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The Vines‘ frontman Craig Nicholls has broken the lengthy media silence in a rare interview following the release of the band’s new album Wicked Nature. Nicholls has shared his feelings about The Vines’ restructure, his self-professed “loner” tendencies, as well as how music has helped him cope with his well documented Asperger’s syndrome, with which he was diagnosed in 2004.
Guitarist Ryan Griffiths and drummer Hamish Rosser didn’t appear with The Vines at Homebake 2011, following the release of their album Future Primitive. Bassist Brad Heald confirmed his departure from the band in 2012. Rosser joined Wolfmother but Griffiths’ and Heald’s reasons for leaving were never fully explained.
Nicholls remains tight-lipped on the subject even today, DIY describing his response as “cagey”. “It’s not the most comfortable thing… there’s obviously some problem there… I don’t really want to say specific reasons, but yeah. It’s just a shame that it didn’t work out.”
In his DIY interview, Nicholls also opens up about the ambiguities of his Asperger’s. “I cope with it alright,” Nicholls says. “It’s a strange thing because it’s really hard to know what [Asperger's] means and what it does and what it’s doing and what it’s done… I cope with it just by being a loner… A loner and a groaner and a misfit.”
“I hardly ever see anyone, ever… I’ve never really been social,” Nicholls says. “I’m pretty much out of it and I feel like kind of a freak. But deep down I know, you know, I’m just following my instincts so… that’s alright.”
The Vines have released their sixth studio album, Wicked Nature, this past Friday, and Nicholls told DIY that making music has given him a useful emotional outlet. “[Music is] so much [a therapy for me],” he says. “If I didn’t have the band or if I didn’t have music I don’t know what I’d do… it’s really been the thing that’s saved me.”
Nicholls emphasises the importance of music in his life, allowing him to show the many sides of his personality. “I always just kind of thought that all these songs come from isolation and desperation. There’s stuff which is like, screaming, and then there’s nice ballads,” he says. “But that’s kind of what I’m like, I guess. Very extreme.”
By the sounds of things, Wicked Nature was the result of an extended period of writing and a quick flurry of recording. “I spent a lot of time writing songs but they came really easy,” Nicholls confirmed. “It was done really quickly. The first album was done in twelve days… the second one was ten tracks in five days.”
Read Nicholls’ thoughts on the music industry and modern life in the full DIY interview here. The Vines’ new album Wicked Nature is out now via PledgeMusic. Watch the music video for album cut Metal Zone, below.
Watch: The Vines – Metal Zone