The Vaccines are heading into the studio in January
"We've got about twenty songs"
Published: 8:56 am, August 31, 2016
“It’s as much of a rite of passage for bands as it is for kids going,” Justin Young describes of the festival he’s getting ready to perform at. “We haven’t been for four years. It’s so nice to be back.” Playing on the main stage at Reading under the co-headlining duo of Fall Out Boy and Biffy Clyro, The Vaccines have come a long way in the near-half-decade sing they last performed in these fields.
“It only really feels real for that hour or so you’re on stage,” Justin illustrates of the experience stepping out into such a lauded arena. “Then you’re like ‘oh, shit, there’s a Vaccines t-shirt!’ or ‘that person’s singing along!” Enthusing about the Stormzy and Red Hot Chili Peppers sets they caught the night before, the group are in high spirits.
And so are their fans. A year has passed since latest album ‘English Graffiti’ was released, and the songs have cemented their place among fan favourites. “Those songs are kind of engrained in peoples’ hearts and minds, so that when people come and watch us now they get the same sort of response as singles from the first two records,” Justin enthuses. “It’s really gratifying. I’m really proud of that album.”
Considering that the band had “never ever played these songs live before [they] recorded them” (“we didn’t even know how to play them before”), the heights to which they’ve risen with them is a testament to just how good The Vaccines are at what they do. “These songs feel so different now to when we first started recording them – almost three years ago, which is pretty crazy.”
It’s not just the songs that have changed. Now a three-piece after drummer Pete Robertson left the outfit back in June, the band has crossed into a definite new chapter of their lives. “It was quite shocking,” the frontman recalls. “I remember we were supposed to be in the studio the day he told us. We all just went out for a pint and just thought ‘fuck.’”
Joining the group on site today, the group dynamic is still unquestionably tight. “I think it’s a testament to how close we all still are and how much we love each other. It’s sad, but it was definitely the right decision for him and it’s a good thing for the band too, in a lot of ways.” With their future wide open, The Vaccines are raring to go.
“For the next record I think we will probably play songs out live before we record them,” Justin contemplates. “Obviously songs are constantly evolving, but I think it’d be nice if perhaps there’s a bit more life in the songs on the next record.” That new record might be set to arrive sooner than you think. “We’ve got about twenty songs,” the frontman reveals. “I think there are some really good ones actually. I’m quite excited.”
Inspired by “love and loss and the ageing process” (“intensely self-involved things”), the record promises to showcase The Vaccines at their open-hearted best. “I like things that make me sad and angry and insecure. I think all those things are really good to draw on,” Justin describes. “Whether or not you relate to what I’m saying or how I’m trying to say it, it’s always from quite a real place.” Starting recording as early as January, the group might be reaching new heights right now, but every thought is geared towards the future.
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