The Vaccines

The Vaccines

DIIV, San Cisco

Thu, January 31, 2013

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Terminal 5

New York, NY

This event is all ages

The Vaccines
The Vaccines
"With 'English Graffiti,' we've embraced modernity. I'm immensely proud of it."

Few modern British guitar bands have had such an instant impact as the Vaccines. Emerging in the summer of 2010 with blend of retro surf punk, Ramones guitars and Everly Brothers pop hooks, their high octane, ultra-melodic sound saw them instantly adopted as the hot new guitar band on the block. The London four-piece -- Justin Hayward-Young (vocals/guitar), Freddie Cowan (guitar), Arni Arnason (bass) and Pete Robertson (drums) -- had only formed in early 2010, but in early 2011, debut album "What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?" quickly achieved platinum status. Just 18 months later, the follow-up, "Come Of Age," hit Number One.

It was a mercurial rise, not least because guitar pop was unfashionable at the time and Young had previously been a struggling singer-songwriter. Under the moniker Jay Jay Pistolet, he'd hauled himself up and down the motorway to small audiences before forming the Vaccines and writing the songs that changed the game.

"I remember writing 'If You Wanna' in the rehearsal room at one of the first practices we ever had," he remembers. "Almost as a joke, I came up with writing what became the chorus. Once it actually sunk in and I realised that we had this big chorus on what had been this indie pop song I stopped and thought, 'There's no one else actually with pop songs this good, with guitars round their necks.' Most people were staring at their feet and covering everything in reverb. We really were in a lane of our own and we benefitted from that."

Indeed, Young vividly remembers playing the tents at Reading and Leeds festivals in summer 2011 and fretting that no one would be there.

"I'll always remember walking into the tent at T In The Park and 20,000 people chanting the Vaccines," he says. "It just sent shivers down my spine."

That was then. The last four years have seen them travel the world, play arenas, and experience the pop dream "way beyond what we ever imagined." However, the ever confident but self-critical Young felt unfulfilled.

"We've often felt that we were a good band but not an important band," he says, "and we want to be an important band."

Thus the Vaccines' game-changing third album, "English Graffiti," in which they tear up the plans and see what happens as they fall around them. The elements of the old Vaccines sound remain -- certainly in the buzzsaw pop rushes of "Handsome," "20/20" and "Radio Bikini" -- but their sonic palette is completely different. An eclectic and surprising adventurous musical mix with songs that acknowledge the Eighties pop of ELO and Duran Duran, while sounding firmly of the now.

"'English Graffiti' feels like a massive departure," says Young. "At times, making this record, I felt I was in a different band. All these influences from Buddy Holly to the Clash often get laid on us, but when they were around, they weren't looking backward, they were looking forward. On the first records, we may have tried to replicate some of those guitar sounds, but this time we thought 'Why not try and go for a sound that's from the future instead?"

The new sound has been achieved by first stockpiling over 50 songs -- Young writes every day -- and then working on the best in an upstate New York studio with Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann and Cole MGN, whose name is synonymous with sample-based pop and R&B, not guitar rock.

"They'd never worked with each other before but they became almost this dream team," chuckles Young. "Dave is this sonic wizard and anarchist really, never too scared to push it to extremes. Cole is our age and modern. He doesn't make indie rock records. Dave would record us in the main room and try and get these amazing sounding tapes and Cole would take them down the corridor and mess with them all. Then he'd give them back to Dave and Dave would fuck with them even more."

While making the record, The Clash's "Combat Rock" was a studio favourite. The ideal was to follow a similar trajectory as that band, who'd started off "rough and ready" but evolved into something nobody had expected. Similarly, Young wanted to
embrace modernity and what is going on around us in the world." As artists, this meant scrapping songs, remoulding songs, and at one point scrapping a previous version of the album, but it all felt liberating and exciting.

The album has an otherworldly atmosphere and a very postmodern theme of internet/social media-driven connection, but ultimately dislocation.

"That really came to the fore because of conversations I was having with friends," explains Young, who reveals that the title -- was informed by about seeing graffiti written in English, all over the globe. "I love technology, but you can go to a bar in Peru or China or anywhere in the world and everyone's wearing the same shirt and listening to the same music and drinking the same beer.

"Then technology can connect us with whoever we want to be connected to. We have constructed realities, but in the meantime being connected has brought disconnection in lack of friendship and feeling and love. We're the first generation going through this. I was sat at a table the other day and every one of us was on our phones and it felt like we were in the future. There's this clip on 'The Tonight Show' of Bono approaching this woman in the subway and singing 'With Or Without You,' but she wasn't looking at him. She just wanted to capture it on her phone. It's the strangest interaction I've ever seen."

