The Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig had to go away and "smoke weed and make cartoons" before he was ready to pen the band's upcoming fourth album.
The indie rockers haven't released any new material since 2013's Grammy-award winning effort 'Modern Vampires of the City', but the 33-year-old singer-songwriter has admitted it was vital he went away for a bit so he could come back "fresh."
Speaking to Rolling Stone magazine, he said: "After this period of smoking weed and making cartoons, I came back fresh. Back to chapter four, feeling renewed.
"I don't want to say too much about the sound, but this is the first album I'll be making in my thirties, and when a band gets to their fourth album, it's a lot like hitting your thirties and figuring out how to dress: You might love seeing the newest sweatshirt collabs from some brands you like, but at some point you pull it over your head and look in the mirror, like, 'Hm. This doesn't make sense anymore.' "
But it wasn't just his downtime that helped him put the album together, as Ezra has admitted working with Kanye West has given him a whole new perspective.
He explained: "I had this experience where I was in the studio with Kanye in Mexico. It was so different than anything I'd done: One day [Dirty Projectors frontman] Dave Longstreth is there; the next day Big Sean shows up. Sometimes it wasn't people working, just talking about music. I was, like, 'I like this atmosphere. I need to loosen up.' So I've been working with this 68-year-old guitarist, Greg Leisz, and this 18-year-old guitarist, Steve Lacy. A bunch of other people have been coming in and out. Now we're moving into the final stage where it's about, 'How do you take all that energy and reduce it to the sound of the album?' It's tricky."
The album has the working title 'Mitsubishi Macchiato' and is "80 per cent" done.