The last time we spoke with The Vaccines was in February this year, when they were here in Singapore to open for their Britrock senior Kasabian. Now we talk to The Vaccines again, this time being crowned the Best British Rock Band after landing their sophomore effort Come of Age on the No. 1 spot in the UK. In the midst of their hectic tour schedule, we caught up with drummer Pete Robertson on distant dreams, growing up and the “universal feeling of wondering”. These lads are not all that boisterous after all.
For a band only two years young but already with two hugely successful records, The Vaccines is big! How do you handle it, from being the opening band for the pioneers of Britrock to now taking your own albums on the road? How is it like being known as the Best British Rock Band?
I don’t know, well, I’m glad to hear that. Three words: Life is good!
Have you ever expected that you will one day come round Asia?
You know how when you’re growing up in England or the South of England or London or whatever, the idea of taking your music to Malaysia or Bangkok or Singapore or some other far away places seem ambiguous; it is a distant dream. And now that we are actually doing it, it’s incredible!
Will you drop by Singapore for a full show? We’re just a 40 minutes plane ride away from Kuala Lumpur!
Ah no, but we wish we could!
What’s on your traveling playlist?
We have quick rotations (of playlists) in our dressing rooms! We are listening to a lot of Here We Go Magic, The Drums, The Beach Boys and Connan Tant (Conna Mockasin).
In 2011, there was The Waxines (The Vaccines and Noah & The Whale) for a day. Will we hear any more of The Waxines in the future? Everyone digs it!
Yes, we did, well, Justin did. Justin and Charlie (frontman of Noah & The Whale) are really good friends. Yeah we’ve done a few concerts with them, either at festivals or we support each other and it’s really fun to play together!
Ah about The Waxines, I don’t know about future collaborations, we haven’t really talked about it. But we’re open to anything; anything is possible you know, never say never!
(Watch The Waxines here!)
Did band really Come of Age with the album?
Um, I don’t know, I don’t think so! I think it’s a long way to go! What we found interesting about the idea of Come of Age or rather coming of age is that we wanted to really, truly be defined as a something, like a concrete thing. Like something that we can sit down and talk to god and say “I have done this”. We all want to end up in a place where we do come of age and feel like adults, and I don’t think any of us really do (yet).
I’m wondering what the universe will think or what everyone else: our parents, our grandparents will think if we have really come of age.
Was the band hinting at progression with the album title Come of Age?
Yes I think so, we definitely have grown. The thing I feel most proud of about the second record is how we are much more able to express ourselves. The first album, yes we are very proud of it as well, but we thought we were kinda hiding up in terms of ambitions and songwriting. The second time round (for Come of Age) we were more able to explore that, and we were more confident, I think. That’s the main progression and that’s really comforting.
What’s the concept behind featuring 4 grungy and badass-looking girls on your album cover?
Yeah, they are not us! It’s Justin's idea actually. Come of Age explores the idea of growing up, and you know, the universal feeling of wondering: whether coming of age is a universal thing. Then Justin came up with the whole “people living the same lives but we are actually different” idea. It’s an identity thing, with the coming of age. It fits the album, like we are exploring our identity: what would it be like if we were different: younger, from a different place, or if we were girls.
Who is your life band?
It has got to be The Strokes!
The Vaccines' sophomore album Come of Age is already out at all good record stores and digital outlets. The band will also perform at The Bee, Publika on January 11. Tickets on sale at both outlets of The Bee in Publika and Jaya One and Rock Corner, Bangsar Village.