Indie-rock outfit The Vaccines are back on the road after the release of their latest record, ‘Combat Sports’. Sam Dobinson caught up with bassist Árni Árnason to discuss the LP and the state of Indie-Rock.
It’s been nine months since the release of ‘Combat Sports’ (The Vaccines’ 4th top 5 album)…how are you finding the reception so far?
So far, so good. I think we’re only really getting the sense of it over the past couple of months as we went directly into a UK tour and then onto festivals. Now we’re in Asia, it’s that kind of celebratory joyous environment in the venues because by the time people come see you on the fourth album, there’s no curiosity – people are coming for reasons that have accumulated over the last eight years. Everyone’s got a very specific relationship with the music and it’s incredible to witness that!
There seems to be a lack of new bands starting out in guitar-based music today, with musicians often opting for more accessible electronic-based songwriting which, as a result, has led to the closure of many small and prominent venues – The Flowerpot in London being one close to your heart. Why do you think that is? Has indie-rock had its time or do you feel that’s just a reflection on the state of traditional rock ‘n’ roll in today’s society?
I suffer from confirmation bias because all around me is nothing but bands that play loud guitars, so I don’t really see the apparent lack of enthusiasm for indie-rock music. There’s no doubt in my mind that there’s going to be another massive rock band – it won’t be long until there’s another Arctic Monkeys. There’s going to be a band that breaks through, there’s going be another Strokes…someone that changes the tide a bit. I think it just comes and goes, you know?
Speaking of your performance at The Flowerpot back in 2010, you’ve played some pretty incredible gigs in your time. Are there any, in particular, that stand out as the most memorable?
Quite a lot of them! We supported The Rolling Stones in Southampton which was pretty special. Yesterday we played Beijing and that was really alien; it wasn’t really a place I’d ever envisioned us playing so it was really amazing.
You’re playing Newcastle’s 02 Academy this month as part of your 2019 UK tour…how do you find playing here in Newcastle?
I love it – it’s one of my favourite academies in the country, actually! I always have a great time out there. I think we’ve played there three or four times but we didn’t play there in March which was a shame so we’re making up for that.
The Vaccines play Newcastle’s O2 Academy on Tuesday 29th January, 2019. For more information, head to thevaccines.com/tour.