| ||This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2011)|
Craig Nicholls in 2004
|Also known as||Rishikesh, Joe Dirt, Forgone Conclusion, The Crimes|
|Origin||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Genres||Alternative rock, garage rock, post-grunge, hard rock, psychedelic rock|
|Labels||Capitol, Heavenly, Ivy League, BMG, Cooking Vinyl, Sony Music|
|Members||Craig Nicholls |
|Past members||David Oliffe |
Brad Heald
The Vines are an Australian rock band originally formed as Rishikesh in 1994 in Sydney. They play a musical hybrid of 1960s garage rock and 1990s alternative music. Until 2011, their line-up consisted of vocalist and lead guitarist Craig Nicholls, rhythm guitarist Ryan Griffiths, bass guitarist Brad Heald and drummer Hamish Rosser. In December 2011, Hamish Rosser and Ryan Griffiths left the band.
The Vines' success in the Australian recording industry resulted in winning an ARIA Award in 2002, 'Breakthrough Artist – Single', for "Get Free" and receiving five other nominations for their debut album Highly Evolved, plus two further nominations in subsequent years. In 2003, the album went platinum in Australia, and since then the band has released four albums and a best-of compilation from their time at Capitol Records. The Vines have released five studio albums to date.
Formation and early years (1994–2000) 
The original line-up of Rishikesh formed in Sydney in 1994 when vocalist and lead guitarist Craig Nicholls and bass guitarist Patrick Matthews met whilst working at their local McDonald's in the suburb of South Hurstville, New South Wales. They were soon joined by Matthews' school friend David Olliffe on drums. The name "Rishikesh", suggested by Olliffe, refers to the Indian city where The Beatles visited an ashram in 1968.[dead link] The local newspapers regularly misprinted the name as "Rishi Chasms", so Nicholls suggested a new name, "The Vines", as a homage to his father, who fronted a local Elvis cover-band called The Vynes. The group started performing Nirvana and You Am I covers at backyard parties while developing their sound on Nicholls' four-track recorder.
Over the next few years, The Vines gigged infrequently and remained relatively unknown, even in their hometown, yet by the beginning of 2001 they had amassed a repertoire of over thirty songs. On the strength of their demo, XL Recordings put out what was to be their first single, "Factory", as a limited seven-inch EP. The release became NME's Single of the Week in November 2001.
Highly Evolved, fame, and critical acclaim (2001–2003) 
In July 2001, the band flew to Los Angeles to start recording their debut album, Highly Evolved, with Rob Schnapf. Recording was put on hold soon after, as funds ran low. David Olliffe decided to leave Los Angeles and return to Australia, due to the fast pace of events and pressure of recording. Recording continued a few months later as a result of increasing record company interest, and band had session drummers fill in, including Joey Waronker of R.E.M. Once back in Australia, they started advertising for a new drummer in late 2001. Soon after, they recruited Hamish Rosser on drums and Nicholls' friend Ryan Griffiths on acoustic guitar.
Their first single, "Factory", released in November 2001, attracted little interest in Australia. It gained a good response in the United Kingdom, with the NME describing their garage rock sound as "of the oldest school". Record companies were still only considering the release of another EP, however, Nicholls was adamant about making a full-length album, and went seeking record companies overseas. The Vines were eventually signed to Heavenly Records in the UK in December 2001 and EMI in Australia in April 2002. The single "Highly Evolved" earned them more critical acclaim as NME made it a single of the week in March 2002. The single charted in the UK at number 32 on the singles chart and on Australia's ARIAnet top 100 singles chart.
They appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone in October 2002 (the first Australian band to do so since Men at Work in 1983) with the words "Rock is Back: Meet the Vines" boldly emblazoned underneath.[dead link] Referred to as the 'The' bands, The Strokes, The Hives, The White Stripes, and The Vines combined "old fashioned punk and adrenaline fuelled riffs" to be ushered in at the beginning of 2002 as the "saviors of rock".[dead link]
The release of the album saw more critical success, with the band appearing on the cover of NME. The album debuted at number 3 in the UK's albums chart, number 5 in Australia's ARIAnet albums chart, and number 11 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 albums chart. The band played high-profile slots on the Late Show with David Letterman and the MTV Video Music Awards. A few more singles were released from the album, including "Get Free" and "Outtathaway!". A fourth single, "Homesick", was released in Australia only. The band went on to win an ARIA Award, 'Breakthrough Artist – Single', for "Get Free" in 2002, and were nominated for "Best Group", "Best Rock Album", "Best Cover Art", and "Breakthrough Artist – Album". Highly Evolved sold 1.5 million copies throughout the world with distribution through Capitol Records. By end of 2003, the album went platinum in Australia.
