The Vines Interview

The Vines don’t need an introduction. After taking the world by storm with 2002’s Highly Evolved the band went into a meltdown. Nine years, four albums and an asperger’s diagnosis later, The Vines are back with their fifth album Future Primitive. I was lucky enough to speak to frontman Craig Nicholls before they headed out on their current Australian tour.

How did recording Future Primitive differ from previous albums?

It’s the fastest one we’ve done and we did it live. All of the instruments were done live. It was just quick and we had a good time.

So how long did it take you to record?

It took about three and a half weeks.

Did working with producer Chris Colonna change the sound of the album?

He knew a lot about electronic music and equipment so he could help us with some of that stuff that we wanted to add. Yeah, it was good.

What’s behind the album’s title?

Well, we just started out with the song Future Primitive and then we kind of thought after doing the album that it was a cool title. It kind of describes the futuristic, kind of electronic sounds, mixed with our more rock and roll sound. There was some kind of really stripped back moments there as well.

I’ve read that you don’t particularly like technology. Do you feel like you are living in the wrong era?

Yes. I don’t know where I should be living but I know this doesn’t feel right. But maybe in the next life I’ll get it right.

Why have you recorded so many versions of Autumn Shade?

I don’t know, it just started out as the one we did on our first album and then we had one on our second album as well. And then it just got out of control. I think I just like it because it’s acoustic minor chords and they all have a similar kind of feeling to them but they’re all their own songs. It’s just kind of interesting to do that with some songs.

Do you have a favourite version?

Umm…The second one. I really like that one a lot. I mean I like all of them, but if I had a hypothetical gun to my head I’d probably say the second one is my favourite. But, ah, I’ll check with my manager.

I know there’s talk of another album in the works. Are you planning to record Autumn Shade Again?

Not for the next one. But maybe on the one after that, for the seventh album. We’ve already started recording the 6th one. We’ve done ten songs so far.

What can we expect from the 6th album? Or will it be a surprise?

It’s going to be a big surprise for you and for me because I don’t know what it’s going to be like. The ten songs, they’re like these epic ballads with strings and trumpets and piano and they’ve really got a lot going on. But then we want to go and record some more upbeat so that might change. But yeah, there’s going to be some epic ballads on there, at this point.

So it’s going to be quite different from what we’re used to hearing from you?

Yeah, it’s going to be more of an easy listening album I think.

Did financing the recording yourself create more pressure to succeed?

No, it’s all the same. When you always want to do well, and I always want to do well, you go into the studio and do everything you can to make it good. It’s just the same.

People often talk about Highly Evolved as being your best work. Do you feel like there’s a lot of pressure to live up to it?

I don’t really feel any pressure. I enjoy writing and making albums and we get to do what we want so we just try and do the best we can and have a good time.

Who did the album’s cover art?

A guy called Wayne who did Tame Impala’s artwork. I feel really bad, I forget his last name but he’s a really cool guy.

Who came up with the Scott Pilgrim vs the World influenced video for Gimme Love?

A guy called Tom Spark. We’d done another video with him before that. He mentioned this movie which I really liked.

What can we expect from this tour?

A mixture of songs from all throughout our existence, especially a lot of Future Primitive Songs.

Is it true you’re going to South America after this?

Yeah it’s true. We’re going to a lot of different places, it should be interesting. And then we’re going to Japan as well. We get petitions from people who would like to see us but I’m not too sure what the place is like.

Do you have any crazy fan stories? I’d imagine some people are quite dedicated.

There’s one girl who had a tattoo. Like a I signed her arm and then she got a tattoo. She gave me a lot of cool art and drawings that she did. But mostly people are just really nice and they like our music.

What bands are you currently listening to?

The Kaiser Chiefs, The Arctic Monkeys and Richard Ashcroft’s new band.

Do you find that style of British music as influenced your style a lot?

It always has, since the late 90s, bands like Supergrass and Blur. Now there’s a whole new generation. There’s a whole lot of great bands from England.

Thanks for that, and good luck with the upcoming tour.

Thanks. Bye.

September
1 – Wollongong Uni Bar, Wollongong

2 – The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle

3 – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne

9 – The Gov, Adelaide

10 – Capitol, Perth

[Giveaway] JD Set Presents Art Vs Science Covering Icehouse

What would happen if Art vs Science, Kate Miller-Heidke, Patience Hodgson, Tim Derricourt and Icehouse walked into a bar?

Well chances are, the folks at the JD Set were thinking exactly the same thing, as this year’s event sees Art Vs Science cover the music of iconic Australian band Icehouse.

