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Source: Townsville Bulletin

Text: Jade Kennedy

Published: October 6th, 2011

The Vines are getting heavy, writes Jade Kennedy

The Vines vocalist Craig Nicholls comes across as quiet, softly-spoken and very thoughtful ... a far cry perhaps from his earlier stage persona.

"Maybe people thought I was a bit temperamental, I guess," he mused.

"I wasn't too sure about what was going on or what it all meant at the time.

"Some people may remember it as a bad thing ... I don't know, really, it was just something I was going through and really didn't understand it or have any control over it."

'It' refers to the period during which Nicholls, 34, developed a reputation as an erratic performer, trashing TV sets, baa-ing at a crowd and allegedly assaulting a photographer, before being diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome.

"Yeah, I was a little bit relieved when someone actually came up with a name for it," Nicholls said.

"I kind of thought it makes sense ... I'm not a very social kind of person.

"Mostly people have been very nice about it, in terms of both the fans and the media.

"Far more people have been really cool than insulting about it."

Nicolls has had to dodge some poorly-worded questioning, he said.

"Someone asked me once, 'Why are you crazy?' which I thought was a little bit rude," he said.

"I just say, 'I know you are, you said you are, but what am I?'.

"A journalist asked me a few months ago if I get tired of answering questions about Asperger's and to be honest it's fine unless it's really late at night and I've been doing interviews all day."

Nicholls said media calls had slowed down recently while he and the band worked on their new album.

"I've just spent a lot of time working on some new songs," he said.

"We've co-produced pretty much all of our albums, with this last lot of songs I've produced a lot of it myself, though it's still to be finished.

"It's mostly kind of heavy ... I know a lot of people kind of say our sound is very Brit-pop, this is a lot heavier.

"I'm still into the British scene in terms of music, but been listening to a lot of The Kinks, Supergrass, Blur and The Verve lately."

Nicholls cites iconic Brit-pop band The Beatles as one of his biggest inspirations, and recalls going to his first gig - The Screaming Jets.

"I went with Ryan (Griffiths, The Vines guitarist) and I remember we were pretty young and I couldn't really see much because I was small and we were near the back," he said.

Nicholls' first music purchase was a little more left-of-centre.

"The first cassette I bought was probably NWA ... at least I think I had the tape of that," he said.

"Faith No More was definitely one of the first tapes I ever bought, I definitely remember those guys."

Nicholls said he was looking forward to getting to Townsville this weekend for the Full Noise Music Festival.

"We're all really looking forward to it," he said.

"I think we have been there maybe once or twice before, but not for years."

>> The Vines will perform at this year's Full Noise Music Festival alongside Illy, Bag Raiders, Grinspoon, Eskimo Joe, Tim & Jean, Faker, Ball Park Music and more. For more information visit www.fullnoisefestival.com.au.