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The Vaccines interview

"We were nearly called The Catholics...” Simon Binns catches up with 2011’s most talked about band

Written by . Published on February 17th 2011.

The Vaccines interview

The Vaccines have been plugged here there and everywhere as this year’s bright young indie hopes. The Guardian called the London four-piece the Jesus and Mary Chain on happy pills. Simon Binns caught up with drummer Pete Robertson as the band geared up for the NME Awards tour.

“Then someone mentioned The Red Indians, and we all latched onto that. I thought it was amazing. We actually played one show under that name.”

SB: I’ve been counting the number of times ‘Post Break-up Sex’ has been on the radio today in the office. Six.
PR: “Six. Blimey. That’s alright. It’s all good at the minute. It’s not secret we’ve had a lot of hype. It can get a bit out of control. It’s a funny one with some sections of the media – they like to build you up a little quickly sometimes. But is has been great for exposure. The only downside is we’re being judged and you have to live up to those expectations.”

SB: The NME Tour is normally a chaotic affair. How are you going to cope with it?
PR: “The NME tour is a pretty prestigious slot. We’re looking forward to it. It’s a good mix on the bill – us, Everything Everything, Magnetic Man and Crystal Castles. We should all get along. Maybe we’ll all learn from each other.”

SB: Tell me about the beginnings of The Vaccines.
PR: “The band started up about a year and a bit ago and felt early on that they were onto something special. I joined last May and we hit it off. We all sort of knew each other from the London music scene. It’s not that big.”

SB: How about the name? Any other contenders until The Vaccines came along?
PR: “Erm...I probably shouldn’t even be telling you this, but we toyed with The Catholics. It had such a cool ring to it, but yeah, I suppose it is a bit...divisive, potentially. We’d have probably cracked it in South America though.

“Then someone mentioned The Red Indians, and we all latched onto that. I thought it was amazing. We actually played one show under that name. I don’t know why we all kept getting so excited about such tricky names. They did sound cool though.”

SB: You can pretty much create your own hype through the internet now, dishing out the odd track and creating more and more interest.
PR: “Instead of putting a few bits out there and living off the hype, we wanted to do it the other way round. We wanted to lock ourselves away and get an album’s worth of material written before we got out there.

“It is really easy to record and release music these days, but we wanted to make a record we were happy with first.”

SB: Fair enough. How has the live experience changed from the first shows then?
PR: “The first gigs we did had about four people at them. Then we played our first London show in Camden and Zane Lowe started playing us. People started talking. Because it’s gone so well, we’ll probably be touring all year, which is fine by me.”

The NME Awards tour rolls into Manchester tonight (Feb 4) and continues until the end of February:

Newcastle O2 Academy (7)
Nottingham Rock City (8)
Leeds O2 Academy (9)
Norwich UEA (11)
Birmingham O2 Academy (12)
Cardiff University Great Hall (13)
Bristol O2 Academy (15)
Bournemouth O2 Academy (16)
Brighton Dome (17)
London O2 Academy Brixton (19)

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