Kate Miller-Heidke, Patience Hodgson (The Grates) and Tim Derricourt (Dappled Cities) will also be along for the ride.

2011 will be a very big year for Icehouse, with inclusions on both the Meredith and Hombake line-ups. While placing such focus on a band from the 1980s may seem odd, tracks such as We Can Get Together, I Can’t Help Myself, Great Southern Land and Hey Little Girl sound just as fresh as they did thirty years ago.

The JD set will take place in both Melbourne and Sydney. Click on the links to buy tickets and more information,

14 September- TRAK, Melbourne

15 September-Upstairs Beresford, Sydney

Because free music is the best kind of music, we have one double pass to give away to the JD Set. To be in the running simply leave a comment telling us “Which Icehouse song are you most excited to see Art Vs Science and Kate Miller-Heidke collaborating on, and why?”

Make sure you leave your email address and location in the comment so we don’t send you to the wrong gig.

Good luck!

Epic Video Post

There seems to be heaps of quality new videos out at the moment. Here are some of them.

The Decemberists always have fantastic videos and their latest, Calamity Song is no exception. Based heavily on the novel Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace it shows the band watching a game of tennis turn into a thermonuclear disaster. While it could have turned out horribly wrong, The Decemberists have enough charm and humour to make it compelling viewing.

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From war tennis to meteors.

I dare you to watch Ball Park Music’s clip for It’s Nice To Be Alive and not smile. It’s impossible.

It’s a universally acknowledged fact that Bon Iver is amazing. It is also well-known that Iceland has some of the prettiest scenery ever.Put them together and you get the video for Holocene.

The Rescue Ships are Brian Campeau and Elana Stone. Both are accomplished musicians in their own right with multiple albums and years of experience between them but put them together and you get something wonderful.

I saw these guys a few months ago and their live show is something special. They have a winning combination of hilarious banter and engaging music.

They’ve released a video for their single Up In The Air which was recently made Rage’s Indie of the Week. Brian broke his leg filming and both band members filmed videos about filming the video which are also recommended viewing.

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A Couple of Covers

Pulp frontman and total DILF Jarvis Cocker has recorded a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Avalanche with Boyz Noize and Erol Alkan. The lyrics are taken straight from Cohen’s song and no one does spoken word quite like Jarvis, however the electronic beats get a bit repetitive. I can see die-hard Leonard Cohen fans hating this one with a passion.

Although I was born in the 90s, I missed out on most of the great music. So instead Pavement and Nirvana, I got Hanson and the Spice Girls. On of the other tracks I was heavily into was Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eiffel 65. Please tell me I wasn’t the only one who aruged about whether the lyrics were “If I was green I  would die.”

Yellow Ostrich have done an excellent cover of this song and have turned the trashy Europop into Animal Collective style indie. A bit of a novelty cover, sure, but it’s very well executed.

Full Meredith Music Festival Line-up

The 21st Meredith Music Festival line-up has been announced and like every 21st birthday it looks like it will be a weekend to remember.

In a move that makes other festivals seem a little money hungry, the previous price of $275 +bf remains as well as the ability to BYO. In great news for those of us who always end up next to the shirtless man at festivals, the no dickheads policy is still in place.

The first round of the ballot has already gone out, but the second round isn’t for another week. For the best chance to get tickets head to http://2011.mmf.com.au and enter the ballot.

Grinderman – Saturday night
Icehouse – Saturday evening
Kurt Vile & The Violators – Friday evening
Mudhoney
Cut/Copy
Gang Gang Dance
Explosions In The Sky – Friday night
Ladyhawke
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Off!
Adalita
Future Of The Left
Frank Fairfield
Harmonic 313 (Dj Set)
Joelistics
Big Freedia
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Graveyard Train
Tim Sweeney
Oscar + Martin
Cash Savage
The Last Drinks
Angus Sampson
Barbarion
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Juiceboxxx
Virgo Four
Eagle & The Worm
The Rechords
Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist
Matt Sonic & The High Times
The Town Bikes
City Of Ballarat Municipal Brass Band
Master Song Tai Chi
Silence Wedge
A Total Lunar Eclipse
Dennis Cometti as the very special guest MC of ‘The Gift’

The Meredith Music Festival goes from the 9th-11th of December at the Supernatural Amphitheatre.

Monday Music Round-Up 15/08/11

 

The big music news story of the week was the cancellation of the Soundwave Revolution festival that was due to happen in October. Promoted by AJ Maddah who’s also behind Soundwave and the upcoming Harvest festivals, it was meant to include bands such as Van Halen and Alice Cooper.

