The Vines (band)

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The Vines
CraigNicholls Chicago04.jpg
Craig Nicholls performing with the Vines in 2004
Background information
Also known as Rishikesh, Joe Dirt, Foregone Conclusion, the Crimes
Origin Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Genres
Years active 1994–present
Labels Wicked Nature Music, Capitol, Heavenly, Ivy League, BMG, Cooking Vinyl, Sony Music
Website thevines.com
Members Craig Nicholls
Lachlan West
Tim John
Past members David Oliffe
Patrick Matthews
Ryan Griffiths
Brad Heald
Hamish Rosser

The Vines are an Australian rock band formed in 1994 in Sydney. Their sound has been described as a musical hybrid of 1960s garage rock and 1990s alternative rock. The band's current line-up consists of vocalist and guitarist Craig Nicholls, bass guitarist Tim John and drummer Lachlan West.

The Vines' success in the Australian recording industry resulted in winning an ARIA Award in 2002, 'Breakthrough Artist – Single', for "Get Free" and receiving five other nominations for their debut album Highly Evolved, plus two further nominations in subsequent years. In 2003, the album went platinum in Australia,[1] and since then the band has released four albums and a best-of compilation from their time at Capitol Records. The Vines have released six studio albums to date.

History[edit]

Formation and early years (1994–2000)[edit]

The original line-up of Rishikesh formed in Sydney in 1994 when vocalist and lead guitarist Craig Nicholls and bass guitarist Patrick Matthews met whilst working at their local McDonald's in the suburb of South Hurstville, New South Wales. They were soon joined by Matthews' school friend David Olliffe on drums.[2] The name "Rishikesh", suggested by Olliffe, refers to the Indian city where the Beatles visited an ashram in 1968.[3] The local newspapers regularly misprinted the name as "Rishi Chasms", so Nicholls suggested a new name, "the Vines", as an homage to his father, who fronted a local band called the Vynes. The group started performing Nirvana and You Am I covers at backyard parties while developing their sound on Nicholls' four-track recorder.[3]

Over the next few years, the Vines gigged infrequently and remained relatively unknown, even in their hometown, yet by the beginning of 2001 they had amassed a repertoire of over thirty songs.[2] On the strength of their demo, Rex Records put out what was to be their first single, "Factory", as a limited seven-inch single. The release became NME's Single of the Week in November 2001.[4]

Highly Evolved, fame, and critical acclaim (2001–2003)[edit]

Main article: Highly Evolved

In July 2001, the band flew to Los Angeles to start recording their debut album, Highly Evolved, with Rob Schnapf. David Olliffe was replaced a few months later as a result of increasing record company interest, and the band hadwith session drummers such as Joey Waronker of R.E.M.

Their debut single, "Factory" was released in November 2001 in the UK and gained a good response in the press, with the NME describing their garage rock sound as "of the oldest school".[5] The band then signed to Heavenly Records in the UK in December 2001 and EMI in Australia in April 2002. The single "Highly Evolved" earned them more critical acclaim as NME made it a single of the week in March 2002.[6] The single charted in the UK at number 32 on the singles chart and on Australia's ARIAnet top 100 singles chart.

The band appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone in October 2002 (the first Australian band to do so since Men at Work in 1983) with the words "Rock is Back: Meet the Vines" boldly emblazoned underneath.[7] Referred to as the 'The' bands, the Strokes, the Hives, the White Stripes, and the Vines combined "old fashioned punk and adrenaline fuelled riffs" to be ushered in at the beginning of 2002 as the "saviors of rock".[8]

The release of the album saw more critical success, with the band appearing on the cover of NME. The album reached number 11 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 albums chart.[9][10] The band played high-profile slots on the Late Show with David Letterman[11] and the MTV Video Music Awards. Several more singles were released from the album, including "Get Free" and "Outtathaway!". A fourth single, "Homesick", was released in Australia only. The band went on to win an ARIA Award, 'Breakthrough Artist – Single', for "Get Free" in 2002, and were nominated for "Best Group", "Best Rock Album", "Best Cover Art", and "Breakthrough Artist – Album".[12] Highly Evolved sold 1.5 million copies throughout the world with distribution through Capitol Records.[13] By end of 2003, the album went platinum in Australia.[1]

"Get Free" from the Vines' debut album Highly Evolved.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

In May 2003, the band went into a studio in Woodstock, New York with Rob Schnapf again on production. While Craig Nicholls had talked of having a highly produced album, he told the Australian edition of Rolling Stone in March 2004 that they decided to stick to a less-is-more philosophy. "I wanted it to be – in my head – something grand, with big ideas and that vision sort of thing. But at the same time, that doesn't mean that something can't be special if it's just simple. Because I think that the songs are the main thing".[14]

Winning Days (2004–2005)[edit]

Main article: Winning Days
The Vines, Camden Electric Ballroom, 19 February 2004

Their second album, Winning Days, was released on 29 March 2004 and rose to number 23 in the US.[9][10] "Ride" and "Winning Days" were released as singles in Australia (where they did not chart) and the UK.