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In May 2003, the band went into a studio in Woodstock, New York with Rob Schnapf again on production. While Craig Nicholls had talked of having a highly produced album, he told the Australian edition of Rolling Stone in March 2004 that they decided to stick to a less-is-more philosophy. "I wanted it to be – in my head – something grand, with big ideas and that vision sort of thing. But at the same time, that doesn't mean that something can't be special if it's just simple. Because I think that the songs are the main thing".
Winning Days (2004–2005) 
Their second album, Winning Days, was released on 29 March 2004 and debuted at number 7 in Australia, number 23 in the US, and number 29 in the UK. The Vines had recently finished their "Australian Invasion" tour with Jet and The Living End, which started on 11 March 2004 in Houston, Texas. "Ride" and "Winning Days" were released as singles in Australia (where they did not chart) and the UK. There was speculation that "Animal Machine" would have been the next American single, and early American promotional flats for the album note this. However, there was no American follow-up to "Ride". The song was featured on a Nissan car commercial and an iPod commercial in the US in 2005, and was featured on season one of the FOX show The O.C.. The Vines were featured in the Warner Bros. television network's image campaign for the 2004–2005 season.
After the conclusion of the Winning Days tour, the band found itself in difficulty. Winning Days had not lived up to the success of Highly Evolved, and had received a generally lukewarm reception from both critics and audiences. Lead singer Nicholls was becoming increasingly erratic, and had to be barred from doing media interviews after several bad experiences on the American tour.
Things came to a head in late May 2004 during a performance for national station Triple M at the Annandale Hotel in Sydney, when bassist Patrick Matthews walked off stage after Craig shouted at the crowd, calling them "sheep" in frustration after repeatedly asking the crowd to stop talking during the first song. In the aftermath, Nicholls assaulted a photographer, and charges were pressed. Matthews subsequently left the band. After the incident the band's management stated that The Vines would cease touring in support of Winning Days and would record another studio album.
Vision Valley and a return to the stage (2006–2007) 
In mid-2005, the group announced they were working on their third album, with producer Wayne Connolly. Andy Kent of fellow Australian band You Am I filled in on bass playing duties. In November of that year, the band's management announced they had finished recording all the songs that would appear on the album. Mixing and mastering of the tracks commenced in January 2006. In mid-December 2005, the song "Gross Out" was leaked onto the internet. Although the song was as yet untitled and unfinished, it contained guide vocals and instruments. The band's manager asked for the song to be taken down from the blog it was found on, and drummer Hamish Rosser issued a statement on the band's fan club forum asking fans not to post or distribute the song on the internet.
"Don't Listen to the Radio" was released as the album's first single, and was made available for digital download on 7 March on iTunes. The song was used on the soundtrack for the video game FlatOut 2. "Gross Out" was made available for digital download on 18 March, and was the first song leaked from the album. Vision Valley was released on 1 April 2006 in Australia, 3 April in Europe, and 4 April in the United States.
Vision Valley consisted of short, immediate songs; the album running little over 30 minutes in length. "Anysound" was the second official single from the album, and an animated music video was released exclusively through YouTube. "Dope Train" was released as a third single, with a music video composed of live footage of the band from Big Day Out in 2007.
On 19 July 2006, The Vines played a gig at the Annandale Hotel under the name "Joe Dirt", with a new bassist, Brad Heald, after former bassist Patrick Matthews departed the group. They announced to their official fan club website, Dreamin the Insane, that they were ready to perform again and were going to schedule shows "any day now".
On 23 July, the band appeared as a mystery guest at the Splendour in the Grass festival, Byron Bay. September 2006 saw The Vines perform at their own shows for the first time in two years. The Vines played in two venues in Sydney and Melbourne.
