The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world








The Vines had it all and then... But now they are back and as far as we're concerned they can have it all again...

THE ROCKPIT: It’s hard to believe that this year marks the 20th anniversary for The Vines! What are you planning aside from the awesome new album ‘Wicked Nature’ to celebrate?


TIM: it's pretty mind blowing, Despite only being in the band for 2 years and everything this band has been through, Craig deserves credit for keeping The Vines going and pumping out albums. To celebrate, i'm sure he just wants to keep writing songs and playing some shows, might get some pizza together but we wont go overboard, lots of work to do yet.


The Vines as a trio again is sounding good?!


Yeah thanks, The Vines started out as a 3 piece so i'm sure it's pretty cool feeling for Craig to go back to basics. Lach and I have been playing together for years so hopefully we had some chemistry beforehand, getting together with Craig as a trio is working well.


Surely you must be plotting a tour?


We'll be playing some shows before the end of the year for sure in Australia, so we'll see how we go on an actual tour. Lachy and I always have people asked when we're playing in Mexico or Japan etc. We can't wait to play overseas, and I know some countries have been waiting a while for the Vines to come back.


Let’s talk about the new album – two full discs that vary a little in nature was everything written together and was the intent always a double-album comeback?


Originally we had 11 songs written, which we recorded with our producer Paul McKercher, who did a fucking great job. We recorded them pretty quickly over 10 days in a studio in Sydney. We were basically waiting around for the album to get a release date along with all the taxing business stuff, about 6 months down the line Craig had 10 new songs he was really excited about, we rehearsed them over 2 days and recorded and mixed over 5 days. That's the session that Craig had produced, I thought my head was going to explode at one point, but luckily it all worked out and we're really proud of the outcome.

Craig has stepped up as producer too was that a process he enjoyed?


He definitely thrives in the studio, any producer or musician who's recorded with him will tell you he's fucking awesome to watch in there. Never complains or scared to try out an idea, he'll record until he's voice has nothing left to give. If he was stressing at any point i didn't pick up on it, so think he'll do produce again down the line.


The album as a whole sounds heavier than previous material yet still has that distinct sound is that a natural progression, a statement of intent or just how it happened?


There's definitely some of the heaviest songs the Vines so far, but when you listen through the album there's also some of the quietest songs too, I suppose that's where recording a double album has it's benefits. It wasn't intentional to make a heavy album, we definitely wanted it to be varied though.


Craig’s dislike of computers and mobiles leaves you guys in the hot seat for interviews! How’s this side of things treating you would you much rather be out there making more music!


Ha, No we're enjoying it actually, Craig still does the occasional interview, we've been waiting for the album to come out for a while so it's cool to finally be able to talk about it.


‘Metal Zone’ the first single and video is pretty hard hitting, a great song, was it an easy choice for the band to put that out first?

We specifically didn't think about singles during the recording, that's purely because we didn't want to spend more time on a song if we thought it was going to be a single, it takes some of the fun out of it. We just thought "Metal Zone" was a great first song for people to hear though. I know for Craig he's has the whole album envisioned, including the track listing and artwork, which is quite old school approach now but thats what makes him unique at the moment.

Can you guide us through some of your favourite moments from the album?


For me, it was recording the songs live in the room, it created a lot energy. Each time we recording a take of a song it would sound slightly different to the previous one, maybe a different drum fill or a guitar line had changed, that kept in real. Just watching Craig too, this is his sixth album, so we learnt so much from the guy in a short period of time.


Have you talked setlists and what songs you’ll be taking out ‘live’?


Yeah, we have a idea of the setlist. It can be pretty rough having to cull songs, but we know it's going to be a good mix the old and new. Having 6 albums out, we're going to disappoint some fans by not playing certain songs, but we'll play as many as possible.


What piece of music you have created most defines The Vines as a band?


From Wicked Nature - "Anything You Say" captures the bandstand for me. Its loud and quiet, there's psychedelic pop and grunge, lots of harmonies. This was actually first song the 3 of us worked on together too.


Take us back just a little and tell us how you both came onboard?


Lachy got a call early 2012 asking if he wanted to have a rehearsal with Craig, we were both pretty blown away because we are both fans. After two rehearsals Craig asked him if he knew any bass players, so he assumed it went well. I'd played with Lachy for a few years and he asked me to come along. The 3 of us played a few older Vines songs and just seemed to gel. The next week we went straight into writing the album.

In a world where technology and fast food has led people down a path to instant gratification at the expense of quality and larger more fulfilling experience do you see a way back for music that seeks to engage the intellect and the dulled senses


It's definitely changed, people don't generally go to the shop and buy the CD or record anymore, read the lyrics in the booklet, or even listen to an album right through. I suppose younger people wont have that experience which is sad, but there's always room for pure music and the fans who will always listen to it. It's a tough question, I don't know whats going to happen.


Let’s talk influences – what do you both bring along with you to the table?


I'd say all 3 of us have similar influences actually, We all grew up listening to The Kinks, Nirvana and The Beatles, and some modern bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Gorillaz.


Do you listen to contemporary music? Is Sydney still a thriving scene?


I think more than ever, not only Sydney but Australian artists are making a huge impact. Lach and I have spent a lot of time in America recently and its cool to see how many Australia bands and songwriters are killing it over there. We definitely listen to a lot of modern music as well as well as older stuff.


What are The Vines plans for the rest of 2014 and beyond?


We'll be playing some shows, hopefully get overseas, knowing Craig he'll have an albums worth of songs ready to go, so who knows, maybe the next album will be a triple.


Thinking back to your early memories of music, what was it that first made you decide you needed to be in a Rock and Roll band?


I heard Alice In Chains on Rage one day, before that it was all Michael Jackson and Queen, which I still love, but I hadn't heard anything that angry with guitars before, it changed everything for me. Also I think out of desperation to avoid playing sports at lunch time at school I joined a band. There was always a handful of guys sitting in the music room, always seemed to be the place I flocked too and i've played in bands since then.

From what you’ve learned so far what is the most valuable advice you’ve been given so far as a musician?


I was told to just keep playing as many shows as possible right from the start. If you love it you're going to do this anyway, but i'd busk or play to drunk bogans at the pub, anything.


If you could have been a ‘Fly on the wall’ for the creation of any great album from any period, just to see how the magic happened and it all came together, what would it have been for you any why?


The Beatles - White album - Funnily enough a double album, just watching a band with that much creativity, and unlimited recording time, who have so many ideas. I want to see how they managed. I heard that was a tense time, I wonder if that helped them? At the time a lot of people were saying the should have just released a single disc album, but maybe we wouldn't have "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" then? Where's the fun in that?


What is the meaning of life?


Pauly Shore.



Tim spoke to Leslii Phillips - September 2014





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