Vision Valley and a return to the stage (2006–2007)[edit]

Main article: Vision Valley

In mid-2005, the group announced they were working on their third album, with producer Wayne Connolly. Andy Kent of fellow Australian band You Am I filled in on bass playing duties. In November of that year, the band's management announced they had finished recording all the songs that would appear on the album.

"Don't Listen to the Radio" was released as the album's first single, and was made available for digital download on 7 March on iTunes. The song was used on the soundtrack for the video game FlatOut 2.[15] "Gross Out" was made available for digital download on 18 March, and was the first song leaked from the album. Vision Valley was released on 1 April 2006 in Australia, 3 April in Europe, and 4 April in the United States.

Vision Valley consisted of short, immediate songs; the album running little over 30 minutes in length. "Anysound" was the second official single from the album, and an animated music video was released exclusively through YouTube. "Dope Train" was released as a third single, with a music video composed of live footage of the band from Big Day Out in 2007.

On 19 July 2006, the Vines played a gig at the Annandale Hotel under the name "Joe Dirt", with a new bassist, Brad Heald, after former bassist Patrick Matthews departed the group.

Melodia (2008)[edit]

Main article: Melodia (album)

In 2007, the Vines signed to Ivy League Records for an Australian album deal. The first single preceding the album Melodia was "He's a Rocker", which was released through iTunes on 3 June 2008 along with two bonus tracks. "MerryGoRound" was released as a follow-up single for radio airplay in Australia during August 2008. "MerryGoRound" only received support and backing from Triple J radio. "Get Out" was released as the third single from Melodia in September 2008 for radio airplay, and a music video was released to coincide with the release of "Get Out" as a single by Ivy League Records on YouTube. "Get Out" was featured on the in-game soundtrack of Midnight Club: Los Angeles released in late October 2008 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gaming platforms.

In October 2008, the Vines commenced a national Australian tour in support of Melodia, playing small venues throughout Australia. In November 2008, the Vines were announced as being part of the line-up for the 2009 Australian Big Day Out, but the band cancelled.

Future Primitive and Departure of Griffiths and Rosser (2009–2012)[edit]

On 14 November 2009, the Vines played at the Annandale Hotel, under the alias of the Crimes. They had a support slot with You Am I, playing their back catalogue and a new song from an album due in 2011.[16]

The Vines recorded in early 2010. They also played gigs that year, including a set at the Annandale Hotel on 23 June where they debuted new songs "Future Primitive", "Gimme Love", and "Black Dragon". They also played Splendour in the Grass on 1 August and Singfest, a Singapore music festival on 5 August. At the start of September, they supported Powderfinger at the first four shows of their farewell tour.

A music video for "Gimme Love" wrapped filming on 1 March 2011, with the completed video surfacing online through YouTube on 27 March. The music video pays homage to the 2010 film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

It's cool that we're still together and that we got through it all, all the hard times and all the ups and downs. I know a lot of other bands have split, but I guess I just don't know what else I would do if I wasn't doing this.
Craig Nicholls May 2011.[17]

Over a year after its completion, Future Primitive received an official release date through The Daily Telegraph on 3 June 2011. Because the Vines did not have a label at the time of recording, the band members funded the album's recording themselves. Upon the album's completion, the band approached various record labels to see if any were interested in signing the band for its release, explaining the year-long delay between recording and release.

In May 2011, the Vines played on-stage with the Dandy Warhols at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney for the song "It's a Fast-Driving Rave-Up with The Dandy Warhols".[18] The two bands had previously had dinner at the Warhols' studio The Odditorium in 2004, along with the bands Jet and the Strokes.[19]

In an interview with Music Feeds at Splendour in the Grass 2011, Nicholls talked about a late 2011 or early 2012 release date for their still unnamed sixth album.[20] On 26 November 2011, rumours on the band's Facebook page suggested that the band had "pushed out" two of its members. At the 2011 Homebake music festival, the Vines emerged on the main-stage as a three piece, consisting of Nicholls, Heald and drummer Murray Sheridan. The departure of both Griffiths and Rosser was confirmed by Channel V presenter Jane Gazzo, who wrote that the two had been "sacked" in a Twitter post.