The Vines played in the Big Top as part of the Homebake festival in December 2006. In early February 2007, the band completed their Big Day Out performances to strong and positive press reviews. Frontman Craig Nicholls praised the audience and fans throughout the festival tour, thanking them for "sticking with the band" during the tough times the band had faced preceding the incident at the Annandale Hotel on 14 May 2004.
Melodia (2008) 
After the limited commercial success of Vision Valley, The Vines were subsequently dropped by their record labels Capitol Records, EMI, and Heavenly Records in mid-2007. All of the labels are owned by EMI, which was bought out by Terra Firma Capital Partners in mid-2007. The new owners restructured the label and dropped bands from their roster that they considered to be underperforming in the album sales department. Shortly after, however, the band was picked up by Ivy League Records, run by Winterman & Goldstein, for an Australian record deal.
Once a budget was finalised by Ivy League Records for their forthcoming album, The Vines returned to the recording studio in mid-November 2007 with Highly Evolved and Winning Days producer Rob Schnapf in Los Angeles to begin recording their upcoming album.
Bass and drum track recordings for 15 songs that were considered for inclusion on the forthcoming album were completed in December 2007 during a 5-day recording stint. In March 2008, NME reported that The Vines' fourth studio album had been completed during the week of 3 March 2008 to 10 March 2008, with a tentative release date of June 2008.
On 23 May 2008, it was announced officially that The Vines' new album was to be released on 12 July and would be titled "Melodia". The first single preceding the release was to be "He's a Rocker", which was released through iTunes on 3 June 2008 along with two bonus tracks. "MerryGoRound" was released as a follow-up single for radio airplay in Australia during August 2008. "MerryGoRound" only received support and backing from Triple J radio. "Get Out" was released as the third single from Melodia in September 2008 for radio airplay, and a music video was released to coincide with the release of "Get Out" as a single by Ivy League Records on YouTube. "Get Out" was featured on the in-game soundtrack of Midnight Club: Los Angeles released in late October 2008 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gaming platforms.
In October 2008, The Vines commenced a national Australian tour in support of Melodia, playing small venues across major cities throughout Australia, including The Metro Theatre (Sydney), ANU Bar (Canberra), The HiFi Bar (Melbourne), The Great Northern Bar (Byron Bay), The Tivoli (Brisbane), The Governor Hindmarsh (Adelaide), and The Rosemount Hotel (Perth).
In November 2008, The Vines were announced as being part of the line-up for the 2009 Australian Big Day Out, but on 14 November the band cancelled all forthcoming live appearances, including Homebake 2008 and their Japanese tour, citing the deterioration of Nicholls' mental health during the course of their October tour in Australia as the reason.
Deep Cuts sessions, Future Primitive (2009–2011) 
In early 2009, photos surfaced on The Vines' official forum showing Nicholls "recording demos for the new album". The photos, posted by Nicholls' sister, show Craig with an acoustic guitar and what appears to be a 4-track cassette recorder.
On 14 November 2009, The Vines played at the Annandale Hotel, under the alias of The Crimes. They had a support slot with You Am I, playing their back catalogue and a new song from an album due in 2011.
During the year of 2009, the Vines put a collection of songs for the "Deep Cuts" sessions. Two of the tracks were live versions of "Country Yard" and "Get Free" (from their debut Highly Evolved). The first track (Ms. Jackson) was from the Outtathaway EP release (including the live version of Country Yard). Leaving Drown the Baptist on the Ride single (not making it on the Winning Days album).
The Vines officially stepped out of pre-production and started to record their fifth studio album in February 2010. The album recording was completely finished in mid-March, with mixing taking place in Sydney at the end of March and mastering taking place in early April.
The band played at Splendour in the Grass in 2010 to a packed main stage and supported Powderfinger at the first four shows of their farewell tour.
The Vines debuted new songs "Future Primitive", "Gimme Love", and "Black Dragon" at the Annandale Hotel on 23 June.
The Vines performed at Singfest, a Singapore music festival on 5 August.
A music video for "Gimme Love" wrapped filming on 1 March 2011, with the completed video surfacing online through YouTube on 27 March. The music video pays homage to the 2010 film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
Over a year after its completion, Future Primitive received an official release date through The Daily Telegraph on 3 June 2011. Because The Vines did not have a label at the time of recording, the band members funded the album's recording themselves. Upon the album's completion, the band approached various record labels to see if any were interested in signing the band for its release, explaining the year-long delay between recording and release.
In May 2011, The Vines played on-stage with The Dandy Warhols at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney for the song "It's a Fast-Driving Rave-Up with The Dandy Warhols". The two bands had previously had dinner at the Warhols' studio The Odditorium in 2004, along with the bands Jet and The Strokes.
Departure of Griffiths and Rosser and Sixth Album (2011–present) 
On 26 November 2011, rumours on the band's Facebook page suggested that the band had "pushed out" two of its members. At the 2011 Homebake music festival, The Vines emerged on the main-stage as a three piece, consisting of Nicholls, Heald and drummer Murray Sheridan. The absence of lead guitarist Ryan Griffiths and drummer Hamish Rosser immediately lead to discussion on the Vines' fan forum. The departure of both Griffiths and Rosser was confirmed by Channel V presenter Jane Gazzo, who wrote that the two had been "sacked" in a Twitter post.
Craig's sister, Jess, also confirmed their departure via the forum. "If any of you were at Homebake yesterday, I'm sure you can agree the set was amazing and sounded better than ever," she wrote. "The band has made a creative decision to revert back to a three piece, as they originally started. I know you will probably have a lot of questions but just wanted to say don't fear, this is in no way the end of The Vines!!"
Nicholls, Heald and Sheridan performed again at Southbound music festival in Perth on 8 January 2012. Sheridan has not yet been confirmed as a permanent member of the band.
On 16 March 2012, Rosser announced that he had joined Australian rock band Wolfmother as their new drummer via an article on FasterLouder.com.au. He also claimed that the band had "broken up," although "Craig [Nicholls] will always write great music in the future and he may choose to carry on under The Vines’ name."
On 30 March 2012, The Vines' Facebook page changed its profile picture to a single previously unseen promotional photo of Craig, strongly implying that he is now the only remaining member of the band. However, Heald is yet to confirm his departure from the band. He is currently playing bass for Gold Coast band Dune Rats.
In June, on the band's official forum, a user uploaded a picture of a letter from Nicholls in reply to fan mail, stating that he was currently recording songs. However, he revealed that these recordings were not under The Vines' name, which has sparked discussion of a solo album later on in 2012. He also stated in the letter a sixth Vines album will be released in 2013.
The Vines new line-up entered the studio to record their sixth album on 20 August 2012 in Sydney's 301 Studio and are currently in the finishing process. It has also been announced that they have a new drummer, Lachlan West, who recorded drums for the upcoming sixth album.
On the 18 April 2013, after little news about the album, the band's management, Parker & Mr French, announced via their Tumblr page that "the new record from The Vines is definitely on the way". Also, the group's own section of the Parker & Mr French Tumblr page states that "2013 has The Vines sixth album in the incubator and an announcement coming about a new and the first collaborative side project from Craig Nicholls."
Musical style 
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"Factory", from 2002's Highly Evolved, demonstrates their ability to fuse unusual genres into a garage rock song.
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"Spaceship", from 2006's Vision Valley, highlights a matured sound and psychedelic riffs.
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The Vines' musical style can generally be categorised as a fusion of alternative rock and garage rock. Much of the band's early grunge sound can be attributed to their beginnings as a Nirvana cover band.
|“||Unlike many other pop post-modernists, The Vines never sound weighed down by all the influences they include in their music—it's as if they're so excited by everything they hear, they can't help but recombine it in unique ways.||”|
— Heather Phares, Allmusic
Ex-bassist Matthews believed that Winning Days was a step in a different direction for the band. "The themes are more introspective and less wild rock'n'roll". Their music also includes elements of neo-psychedelia.
Upon the release of their debut album, The Vines were hailed as "the second coming of Nirvana" by the British press; their grungy sound was considered reminiscent of the Seattle scene circa 1991 and Nicholls' erratic on-stage behaviour and raw vocals drew comparisons between him and Kurt Cobain. Highly Evolved became a huge success and their accompanying live shows in the early years were praised as "electrifying" and "sensational".
