Thursday, 8 September 2011

The Vaccines - Post Reading Interview

Questions for THE VACCINES

Interview with Justin Young Vocals/Guitar

Q. Since the group started you’ve taken off pretty quickly, do you think you’ve been given enough time to really settle into your own sound and style or do you worry about being almost sonically type cast already?

A: I think that can happen to bands that rise too quickly. Fortunately for us we had our record finished before people really knew who we were. We’d been working hard on our sound for nearly two years. It evolved during that period and it will continue to evolve. We’ve never done the same thing for too long. You just need to look at our pasts to see that is true. I’m excited about moving forward. Hopefully people will move forward with us.

Q. ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’ only lasts 1 min 24, when you were recording it did you ever worry it needed to be longer or maybe add another verse or solo or something? It’s a very brave thing to do especially for a single.

A. We didn’t realise how long it was until it was finished. It always felt complete to me. It doesn’t need another verse. And it has a solo! I like the immediacy of it. It’s an exciting song. I think if you start letting song length dictate its character, you’re in trouble. Also, I grew up on a healthy diet of 30second punk rock songs.

Q. The 2nd release ‘Post Break up Sex’ is one that has already been assimilated into every indie DJ’s record bag, is the song based on any real situation or real life experience? Do you think songs are better if the writer has actually based it on a real life experience?

A. Yes it absolutely is based on a real situation. I’ve noticed my lyrics get criticised for their tried and tested, simple subject matter but I only ever write about things that are very important to me and things that are affecting me. I think if the writer doesn’t believe in what he is saying, no one else will either. So it’s very important to me to sing about my life and things that make me feel impassioned, however simple they are.

Q. Who would you say is your biggest influence both musically and with song writing?

A. I can’t really speak for the band as a whole. And obviously I have maybe major influences. When we made the record we listened to bands we thought made great, direct, energetic and exciting rock n roll. It wasn’t about what they were playing, but how they were playing it. Stuff like The Monks, The Modern Lovers, The Clash, The Velvet Underground.

Q. Were there any bands that you were looking forward to seeing while at Reading?

A. I wish I could have stayed the whole weekend. There was so much I wanted to see. Metronomy were good. Everyone was actually! It was a great day. Everyone I spoke to seemed really happy with how their show went. A lot of kids really into their music. No pretensions.

Q. Even though the first release only came out 9-10 months ago, are you writing any new material for the next album yet? Do you get time to write on the road?

A. I find writing on the road hard. It’s not the right environment. But we have started writing the new record. When songs come, they come and they’ve now started to, so we're excited about that. Although as the record is new, it still feels fresh to us and it’s still great fun and fulfilling playing it live.

Q. Are there any up and coming bands you may have seen on the circuit or met through support slots that you think are ones to watch?

A. Hundreds. Other Lives just supported us at The Forum in London. They blew us away.

Q. The track ‘Wolfpack’ was recently used in an episode of The Vampire Diaries on the soundtrack, what is your opinion on songs being used in adverts and commercials, where does the line exist between promotion for the band and selling out?

A. It’s hard for a band to sell out. I think they have to say one thing and do another. But when you’re clear about what it is you want then I don’t think any one can have any complaints. I think films and commercials etc, (providing they are not too tacky) are a great way to open up your music to a new audience and get it out there. Why limit who is exposed to your art? I’m proud of ours and I want as many people to hear it as possible. It’s also a good way for bands to get paid in an era where people don’t really buy records. You can download our music for free, but don’t complain when our music gets used on TV.


many thanks to Karen Piper at Radar Maker and Lauren Clifford at Coda Music Agency LLP

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