Speculation about the event’s cancellation began when Steel Panther, one of the festivals acts, tweeted about its cancellation. The tweets were deleted and after a whole bunch of delay and no word on the official website, AJ appeared on Nova to discuss the cancellation before finally making an offical statement.

Festival cancellations are not uncommon in such a oversaturated market, but the way they went about it was pretty poor. Apparently there will be a series of mini-festivals instead but so far the only info we have is an annoucement of an upcoming announcement.

And really, I couldn’t imagine a band who refuses to have brown m&ms back stage performing somewhere like Melton.

In Other AJ Maddah news, the drip-feed line-up for Soundwave 2012 has started early with Trivium, CKY, Forever The Sickest Kids, Shadows Fall and The Smoking Hearts.

Remember when people couldn’t stop talking about The Dirty Three playing during an electrical storm at Meredith? Well, it’s been announced that they’re going to up the ante next year with a total lunar eclipse happening not long after Grinderman’s set. If that isn’t awesome I don’t know what is.

Gotye’s upcoming album Making Mirrors was played in full on Triple J last night and as expected it was completely awesome. While it may not be quite as attention-grabbing as Like Drawing Blood on first listen, the man sure as hell knows how to craft a tune.

His duet with Kimbra, Somebody That I Used To Know has gone platinum and he’s had to add even more tour dates because they keep selling out so fast. It’s nice to see a talented Australian getting attention for once.

His album is streaming over at the Triple J website. So if you’re up for a bit of swooning, be sure to check out before it gets taken down in a week’s time.

Finally, I have some music to share from Typhoon. I was sorting through all the music on my laptop, when I came across this EP. I don’t know I acquired it, but I’ve been enjoying it for the last few days.

They describe themselves as indie orchestra from Portland. Kind of like a less pretentious Arcade Fire.You can download their EP for $3.50 and it’s an investment you should definitely make.

 

Drawn From Bees Q&A

Brisbane band Drawn From Bees often get labelled as an art-rock band. However rather than being overly pretentious and inaccessible, their music is electic enough to require multiple listens and catchy enough to be completely enjoyable. They have a habit of releasing albums in quick succession and their new single Of Walls and Teeth is a great sign of things to come. I did a quick Q&A with the band about their upcoming album and recent American tour.

You guys often get tagged with the Art Rock label. How would you describe your music? 

If Bowie and John Fogarty, played cards on a Friday night with Neil Young at Roger Waters’ and Dave Gilmor’s house, while listening to Queen on the wireless, then you’d have a pretty good idea of where we come from.

You guys went to America last year. What was that like?

America was great.  Our schedule ended up being 20 performances in 17 days.  It was hectic, but had the time of our lives.  To experience something on the scale of SXSW was an absolute thrill.  To have all 4 members end up in 4 different parts of New York after a night out after our Bowery Ballroom showcase, was also an event.  One of which we’d all love to remember.

Did you see any impressive bands a SXSW?

We didn’t see these guys at SXSW, but the BAR BROTHERS were by far the stand-out band of the trip. We spent most of our time in SXSW supporting, and sharing a few beverages, with the Australian bands who made the trek.

You seem to leave very short gaps in-between releases. Do you plan to release albums to close together or does it just happen that way?

It had started as a challenge a couple of years ago when the band was conceived.  We had decided to make song writing the key component of the band, and attempt to do a release every 6 months within the first 2 years, with the aim of making a box set at the end.  Since then, we’ve actually held back, and just focused on writing.  We’re currently half way through an album recording, and just decided to release a single, which may, or may not be on the album.  Keep posted for the new release in 2012.


Can you tell us a bit about your latest single Of Walls and Teeth
?

Dan actually came into the studio one day with a demo of the song already recorded.  It immediately resonated with all of us.  Essentially, we heard the demo, went into the studio, jammed it out for a bit, and then went straight in a started tracking.  Dan layered some vocals, and came up with some really hooky guitar lines.  As to the meaning of the song, I have my ideas, but I won’t be sharing those on here.

What can we expect from your next album The May King and His Paper Crown?

I think the key word for the next album is ‘DIVERSE’.  Starting very much at rock, and then going into rockabilly alt country, then ending up at dabbling in issues beyond the grave.  Sounds like every other Drawn From Bees release really…

What’s next for you guys?

For the rest of 2011, single launch, east coast, in October, then hulled up, back in the studio, ready for an album release early 2012.  Hopefully then, and full Australian Tour, and a trip back to the states in March/April, home to say hello to the family, then back in the studio to write our double album LP Opus.

You can stream Of Walls and Teeth on the band’s Bandcamp page.