By MELLY LING
It’s almost impossible to believe right now, but the four members of London-based indie rockers The Vaccines were awkward kids growing up. As you would imagine, music was their only form of emotional escape.|
Speaking to R.AGE before their first ever show in Malaysia, guitarist Freddie Cowan and drummer Pete Robertson said it was those experiences that moulded their music to become what it is today.
“The inspiration is definitely personal development and experiences. I guess we kinda grow hands doing what we do in life as we experience it. We’re not moaning about anything. We’re just making observations,” said Cowan.
Cowan and lead vocalist/guitarist Justin Young formed The Vaccines in 2009 with a third member who left the band soon after. By early 2010, Cowan and Young had added Robertson and bassist Árni Hjörvar to complete the band’s current line-up.
If they really were awkward as kids, then it didn’t show at all as they arrived at The Bee cafe and restaurant in Kuala Lumpur for the Malaysian leg of their current tour. The 300-strong crowd that packed the venue screamed at the top of their lungs as the band was spotted making their way backstage.
The night kicked off with their guest band The Rubens – hailing all the way from Down Under – performing a spectacular 45-minute set which, by the looks of it, gained them quite a few new fans in Malaysia.
But not long after the opening act, the crowd started getting restless, chanting impatiently for The Vaccines. When they finally arrived after a 20-minute delay, it was totally worth the wait.
The Vaccine’s acid melodies and circuit-bent beats filtered through the mild sputtering and upbeat noise of tracks like Teenage Icon, Wreckin’ Bar Ra Ra and If You Wanna.
With the fantastic showman Young leading the way, the band had the audience dancing along throughout the show. They certainly proved they were worth their Best Live Act nomination at the 2013 Brit Awards, a category which included bands like The Rolling Stones, Muse, Coldplay and Mumford and Sons.
Thankfully for us Malaysians, Cowan said the boys have had a great time in the country (they love the chilli crabs!) and are hoping to come back to the region in the future.
“It’s incredible here, and the people are so nice. We played in Singapore last year. I think the hope is we come back to South East Asia and perform for our fans”, added Cowan.
Robertson did, however, hint that the band members could be pursuing some solo projects in the future.
“If we keep doing this, I’ll be a very happy man,” said Robertson. “But I’d like to pursue other areas, like creating. I’d love to produce records and I think I’ll probably need to go to school for that. But one day, I’d like to do other albums and Freddie can do something else for a bit, like, I don’t know, learn to draw?”