Critical reactions to 2004's Winning Days were mixed. Pitchfork's Chris Ott described it as being "nothing more than boring and harmlessly vapid" and showing "only mild promise". Conversely, Rolling Stone' David Fricke said it was "a leap forward in style and frenzy".
Band Members 
- Current Members
- Craig Nicholls – lead vocals, guitar (1994–present)
- Lachlan West – drums (2012–present)
- Tim John – bass (2012–present)
- Former Members
- David Oliffe – drums (1994–2002)
- Patrick Matthews – bass, backing vocals (1994–2004)
- Hamish Rosser – drums, backing vocals (2002–2011)
- Ryan Griffiths – guitar, backing vocals (2002–2011)
- Brad Heald – bass, backing vocals (2006–2012)
- Highly Evolved (2002)
- Winning Days (2004)
- Vision Valley (2006)
- Melodia (2008)
- Future Primitive (2011)
- TBA (2013)
See also 
- Leahey, Andrew. "The Vines – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2003 Albums". ARIA Charts. 20 January 2004. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- "The Vines – guest program". abc.net.au/rage. 5 October 2002. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- Diehl, Matt (23 September 2002). "Brief Article – Interview". Matt Diehl speaks to Craig Nicholls and Patrick Matthews (Brant Publications, Inc). Retrieved 13 April 2008.[dead link]
- "Singles of the Week from 2001". NME. Archived from the original on 27 March 2008. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- Robinson, John (30 October 2001). "The Vines : Factory". NME. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "2002 NME Single of the Week Chart". NME. Archived from the original on 25 March 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- Sheffield, Rob (6 August 2002). "The Vines". Craig Nicholls has all the makings of a rock star. Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 13 April 2008.[dead link]
- Schlauch, Jeff (13 February 2003). "Retro rock rules airwaves". Bands like The Hives and The Strokes are proclaimed rock saviors. The Equinox. Retrieved 13 April 2008.[dead link]
- "The Vines Song Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- "The Vines Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- "Vines in a tangle". Sydney Morning Herald. 5 June 2004. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "Artist: Vines The". ARIA Charts. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "Whither the Vines?". The Age (Melbourne). 22 May 2004. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "Winning Days". Rolling Stone (Australian Edition). March 2004.
- "Some new photos ...". thevines.forumsunlimited.com. 2 May 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "The Vines stage a comeback". fasterlouder.net.au. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "FUTURE PRIMITIVE". thevines.com. 2011. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- "The Dandy Warhols + The Vines – It's a Fast Driving Rave-Up". YouTube. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- Sean Gothman (16 April 2004). "DIG! SF". dandywarhols.com. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- Brayden Darke (3 August 2011). "The Vines New Album – Late This Year or Early Next Year Release?". musicfeeds.com.au. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "New members?". Thevines.forumotion.com. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
- "New members? – Page 2". Thevines.forumotion.com. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
- "Vines drummer joins Wolfmother; claims The Vines have â€œbroken upâ€? on". Fasterlouder.com.au. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
- "Profile Pictures". Facebook. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
- "Lachlan West Webstagram". Lachlan West. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Parker & Mr French Tumblr". Parker & Mr French. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "Parker & Mr French Tumblr - The Vines". Parker & Mr French. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "The Vines : Rhapsody". rhapsody.com. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Phares, Heather. "Highly Evolved – The Vines : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Keene, Darrin (21 May 2002). "LIVE: The Vines". chartattack.com. Archived from the original on 29 April 2003. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- James Oldham (15 April 2004). "Vines: Highly Evolved". NME. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- Mike Usinger (15 April 2004). "Vines Show Growth". straight.com. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
- "Fruit of The Vines". The Sun-Herald. 30 July 2002.
- Oldham, James (30 July 2002). "NME Track Reviews - Vines : Highly Evolved - NME.COM". nme.com. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- Fricke, David (1 April 2004). "Winning Days". rollingstone.com.[dead link]
- "Get Valentine's Day cards from The Vines and Franz!". nme.com. 9 February 2006. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- "Jet and the Vines Join PETA Against Seal Slaughter - Starpulse.com". starpulse.com. 15 May 2007. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- "New Record! NO NO Two new records!". thevines. forumotion.com. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2012.