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Interviews |  25 Oct 2014 12:42 |  By RnMTeam

The Vaccines believe their India tour is going to be a special experience

MUMBAI: British indie-rock band The Vaccines, who, in their four years of career, have been opening for acts like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Arctic Monkeys, The Rolling Stones, Muse and others at various music festivals, are all set to come to India and headline the Pune and Delhi editions of Bacardi NH7 Weekender. Besides, they will also be performing at The Humming Tree in Bangalore on 22 November, making this trip a three city tour, pleasing all their fans in the country.

Two albums and an EP in their pockets, the band’s music has shown varied genre influences – from rock and roll to traces of punk with pop. Some of their most popular tracks are ‘Post break-up sex’, ‘Teenage Icon’, ‘Wetsuit’ and ‘I Always Knew’. The band, formed by Justin Young Howard (lead vocals, guitar), formerly popular as Jay Jay Pistolet, also includes members like Freddie Cowan (lead guitars, vocals), Arni Arnason (bass, vocals) and Pete Robertson (drums, vocals).

The guitarist – Cowan talked to about their music, journey and India tour.

On the band’s conception

Four years ago, we had broken up with our bands and were bored when Justin and I thought of jamming together for fun. We were all playing for different bands then; Justin was a solo artiste, while I was a session guitarist. We were not under pressure of doing anything and just wanted to make music with no ambition.

After a while, we realised that we had some really good music that we made and it was pretty obvious that we had good chemistry with each other. It was a good combination and we loved it. We took it from there started devoting all our time to that. Even though no one had heard our music, we loved what we were doing and knew it was great and did not care about anything else. The other guys (bass player and drummer) got involved later.

On their journey and accomplishments

I think that four years is not short a time anymore. Nowadays, people can access anything immediately and connect instantly. If people are excited about something, it does not take long to catch up and the audience gets everything they want to look for.

I feel really great that we have been doing this for four years and it has been an incredible experience. I feel like we have done a lot and there is still a lot more to accomplish for us as a band. I just hope that we can keep making music.
On their influences, music and upcoming album

We are deeply inspired by pop culture and everything that is fun. I really believe that the kind of music we make comes from a place of fun. So, we are inspired by what we are doing and everything around us.

Justin writes most of the lyrics and we would not make anything that would be boring to listen to. We all love pop music and like to write catchy lyrics and melodies. We are only trying to make the kind of music that we like to listen to.

You like aspects of what everybody does. So, I love everyone from David Bowie to The Clash. I like people who, I feel, have done the best in what they do.

I do not think there is ever just one source of inspiration. Especially in our case, it is like a cathartic expression of intense emotional bursts. We write about what we feel.

Besides, we have always loved great musicians and classic cult bands that have been legendary in what they do. That is also how we chose the name of the band. We wanted a classic name and realised that The Vaccines sounded great, like a hardcore rock n’ roll band.

Rock n’ roll, according to me, is the best kind of music when it is done right. Most of our songs have influences from that genre although we do not limit ourselves to any particular genre. ‘Melody Calling’ (latest EP) was an exploration for us and it was different. We have experimented with perky pop songs, heavy guitars, and everything else that is young, exciting and fun. The essence of what we are trying to achieve is growing as musicians and giving the audience our best.

We are working on an album now and hoping that we will finish it this year and release it next year. We have a few songs but not sure about which ones will make it into our next album.

On coming to India

We have always wanted to go to India for no particular reason; it sounds like a fun thing to do. We will be performing at Bangalore, Pune and Delhi and are hoping to see a lot of the country for the days that we are there.

I have always felt that India is a unique and unusual place. Whenever we tell people here that we will be playing in India, they are very amazed. I do not really know what to expect but I am looking forward to experiencing the country.
I like a lot of 60’s and 70’s Bollywood music and I am a fan of Ananda Shankar (nephew of Ravi Shankar).

It is always so exciting to see people reacting to your music and it is extremely special. We are expecting this trip to be as great as our other few gig experiences and we love to meet our fans. So, we are all totally excited to perform in India, and I think it is going to be a very special experience.