Van Wyngarden is much more spontaneous and naughty than Goldwasser, and they bicker a lot when they're recording.
"We're both stubborn and neurotic about music, which is an interesting combination." says Van Wyngarden.
Perez Hilton was outraged at the creative departure, while rock nerds adored the new tributes to Brian Eno and Television Personalities, Dan Treacy.
"1 don't like crowds." Musically, Van Wyngarden acts as lyricist and structural thinker, and Goldwasser is the programming mind. Pete Kember), a founding member of Spacemen 3, says, "As in all relationships, theirs is not always easy to define.
Ben is the sound boffin, but nothing is clear-cut, and they both step up to whatever they're working on.
DOWN A LONG ALLEY, PAST A ROW OF million-dollar Brooklyn brownstones, an elegant 19-century carriage house has been converted into a playpen for the guys from MGMT.
On the first floor, there's a hastily renovated home studio, with the band's gear stacked in the front and a comfy recording studio in the back.
Then they'd spend a whole day writing in Ben's room — and then go their separate ways again.
They're like a married couple that has really good but that's it." On a deeper level, Van Wyngarden is hyperaware, and it's hard to get much by him, whereas Goldwasser has a tendency to go into his own world and trust that whatever happened while he was off in space was good.
"Honestly, I'm beginning to get overwhelmed." MGMT's feelings about success, and their first album, are complex and somewhat contradictory.
"It's so weird for us to be in this position, because we don't understand why we got as popular as we did," says Goldwasser. We feel like we tricked everybody." One of the monster singles from their first album, "Time to Pretend" (the one about shooting heroin and fucking with the stars, plus models), is a satire of rock stardom, a joke.
They understand each other like twins." Although the plaques in MGMT's bathroom are of recent vintage, Goldwasser and Van Wyngarden have been writing songs together since 2001, when they met during their first week as freshmen at Wesleyan University, a 2,700-student liberal-arts school in Connecticut that caters to academically advanced students who may not have fit into their high schools.