Craig's sister, Jess Nicholls, also confirmed their departure via the band's official forum.[21] "If any of you were at Homebake yesterday, I'm sure you can agree the set was amazing and sounded better than ever," she wrote. "The band has made a creative decision to revert back to a three piece, as they originally started. I know you will probably have a lot of questions but just wanted to say don't fear, this is in no way the end of the Vines!!" Nicholls, Heald and Sheridan performed again at Southbound music festival in Perth on 8 January 2012.

On 16 March 2012, Rosser announced that he had joined Australian rock band Wolfmother, as their new drummer, on the Faster Louder website. He also claimed that the band had "broken up," although "Craig [Nicholls] will always write great music in the future and he may choose to carry on under the Vines’ name."[22]

Wicked Nature and White Shadows (2012–2015)[edit]

Main article: Wicked Nature

On 30 March 2012, the Vines' Facebook page changed its profile picture to a single previously unseen promotional photo of Nicholls, implying that he was the only remaining member of the band.[23] Heald confirmed his departure from the band in 2012. A new line-up, consisting of Nicholls, drummer Lachlan West and bassist Tim John, entered the studio to record their sixth album on 20 August 2012 in Sydney's 301 Studio and completed the mixing of the album at the end of 2012.[24][25]

On 18 April 2013, the band's management, Parker & Mr French, announced via their Tumblr page that "the new record from the Vines is definitely on the way".[26] Additionally, "2013 has the Vines sixth album in the incubator and an announcement coming about a new and the first collaborative side project from Craig Nicholls." was written on the band's own section of the Parker & Mr French Tumblr page.[27]

West revealed in a June 2013 interview with his other band, Something With Numbers, that two producers have worked on the forthcoming Vines release. Paul McKercher produced the first half of the record and Lachlan Mitchell, who also produced the latest Something With Numbers record, worked on the second half based upon West's recommendation to Nicholls. The article also stated that the new Vines album was "due for release in the latter half of this year (2013)".[28] However, the year passed with no new material from the band or news as to when the album would be released.

On 3 June 2014, a new press shot featuring the new line-up was uploaded to the band's official Facebook page, as well as a new cover photo containing an updated version of the band's original logo.[29] According to a June 2014 Faster Louder article, in addition to the anticipated sixth album, a seventh album was recorded with the new line-up. The article also mentioned that Nicholls' collaborative side project, announced by the band's management in 2013, remains unreleased.[24]

At the beginning of July 2014, the Vines created a PledgeMusic page for their sixth record Wicked Nature, a double album which was released on 2 September 2014.[30] The lead single "Metal Zone" was released on July 14.[31] Its music video premiered on Noisy on July 11.

In spring of 2015, it was announced that Craig Nicholls started a side project called White Shadows, which focused on electronic music. A debut album for the project, titled Secret Of Life, was later released that year. It's lead single, "Give Up Give Out Give In", was released on April 9, 2015 with a music video produced. The album featured over 70 different guest musicians.[32][33]

Upcoming Seventh Studio Album (2016 - present)[edit]

On 25 March 2016, the band changed their profile picture on Facebook to the band's logo. Along with this came a new post featuring a picture of Craig Nicholls in the studio playing guitar with the caption "Album #7 coming soon..." On 1 April 2016, the first single "In Miracle Land" was released.

Musical style[edit]

Unlike many other pop post-modernists, the Vines never sound weighed down by all the influences they include in their music—it's as if they're so excited by everything they hear, they can't help but recombine it in unique ways.[34]

— Heather Phares, AllMusic

Ex-bassist Matthews believed that Winning Days was a step in a different direction for the band. "The themes are more introspective and less wild rock'n'roll".[13] Their music also was described by Chart Attack as having "neo-psychedelic arrangements".[35]

Reception[edit]

Upon the release of their debut album, the Vines were hailed as "the second coming of Nirvana" by the British press; their grungy sound was considered reminiscent of the Seattle scene circa 1991 and Nicholls' erratic on-stage behaviour and raw vocals drew comparisons between him and Kurt Cobain.[36][37][38] Highly Evolved became a huge success and their accompanying live shows in the early years were praised as "electrifying" and "sensational".[39]

Critical reactions to 2004's Winning Days were mixed. Pitchfork's Chris Ott described it as being "nothing more than boring and harmlessly vapid" and showing "only mild promise".[40] Conversely, Rolling Stone' David Fricke said it was "a leap forward in style and frenzy".[41]

Activism[edit]

In 2006, the Vines created a decorated heart card to benefit PETA.[42] In 2007, the group joined the organisation in calling for an end to Canada's seal hunt.[43]

Band members[edit]

