The Vaccines Come of Age has a notch-up on What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? according to bassist Árni Arnason. “[Come of Age is] more — the slower songs are slower and the faster songs are faster, it’s more rock n’ roll, it’s more dynamic, and it’s just more of a journey, really,” sums up Arnason.
With the release of their second album just 18 months after What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? the band is keeping themselves and their audience occupied. Is this strategic or a result of boredom? Arnason’s straight forward answer makes it clear that the group simply doesn’t like wasting time. He explains: “We’re all part of the iPod generation, aren’t we? We are the kind of people that like instant gratification…we want to create quickly, and we want to work harder and constantly be doing new stuff.”
Coming from The Vaccines, the tongue-and-cheek album tile, Coming of Age is fitting. As a band, their persona has a hipster tilt to it that begs the question of irony, but there is sincerity in the new record’s lyrics — overarching sentiments that speak to the title. As Arnason explains, vocalist Justin Young wrote their new batch of songs with their generation and its growing pains in mind. For Arnason, the songs are based in “the reality that you face in your twenties where you sort of — where everybody — is in a different place and everybody is really confused.”
Heavy though the lyrics’ origins are, the catchy pop-rock rhythms of songs such as “I Wish I Was A Girl,” keep the listening experience light. I ask Arnason about this particular song, curious to learn if it was the inspiration behind the album art picturing four girls in place of the band members, and was surprised to hear that there was no connection between the two. Instead, the image feeds into the album title The Vaccines Come of Age, and the aforementioned sense of uncertainty that surrounds the band’s generation. “The girls on the front look confusing because you don’t really understand if they are girls or boys… they are confused people and look slightly confused themselves,” explains Arnason.
A band that obviously takes pride in their song lyrics, as my chat with Arnason reveals, the bassist is hesitant to get into the details of the album’s tone, recognizing that to be bandmate Young’s territory, and something only he could explain exactly. He does say though that being on the road touring clearly influenced the mood of the album, adding that the track “Weirdo” was the end result of a day off in Melbourne.
Touring, it seems, has not only influenced the bands songs, but as Arnason shares, it has also affected their wardrobes. “When you’re constantly on the road, you start thinking about what’s comfortable and easy to adjust for every situation, and something that is light and easy to tow around with,” he says. “And that tends to be denim, so we just wear denim all the time. It kind of fits with the whole rock n’ roll thing I guess.”
A band in constant motion, The Vaccines are not only about to begin the first leg of their tour in promotion of their new album as of next month, but, according to a laughing Arnason, they may already be prepared to start work on their next album. Fighting to veer off the path already taken, The Vaccines march to their own beat, one that is as accelerated as it is unique. As Arnason concludes, “It’s really important to stay honest to yourself…we trust in our faith and our own love for music.”