Controlling their own frenetic destiny
Ones To Watch 2011 - The Vaccines

So it’s that time of year again - there’s snow on the floor, logs on the fire, and more importantly, bands everywhere are checking to see if they’ve made it into the Clash 2011 list. Well, The Vaccines can relax in their Christmas jumpers - they’re in.

“It’s been amazing, really, really fun,” declares frontman Justin Young. “We didn’t know what to expect because there was a bit of momentum before we went out and played some shows. We’re just really happy and excited by the fact that any kids are turning up, but they seem to be enjoying it, and we’re slowly getting better.”

When you talk to the young Vaccine, certain elements become clear in his leadership of the much-tipped band. For one, he has a clear idea of what it is a ‘new band’ should do - i.e. play before promo - there’s nowhere better to cut your teeth than on stages up and down the country. It seems like an obvious philosophy but it’s been somewhat lost in an era where PR and hype can be more important than substance.

“In terms of what people say or write about, you can’t really help it,” muses Young. “But it’s good to limit it because you don’t really want to be standing on the front cover of magazines before you’ve released a note do you? It’s not always within the bounds of control but you do need to try and maintain that control.”

This is key to the genealogy of The Vaccines - staying in charge. And as interest in them starts to pick up pace it’s only likely to increase with the release of that ‘first note’ of substance: the much-anticipated debut record.

“It’s really good. We’ve nearly finished it,” he beams about the as-yet-unnamed debut. “It’s going to be a live album - that’s the way it’s worked out; a song-based record.”

This is again a measure of the firm grip and strong understanding that Young has in relation to steering his band through the pitfalls of the music industry. By opting to record a live album, The Vaccines are doing what they’re best at and capturing the sound that has won them so much accolade. The frenetic energy that the band is becoming renowned for will only be fully utilised on a live LP - warts and all.

Words by Sam Ballard
Photos by Jesse John Jenkins

Where: London
What: Guitar-driven pop
Unique Fact: Guitarist Freddie Cowan is Tom Horrors’ brother.
Get 3 songs: ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’, ‘If You Wanna’, ‘Blow It Up’

- - -


Follow Clash: