After a 20 years hiatus, The Vaselines reformed last year playing shows in Scotland, London and New York with members of Belle and Sebastian backing up Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee. Next month the band will play on the same stage as Teenage Fanclub, Grizzly Bear, Sonic Youth and The Flaming Lips in Tokyo and Osaka at the Summersonic festival.
Sub Pop recently released a definitive triple LP/double CD collection of Vaselines material, Enter the Vaselines. It includes new mixes and re-mastered versions of everything by The Vaselines, plus never-before-heard demos, and live recordings from 1986 in Bristol and 1988 in London.
Have you thought seriously about a new record?
Well, I suppose it depends really – at the moment we are just writing and we’ll wait to see if those songs are identifiably The Vaselines and see what happens. We’ve got some summer shows lined up at Primavera Sound [in Spain] and Summer Sonic [in Japan], but apart from that we don’t really know what’s going to happen.
Does it surprise you at all that people are still interested after all this time?
It does, yeah. When we made the records we didn’t really think about longevity at all; we felt very lucky that we got to do an album at all. But since then the music hasn’t been out of print at all – Sub Pop have kept it in the shops all this time, and people keep finding it. We were surprised at the Forum show last month, at how varied the audience was – lots of younger brothers and sisters and stuff, a whole new audience really. I mean, the album still sells pretty consistently year on year…
Presumably the Cobain factor has a lot to do with that – how does that connection sit with you these days? A problem at all?
No, not at all, as it’s part of our story and we can’t escape that… I mean, when we made these records we had visions of pressing up a couple of thousand copies and that was it – it would be destined to be one of those ‘lost’ LPs, you know? But Nirvana really introduced us to a whole new audience and continues to do so… how could you not be happy with that?
More information on the festival at www.summersonic.com
Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam (Live on KEXP)
Molly’s Lips (Live on KEXP)
Nirvana and Eugene Kelly at Reading Festival 1991