It’s happening fast for the Vaccines. The British band that formed two years ago has already released a critically acclaimed album, been nominated for Brit Awards, appeared on magazine covers in the U.K. and played the main stage at the Reading-Leeds festivals. Today, the Vaccines release their second album, Come of Age.
“I love this pace,” bassist Arni Arnason says on the phone from the U.K. “When you’re a kid and you pick up your dad’s tennis racket at the age of five, and you play air guitar to Jon Bon Jovi, or whatever shit your dad’s listening to, you’re dreaming of doing what we do for a living. And when you’re provided with that opportunity, you just grab it by the balls and run with it. It’s the most enjoyable time of my life and I can’t really see why I should slow down.”
In the 18 months since the Vaccines' debut, What Did You Expect from The Vaccines?, the band has spent almost every day together, travelling the world and sharing experiences, Arnason says.
“Aa a unit, we’ve become stronger and we’ve become sort of quite inseparable really. And that can be heard in the music as well. In that way, I think the record sounds more mature, but as individuals we’ve not come of age. [We’re] desperately trying not to.”
The title Come of Age is taken from a lyric from the album's opening track, “No Hope.” The record is about a phenomenon that has only arisen in the past couple of generations – adults staving off the responsibilities that come with maturity.
As Arnason puts it, it’s “an exploration into that sort of place that you’re confronted with in your mid-20s, and society’s expectations that you should have arrived at something by now. And I think we’re all sort of desperately holding on to trying to delay that arrival at something.”
The idea of not being where you ought to be is peppered throughout the album. In “Teenage Icon,” singer Justin Young croons, “I’m no teenage icon. I’m no Frankie Avalon." Arnason's own teenage icons were a bit more modern, he says, citing Kurt Cobain and Michael Jordan, though he admittedly hasn’t followed their paths.
“Well, I still haven’t got a heroin addiction and I’m not planning on premature death, but at the same time, I’m not a professional basketball player either.”
With two albums out in less than two years, the Vaccines have quickly become one of the biggest bands in the U.K. but haven’t made much of a dent overseas. Arnason isn’t concerned.
“We’re still hungry,” he says. “We want to play to more people all over the world. The U.K. is amazing and it’s gone really, really well here for us, but we’re not satisfied. We want more.”
Without a break for two years, it remains to be seen whether the Vaccines can keep up the pace.
“If you call me again in a year’s time, I might be completely fed up and tired of everything, and just wanna go to bed," Arnason says. "But at the moment I’m enjoying it.”
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on Sep 04, 2012