The Vines....

Okay, so there could be worse imitations of grunge. (Creed for example.) But is there anything to the Vines besides copying Nirvana riffs?Anything???

And another thing…is it just me of is the main reason to even watch Vines videos is to see the lead singer’s facial expressions? Those are classic! :smiley:

Forgive this post if it seems a bit long, but it’s a good yarn.

Two weeks ago I went to the Big Day Out on the Gold Coast in Queensland Australia. It’s a “Lollapalooza” typical music festival for those of you who don’t know.

Two main stages, one band, one hour at a time. The next band is doing soundcheck during this period. But there are also three more smaller “supporting” tents which hold about 1,500 people each - and in these tents, more eclectic, or “up and coming bands” play while the stars are on the main stage.

Two years ago, a young 15 year old Sydney sadly died when she was crushed too much in the mosh pit. So last year, the organisers designed a closed “d-barrier” section which allows about 5,000 people in, and then the other 30,000 people can push up against that barrier. It saves a huge crush on those up the front and it works quite well.

Obviously, to be inside the “d-barrier” is the prize if you’re a concert goer who can brave the mosh pit, so this year, a decision was made (in the interests of fairness) to empty the d-barrier at 5:30 pm and then let a whole new bunch of people go into that prize area.

Well, I was fortunate enough to know some people “in the know” and I was invited to spend the day inside the “mixing tent” - which is where all the spolights, and mixing desks, and TV camera’s were situated. As the day progressed, I was introduced to, and had many rewarding conversations with the “band sound engineers” for The Deftones, Queens of the Stone Age, The Living End, PJ Harvey, Jane’s Addiction, and the Foo Fighters.

At 4:00pm The Vines came onto the main stage, and wow! How illuminating! Just prior to them coming on stage, a PA announcement was made “Appearing now in the Essential Music Tent, Wilco! Don’t miss 'em folks. Tey’re on in 15 minutes!” And this PA announcement was the only time in the entire day that the Main Stage was used to advertise another act elsewhere at the festival.

I asked one of the Band Engineers, “how come The Vines are here on the Main Stage while acts like “You Am I” and “Wilco” are playing on supporting stages?” and they smiled a coy smile and said “Wait and see! Wait and see!”

Well! You wouldn’t believe what happened. This d-barrier area which held 5,000 people - who definitely WANTED to stay in there for the rest of the evening due to it being such a prime position - well, it emptied itself during The Vines performance. Literally, that band was soooooooooooooo bad and non musical and non entertaining that 5,000 people voted with their feet. By the end of their show, only about 200 people tops were left inside the d-barrier area.

So, having witnessed this, and after having watched one of the cameramen turn off his camera after 3 songs announcing “Fuck these guys are bad… we can’t use this footage at all…” we all sat down in the mixing tent and had a few well earned beers on a very hot day and then the band engineers explained what was up. You see, it seems that the festival organisers were TOTALLY aware how unworthy The Vines were to be on such a main stage in the presence of some of the other “headlining” acts, but they also knew it would be the devil’s own job trying to clear that d-barrier with security guys against such large numbers - so they deliberately threw The Vines up there as sacrifical lambs.

But even funnier! As the various legs of the Big Day Out festival rolled on from city to city, the word got out that this was the case, and various media started filming the throngs LEAVING the d-barrier during The Vines set. It was all rather hilarious and rather funny if truth be known.

And the funniest moment of all? Well, as the day rolled on, as a point of honour, each of the band engineers would stick around for the next show and offer any assistance to the next band engineer if it was needed - sort of a cumulative intelligence as it were.

Except for the band engineer for The Vines. Man, was that guy sent to coventry. As the band engineer for Queens of the Stone Age said (rather loudly) during The Vines set… “And these guys are supposed to be the next Nirvana? Listen to that crap… nobody can save those guys…”

True story! :smiley:

That’s a hilarious story BBF, and confirms what I was suspecting all along. The Vines at Melbourne BDO were apparently terrible - I didn’t go (not enough bands I liked) but most of my mates did and none of them had a good thing to say (but they had plenty of bad things).

