Alternative rock courtesy of Sub Pop’s, The Vaselines, after two albums in 20 years makes Blue Nile sound prolific But with a following wind and the spark of new material, hopes are running high. With Guitar’s Jamie Gambino questions Frances McKee on Sub Pop, Divine and getting in and out with no messing…
Alternative rock legends thanks to famous fanboy Kurt Cobain, The Vaselines formed in 1987. Eugene Kelly & Frances McKee originally released 2 EP’s (‘Son Of A Gun’ and ‘Dying For It’) and one album ‘Dum Dum’ before promptly splitting up.
They may have remained cult figures had the Nirvana frontman not chosen to cover 3 of their tracks. ‘Son Of A Gun’ and ‘Mollys Lips’ on ‘Incesticide’ and ‘Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam’ on Nirvana’s ‘MTV Unplugged’ show making a new audience aware of the band.
The duo reformed briefly in 1990 to support Nirvana in Edinburgh before going onto separate careers, Eugene with Eugenius and Frances with Suckle and later a solo career. The Vaselines reformed in 2008 and the following year Sub Pop released a remastered collection of all their previous releases plus demos and live recordings (‘Enter The Vaselines’) A new album ‘Sex With An X’ was released in 2010 and the band have been touring since.
You have recently covered a Nirvana track (‘Lithium’) after frequently saying in the past that you would never do so, what made you change your minds?
“We did take our time to make the decision to do it, but we felt it was the right song and the right time.”
You also covered a Divine track on your first EP why that choice? Were you fans of him and the John Waters films?
“We were huge fans of the John Waters films and of course hi energy was very much in the forefront of music at that time. We just wanted to have a bit of fun and get some homosexual action, we were bored with being straight.”
You seem to be really enjoying the live shows – will you be staying together this time around?
“Depends how well Eugene behaves himself!”
Sub Pop has had an impressive roster of artists, how does it feel to be part of such a prestigious record label
”We are very honoured.”
Many of your contemporaries praise your talent as songwriters & performers, who do you respect musically past & present
“At the moment I am listening to Julian Cope, PJ Harvey’s last album did it for me, but I also listen to music from smaller labels and am enjoying that.”
We had to wait 20 years for a 2nd album, will we have a similar delay in a 3rd album?
“It really depends on how we decide to do it, there’s no point in simply churning something out for the sake of it. If we have songs we are happy with, we will do it, otherwise we will stay in bed.”
‘Sex With An X’ was recorded quickly, is that the way you prefer to work – in and out with no messing!
“Oh yes, a little mess can be fun but better to get it over with.”
How does it feel to be appearing on festival bills alongside bands that are so obviously influenced by yourself?
What’s next for The Vaselines another tour? New material?
“Hopefully some more shows and hopefully new material.”
For more, go to www.thevaselines.co.uk/