Current members
  • Craig Nicholls – lead vocals, guitar (1994–present)
  • Lachlan West – drums (2012–present)
  • Tim John – bass (2012–present)
Former members
  • David Oliffe – drums (1994–2002)
  • Patrick Matthews – bass, backing vocals (1994–2004)
  • Hamish Rosser – drums, backing vocals (2002–2011)
  • Ryan Griffiths – guitar, backing vocals (2002–2011)
  • Brad Heald – bass, backing vocals (2006–2012)
Session members
  • Andy Kent – bass on Vision Valley, one Triple J Live at the Wireless performance (2006)
  • Murray Sheridan - drums at two festival performances (2011)

Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

Main article: The Vines discography

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2003 Albums". ARIA Charts. 20 January 2004. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "The Vines – Guest Program". abc.net.au. 5 October 2002. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "The Vines – Guests and Specials – Rage – ABC Television". abc.net.au. 30 July 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "NME 2001 lists". Rocklist.net. Archived from the original on 27 March 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Robinson, John (30 October 2001). "The Vines : Factory". NME. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "2002 NME Single of the Week Chart". NME. Archived from the original on 25 March 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Sheffield, Rob (6 August 2002). "The Vines". Craig Nicholls has all the makings of a rock star. Rolling Stone Magazine. Archived from the original on 29 October 2007. Retrieved 13 April 2008. 
  8. ^ Schlauch, Jeff (13 February 2003). "Retro rock rules airwaves". Bands like The Hives and The Strokes are proclaimed rock saviors. The Equinox. Archived from the original on 3 January 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2008. 
  9. ^ a b "The Vines Song Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "The Vines Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "Vines in a tangle". Sydney Morning Herald. 5 June 2004. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "Artist: Vines The". ARIA Charts. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  13. ^ a b "Whither the Vines?". The Age (Melbourne). 22 May 2004. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "Winning Days". Rolling Stone (Australian Edition). March 2004. 
  15. ^ "'FlatOut 2' (PS2/Xbox/PC) Rockin' Soundtrack Revealed". worthplaying.com. 31 May 2006. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "The Vines stage a comeback". fasterlouder.net.au. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "FUTURE PRIMITIVE". thevines.com. 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  18. ^ "The Dandy Warhols + The Vines – It's a Fast Driving Rave-Up". YouTube. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  19. ^ Sean Gothman (16 April 2004). "DIG! SF". dandywarhols.com. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  20. ^ Brayden Darke (3 August 2011). "The Vines New Album – Late This Year or Early Next Year Release?". musicfeeds.com.au. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  21. ^ "New members? – Page 2". Thevines.forumotion.com. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  22. ^ "Vines drummer joins Wolfmother; claims The Vines have "broken up"". Fasterlouder.com.au. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  23. ^ "Profile Pictures". Facebook. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  24. ^ a b "The Vines prepare for comeback, have two albums recorded". Faster Louder. Faster Louder Pty Ltd. 5 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  25. ^ "Lachlan West Webstagram". Lachlan West. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  26. ^ "Parker & Mr French Tumblr". Parker & Mr French. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  27. ^ "Parker & Mr French Tumblr - The Vines". Parker & Mr French. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  28. ^ "Counting In the New". Michael Smith. 15 June 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  29. ^ "The Vines Official Facebook". The Vines. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  30. ^ "The Vines: Wicked Nature". PledgeMusic. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  31. ^ "The Vines announce new double album". NME. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  32. ^ Ross, Annabel. "The Birth of White Shadows". rollingstoneaus.com. Rolling Stones. Retrieved May 12, 2015. 
  33. ^ "Craig Nicholls project, White Shadows, enlists all-star guests for debut album". abc.net.au. ABC. Retrieved December 3, 2015.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  34. ^ Phares, Heather. "Highly Evolved – The Vines : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  35. ^ Keene, Darrin (21 May 2002). "LIVE: The Vines". chartattack.com. Archived from the original on 29 April 2003. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  36. ^ James Oldham (26 March 2002). "Vines: Highly Evolved". NME. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  37. ^ Mike Usinger (15 April 2004). "Vines Show Growth". straight.com. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  38. ^ "Fruit of The Vines". The Sun-Herald. 30 July 2002. 
  39. ^ "NME Reviews - Vines : Brighton Freebutt". Nme.Com. 2005-09-12. Retrieved 2015-11-02. 
  40. ^ Ott, Chris (14 April 2004). "The Vines: Winning Days". Pitchfork. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  41. ^ [1] Archived 12 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  42. ^ "Get Valentine's Day cards from The Vines and Franz!". nme.com. 9 February 2006. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  43. ^ "Jet and the Vines Join PETA Against Seal Slaughter - Starpulse.com". starpulse.com. 15 May 2007. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 

External links[edit]