Plus have you seen Craig (the lead singer) lately? He looks like a freakin’ zombie. Been getting into that rock star lifestyle a little to enthusiastically, methinks.

The funniest thing I heard was that punters in Vines t-shirts were wearing them inside-out after seeing them perform.

And now presenting, the kitten version of The Vines. :smiley:

LOL!!! that kitten thing was hilarious! I love the guitar player!!!

I hate the Vines. They are one of the bands that DEFINITELY make me change the radio station. What a pathetic bunch of Nirvana rip-offs…to think that Dave Grohl was at that concert in Sydney - what an insult it must have been to him!

I don’t have anything against the Vines, but the expression on the lead singer’s face in the music video I saw freaks me out! The guy looks soooooooo out of it. It’s just creepy.

I saw the Vines at Sydney BDO. They rocked. They were even better at the Metro last year.

Explanation of BBF’s post:

Australia has a thing that we call “Tall Poppy Syndrome.” It means that we have to cut down anything that gets big, especially if they move to LA and get famous rather than go through the hard yards in Australia.

Believe me, we would have hated the Beatles if they’d come from Melbourne.

Factory sounds nothing like Nirvana. Mary Jane and 1969 sound nothing like Nirvana. In fact, most of the album sounds nothing like Nirvana.

The lead singer looks like he is going to EAT the microphone in most of the videos.

The kitten thing was funny. I’m a dog person all the way but I’ll admit:not even my dog could do that.

I remember seven or eight years ago, there was an enormous tall poppy/backlash response against Silverchair - they were written off as nothing but Nirvana rip-offs. Well, they’re still going and they’re still selling records (and they don’t sound anything like Nirvana either).

The fact I can’t handle listening to them is beside the point - the Australian music industry is so messed up that it only bothers to give exposure to novelty acts (like Machine Gun Fellatio), and if they don’t fit the tag of ‘cool’, then they get rubbished, and put in the ‘what’s not hot’ section in magazines and newspapers.

Our national ‘yoof’ broadcaster JJJ is too worried about looking hip to give any bands outside the ‘alternative mainstream’ anything more than token support (but they’ll claim full credit if that act goes overseas and becomes a success, just for giving them a radio session that they played at 1am one morning).

I’m not saying that the Vines are good, but they’re victims of an industry and a culture that doesn’t care about nurturing artists. They just love talking up the yearly round of ‘new Aussie stars’, but you can be sure, in ten years, the real stars will still be the Farnseys and Barnseys, and they’ll be more young suckers to stand in as the flavour of the month.

[ps - if you didn’t understand this post because of all the local references, don’t worry. All you need to know is that the Australian Music Industry is crap]

Well, just trust me my friends - the sound engineers I was speaking to in that “mixing desk” area weren’t Australian - and they were just as disparaging in their distaste as anyone else I’ve ever heard.

Although, it has to be said, the comments I raised earlier, and the sentiments therein - related SPECIFICALLY to the The Vines in a live setting.

To each their own, of course - and if they work for you great. It’s not my right to tell you you’re wrong. But I WILL say this… the crowd at the Gold Coast BDO for The Vines thinned down to a drought-like trickle by the end of their set. Something has to account for such a thing - and it’s my considered opinion that it’s because the band are so dreadful in a live setting.

As for the assertion that my earlier post was/is some sort of “tall poppy syndrome”? Nope - that doesn’t wash - and here’s why. I haven’t said anything here in this thread which I don’t see getting repeated all over the world week in, week out, over a plethora of music web sites. Moreover, The Vines being Australian? Like myself? That’s totally irrelevant as far as I’m concerned. None of my observations are any different to those from the countless others by people form all corners of the world.

What counts, is that like The Strokes, The Vines are a band who’ve arrived on the scene with much publicity and much ado about not much at all - and obviously, some marketing deals have been cut to get them to be such media darlings so quickly. The issue isn’t jealousy - rather, the issue is cynicism that artists like Avril Lavigne, The Strokes, and The Vines can become so prominent so quickly with such marginal line-ball degrees of talent.

It doesn’t matter if they sound Nirvana-ish. It doesn’t matter if any artist you care to name sounds Pearl Jam-ish, or Zeppelin-ish, or Pink Floyd-ish. We all have our influences. I’m not concerned about that. The true litmus test is the long term capacity for quality musicianship and quality songwriting. I have no problems with a truly talented artist like Norah Jones exploding onto the scene. But I do struggle when these "explosions’ contain such dubious degrees of talent. I trust my instincts on these matters. I’ve heard some great shit in my time, and I recognise greatness when I hear it. But my gut feeling tells me I’m not hearing greatness when I hear The Vines.

Actually, BBF, I wasn’t directing any of my comments towards you. The thing that annoys me is that the same industry that creates the hype, gets the payola rolling and sets the Avrils and Vines and Ratcats of this world on the front page of the NME and Rolling Stone, is the same industry that then pulls the plug and starts the backlash.

The Vines might well be the worst band ever to pick up instruments, but they’re being used, and they’re about to be spat out onto the trashheap. I wouldn’t care so much about it except for the fact that this same attitude has infected so called ‘independent’ music as well (via JJJ), and bands have a choice between riding a wave of success for a few months and then being shot down, or never being discovered in the first place.

Of course, this doesn’t only happen in Australia, it happens everywhere, but Australia is where I see it happening every week.

Henry, certainly, I agree with you there. It seems nowadays that the price to pay for success is endless jealousy and mean shots.

Already, someone as congenial and highly regarded as Dave Grohl is starting to cop it. He’s currently riding as high as he ever has with Foo Fighters, but I’m now starting to see the “cheap shots” - stuff like “there’s a certain sameness to all of Dave Grohl’s songs” - which may or may not be true - but certainly, I wasn’t hearing those sort of comments 12 months ago.

The only bloke I ever hear spoken of with universal praise and kindness is Jeff Buckley. Anyone care to guess why?

It ain’t ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’, The Vines pure and simply suck.

After speaking with a few people who, like myself went to the Perth Big Day Out, pretty much everyone I spoke to said The Vines were the worst act on the day. This was from people that were really gearing to see them (my sister and a friend who bought The Vines album) to people who were indifferent (myself and some work mates).

Sure the sample above is small and mostly anecdotal, however on the day The Vines attracted a small crowd to begin with whose ranks began to thin out as the set went on. Eventually, the group I was with opted to bail out to catch Jimmy Eat World, who performed much better.

Considering that the Perth crowd managed to to force Marilyn Manson off stage a few years back, I’m surprised there wasn’t much of an uproar afterwards.

They can’t hold a song together. In Outtatheway, they should have repeated the first part two more times. It was catchy, the rest of the song wasn’t.

On top of that, I want to punch the singer in the face for being obnoxious. He got kicked off of Letterman for basically trashing the set, and he seems to be attention whoring to get himself on Spin and Rolling Stone. Bad ripoff garage band. Their CD sounds like two Nirvana songs with a bunch of other non-sequitors. Their main fans seem to be high school sophmores who think that they are alternative and wear Vines shirts and try to be annoying.

Looking for good garage rock? Division of Laura Lee and The Sun are excellent.

I recall a Taoist saying that is just like “Tall Poppy Syndrome” – something like “the ax falls on the tallest tree” or whatever.

It was kinda surreal seeing MTV2 cover SXSW (the big music festival in Austin TX every March) last year. (Having the guy from Rushmore host it made it even more so.) There’s nothing really special about being into various music anymore. Either the rest of the world loves the band within 6 months of you discovering a band or no one will listen to them because it’s “indie” or “emo” or some other stupid title. Many of my friends (not all, but many) will listen to bands for reasons OTHER than the music itself. And of course the industry would rather play games and blame mp3 rather than admit that virtually all the acts it supports SUCK .