These sort of dystopian themes emerge particularly on songs such as "Minimal Affection" or the funky "Want You So Bad." Songs such as "(All Afternoon) In Love" may particularly throw people who thought they knew what to expect from the Vaccines: it's otherworldly, gossamer, melancholy pop in the mould of 10cc's classic, "I'm Not In Love." "Radio Bikini"'s title had been in Young's diary for some time before he started playing around with combining a song that was ostensibly about the summer, but also about the bombing of Bikini Atoll in Vietnam -- a nod to the Dead Kennedys' punk classic, "Holiday In Cambodia."

These are some of the best songs of the Vaccines' career, none better than "Dream Lover," which nods to the Bobby Darin and Mariah Carey songs with the same title, but allies a hallucinatory atmosphere and lyric about an imaginary partner with a killer riff. Another dreamy monster is "Gimme A Sign," the last song written for the album, which found Young found himself chuckling at the pop hugeness of the chorus, which in a way brought him full circle, back to that day he penned "If You Wanna."

"I remember writing those songs on the first record thinking they were good enough to headline the Barfly with," he chuckles. "Everything we've done and achieved has been so above everything we ever expected, but I do think we're a great band and that 'English Graffiti' is a great record. Good music triumphs in the end. I'm immensely proud of it."
DIIV
DIIV
DIIV is the nom-de-plume of Z. Cole Smith, musical provocateur and front-man of an atmospheric and autumnally-charged new Brooklyn four-piece.

Recently inked to the uber-reliable Captured Tracks imprint, DIIV created instant vibrations in the blog-world with their impressionistic debut Sometime; finding it’s way onto the esteemed pages of Pitchfork and Altered Zones a mere matter of weeks after the group’s formation.

Enlisting the aid of NYC indie-scene-luminary, Devin Ruben Perez, former Smith Westerns drummer Colby Hewitt, and Mr. Smith’s childhood friend Andrew Bailey, DIIV craft a sound that is at once familial and frost-bitten. Indebted to classic kraut, dreamy Creation-records psychedelia, and the primitive-crunch of late-80’s Seattle, the band walk a divisive yet perfectly fused patch of classic-underground influence.

One part THC and two parts MDMA; the first offering from DIIV chemically fuses the reminiscent with the half-remembered building a musical world out of old-air and new breeze. These are songs that remind us of love in all it’s earthly perfections and perversions.

A lot of DIIV’s magnetism was birthed in the process Mr. Smith went through to discover these initial compositions. After returning from a US tour with Beach Fossils, Cole made a bold creative choice, settling into the window-facing corner of a painter’s studio in Bushwick, sans running water, holing up to craft his music.

In this AC-less wooden room, throughout the thick of the summer, Cole surrounded himself with cassettes and LP’s, the likes of Lucinda Williams, Arthur Russell, Faust, Nirvana, and Jandek; writings of N. Scott Momaday, James Welsh, Hart Crane, Marianne Moore, and James Baldwin; and dreams of aliens, affection, spirits, and the distant natural world (as he imagined it from his window facing the Morgan L train).

The resulting music is as cavernous as it is enveloping, asking you to get lost in it’s tangles in an era that demands your attention be focused into 140 characters.
San Cisco
San Cisco
San Cisco's storm came in much like a front approaching the port in their home town of Fremantle; swift and eerily beautiful. Initially whipped up in the wake of high school graduation, the foursome of Jordi, Josh, Scarlett, and Nick soon found themselves unwittingly defining hipster culture with the video for their breakout hit "Awkward."

Fast forward to 2015 where San Cisco enlisted the help of producer and long-term collaborator Steven Schram to deliver their sophomore album Gracetown which debuted at #2 on the ARIA charts. The album showcased a new sound for the band -- more worldly approach to life; exploring the tyranny of love, displacement, homesickness, heartache and heartbreak, via disco, funk, soul and hip hop undertones.

Extensive touring to eager audiences around the world took up the majority of 2015 and early 2016, playing festivals at home and headline tours from Maitland to Mexico. The remainder of the year was some down time and pulling together new song ideas, earwormy hooks and catchy choruses.

Now it's time to unleash the third sophomore album, The Water onto the world. A taste of the album was served up with single "SloMo" and a bonus B Side (aptly named "B Side") hitting the airwaves late last year. With more hits to come, The Water is as diverse in its sound as it is in subject matters.

The Water will be available to purchase globally in late April 2017 from iTunes.
Venue Information:
Terminal 5
610 W 56th St
New York, NY, 10019
http://www.terminal5nyc.com/