The Vaccines set to perform at RockNess 2013
Henry Northmore talks to The Vaccines as they lead the charge of the indie brigade at this year’s RockNess
RockNess started out as a dance music festival but over the last few years it’s started to evolve into a mixing pot, as rock rubs shoulders with trance and hip hop stars share a stage with acoustic acts. Rock’n’roll rabble rousers The Vaccines take the bull by the horns as they bring their ragged guitar riffs to the banks of Loch Ness.
‘I think when we chose to work with [producer] Ethan Jones [on second album Come of Age] we knew what to expect, we wanted a more stripped back rock’n’roll album,’ explains guitarist Freddie Cowan (brother of The Horrors’ Tom Cowan). ‘We always try to keep things simple and festivals really suit that. I think we pride ourselves on being able to make it work with just a few guitars, amps and a drum kit.’
They’ve already proved themselves at multiple festivals around the world -- they played over 50 last year, including T in the Park in the torrential rain -- and their take on indie has hit a nerve with the UK audience. Come of Age, with its tales of youth gone wild, topped the album charts on release.
Cowan also believes the barriers between musical tribes are being eroded so doesn’t have any problem playing at the same festival as Plan B and Example: ‘I think the iPod generation is making music slightly more genre-less. People listen less and less to albums and more to their favourite songs. Everything is fused together, rock, hip hop, dubstep, whatever, people have instant access to all sorts of music so I think pop is becoming less and less of a dirty word.’
There’s also mutual love and respect and The Vaccines can’t wait to play at RockNess. ‘The crowds in Scotland are the best in the world and it’s the highest festival slot we’ve ever had in Scotland so I can’t wait.’ It’s a familiar sentiment echoed by musicians around the world but you can hear the sincerity in Cowan’s voice. ‘Some good bands are playing, I want to see The Maccabees, it’ll be good to see Madness, it’s going to be great.’
The Vaccines play the main stage at RockNess, Fri 7 Jun.