With the help of a new line-up in Tim John on bass and Lachy West on drums, The Vines are back with their sixth studio album. The 22 track Wicked Nature is the band’s first double album, their first independent release, and the name of their new label. Tomatrax caught up with Tim John to discuss the Vines’ latest work!
What is it like to join a band at had been around for almost two decades and released 5 albums?
Lachlan and I grew up as big Vines fans, so getting to work on music with Craig has been pretty cool. I actually found of photo of me 15 years old wearing a Vines shirt. When a band that’s been around for as long as the Vines there’s some hesitation when there’s a change in members, but Vines fans have been nothing but cool to us.
What made you decide to release a double album?
Originally we’d intended on releasing the first disc only, which was recorded with Paul McKercher in Sydney, over the next few months Craig had written 10 new songs which he was really excited about, we got together over a few rehearsals then recorded the second disc very quickly, and loved how it turned out, decided it should be a double album.
The album works as two parts, when writing each song did you know what part it would end up on, or did you work that out later?
The two discs were recorded over different sessions. Craig is different in that he already has an idea of where each song will fit on the album before recording them, so despite a few changes the track listing was already layed out.
Where did the name Wicked Nature come from?
I remember Craig mentioning Wicked Nature had double meaning. I’d like to say the album has an environmental theme on some of the songs, but Wicked Nature was definitely intended to have a punk ethos behind it.
What made you pick Metal Zone as the single for the album?
When we first jammed on the opening riff of Metal zone in rehearsals there was lots of excitement in the room, our producer Paul captured the punk & energy of the song, and we decided it should be the first single. It’s definitely one of the heavier songs on the album, but has all the classic elements of a Vines song.
A lot of the songs on the album are around or less than 2 minutes long, was it a conscious decision to have so many shorter songs?
I think that’s the influence of early Kinks albums to be honest, and a lot of album’s from the 60s. Craig’s a massive fan of that era and a lot of the Vines song are straight to the point, that’s his style.
Craig said that in making the album were no computers, no mobiles, etc. Was it hard to complete the album with all these restrictions?
Craig doesn’t have a mobile phone or computer, all of his demos were recorded on a 4-track tape recorder at home, which is pretty unique nowadays. It’s not difficult because Craig definitely thrives in the studio, we spent a lot of time learning from him.
You recorded part two of the album in 5 days, how did you manage to get it all done so quickly?
Craig had written 10 new songs after finishing the first disc, we got together and rehearsed them over 2 days. The next week we recorded in Sydney with Lachlan Mitchell, recorded and mixed them all in 5 days. All of the songs were recorded live, we were actually still learning them in the studio as we went along, which kept it really exciting.
Your press release states “Forget what you think you know about The Vines. It starts again right here with this major musical statement”. Does the band see this album as something completely separate from the previous Vines’ work?
We’re really excited for people to hear the new material, it’s not about forgetting the past but more so the first album to be released independently, and not having the normal pressures from record companies which makes for a happier environment. It’s much more about the fans now.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Sometimes, it brings back good memories of recording the albums.
What other music do you listen to?
Gorillaz, Midnight Oil, Andy Bull, Beck and Violent Soho.
Now that the album is out what do you plan on doing next?
We’ll be touring shortly and hopefully get back in the studio again soon.
Wicked Nature has just been released! Check out The Vines’ website to find out more!