-geniuses and we’re not to be fucked with. When you go into a meeting and everyone knows that you’re smarter than they are, then they shut up and let you do the talking.”