MGMT have said they don't aspire to write hit songs, just good music.
The eccentic duo's first album Oracular Spectacular was a big hit. But when college friends Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden released the follow-up, Congratulations, fans and critics alike scratched their heads at the challenging nature of the music and lack of radio-friendly singles, and wondered what had happened.
As they prepare for the release of their self-titled third album Andrew said: "We're really not self-consciously trying to make hit songs, we're trying to make songs we love that can connect with people, and we want them to go to as big an audience as possible."
Ben said of the flop: "We weren't disappointed. We might have fantasised about some of those songs becoming hits, but it's not surprising that they didn't. None of those songs sound like anything that's been a hit in the past 10 years. But then that's not something we care about either."
Andrew feels people have grown to like the second record.
"I think people are now more accepting of our second album, because there are that many bands that have gone in that direction," he said, listing the likes of Australian psych-rockers Tame Impala and Pond, as well as Brits such as The Horrors, as bands who have made a similar shift.
He added: "People can say whatever they want, and we did get some criticism for Congratulations, but we knew it was good.
"We play shows, and we've seen people react to the songs from the second album, and have received six-page hand-written notes from people about how our music has moved them, or saved them from whatever terrible dark moments they had, and that's the kind of thing that's really fulfilling.
"Finding those deep connections with people justifies what we do, and that's always going to be more satisfying than a chart position.
"This time, we know MGMT is really, really good, so we're very excited for people to hear it."
:: MGMT release their self-titled third album on September 17.