"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> THE VASELINES
By Ozgur Cokyuce
Last month I had the chance to make below interview with my friend Eugene Kelly of The Vaselines…Most of you know them with their Nirvana covered Molly’s Lips, Son Of A Gun and Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam songs…But of course,they’re more than that…They are one of the most unique bands that came out of the Glasgow-Scotland scene during the late 80s.Now they’re back with live shows and hopefully with a “New Album” next year…..Here’s what Eugene shared with us;
PUNK GLOBE: Eugene, you performed with Frances at Scotland’s Tigerfest last year, you also performed at Sub Pop Records' 20th Anniversary SP20 music festival . This year London saw The Vaselines playing their first date in 20 years at the London Forum. Recently, The Vaselines is also supporting Mudhoney at HMV Picture House in Edinburgh. How was the feedback you got during these concerts since summer 2006?
EUGENE KELLY:The feedback has been great from the audiences. Much different to twenty years ago when they used to throw things at us. We're loving actually having an audience wanting to see us. We never played many headline shows twenty years ago.
PUNK GLOBE: The Vaselines formed in 1986 and before that you had played in The Famous Monsters.Please tell us a bit about the early days. Were there any other names that you thought of before deciding on the name, The Vaselines? How did you come up with the name and what made you decide to leave The Famous Monsters?
EUGENE KELLY: The Famous Monsters was my first band,formed with school friends. The reason we split was that I decided to form the Vaselines with Frances. I suppose I could have played in two bands at once but it didn't occur to me at the time. We had a few ideas for names but they were all terrible. Stephen from The Pastels came up with the name The Vaselines and we liked it enough to want to use it.
PUNK GLOBE: Are there any songs from The Vaselines that haven’t still seen the light of the day yet and are there any plans to release them or re-record them someday?
EUGENE KELLY:There are no other Vaselines songs. We've now released everything that we wrote. We liked to write quickly and then record it. We recorded everything we wrote.
PUNK GLOBE: Other than your solo work and The Vaselines, you collobrated with different musicians and bands during your musical career such as The Pastels, BMX Bandits and you also formed Captain America during the 90s which later became Eugenius. Which bands or artists – can we say -had the most influence on the music of Eugene Kelly + The Vaselines?
EUGENE KELLY: The Velvet Underground, Kraftwerk, Orange Juice, The Kinks, Creedence Clearwater Revival
PUNK GLOBE: The song, “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam” is musically a little different(with a more acoustic sound) compared to the rest of The Vaselines songs. How did you come up with it’s musical structure or melody,what’s the story behind it?
EUGENE KELLY: The same way as writing any other song,by strumming the guitar until an idea arrives. The song was a reaction to the fact that Frances and I had been to Catholic schools and been raised in Catholic families. When you get into your late teens or early twenties you sometimes question all that you have been taught.
PUNK GLOBE: Eugene, you are in the music scene for approximately 25 years now and you are the member of one of the most special bands in music history. But, if you were to create your all time dream band, who would be the members?
EUGENE KELLY: I'd be happy to be in Creedence Clearwater Revival.
PUNK GLOBE: In a recent interview, you mentioned that you had already written 4 new songs. Tell us a bit about them and are there any plans to write more and comeback after nearly 30 years with a new album or at least a new EP?
EUGENE KELLY: We've now written fifteen songs and are going into the studio next month to begin working on a new album that we hope will be released next year.
PUNK GLOBE: Now, as you still continue playing live from time to time and stil in the music scene ,how do you compare the music scene in late 2000s to the music scene in the late 80s and early 90s? Was that a rare period of time that showed us so many cool bands and unique, different but good music all together at the same time –- at least compared to these last ten years? What do you think?
EUGENE KELLY: The music scene in Glasgow in the 80's was horrible. It was just heavy metal bands and white guys playing soul music until Orange Juice and The Pastels started releasing records. There were no music venues and it was hard to find somewhere to play. Bands started to putting on their own club nights and promoting their own bands. this resulted in a healthy music scene in Britain in the late 80's and early 90's with the rise of the independent label. The music scene now is pretty horrible. Too many bands. Too many musicians.
PUNK GLOBE: What were you listening to in late '70s, and what are you listening to nowadays? Are there any unknown bands you’re into at the moment or you could recommend us to check out?
EUGENE KELLY: I listened to Buddy Holly,Elvis,The Beatles,Bob Dylan,Lots of Country and Western. Just now i'm not listening to new bands,not excited by many new bands just now. And as i'm trying to write it's not a good idea to put some new band's songs in your head.
PUNK GLOBE: Nirvana, especially Kurt Cobain was a huge fan of The Vaselines,they covered many of your songs and at the 1991 Reading Festival, you also joined Nirvana on stage for a performance of "Molly's Lips." . How was Kurt’s reaction as a fan, when you first met? And I would like to ask which songs were your favourites from Nirvana?
EUGENE KELLY: It was fantastic experience singing with Nirvana on the Reading stage . Kurt seemed very shy when we first met him. We didn't realise how much of a fan he was of the band. I love a lot of Nirvana songs but Heart Shaped Box always excites me.
PUNK GLOBE: What are the plans for next year? What surprises can we expecat from you, maybe a new solo album or new collobrations?
EUGENE KELLY: New Vaselines album if all goes to plan. No other plans outside The Vaselines. I have a bunch of unreleased solo songs that I hope to record sometime.
PUNK GLOBE: Last question and the question I would like to ask the most.When you were growing up, who did you imitate when you stood in front of the mirror?
EUGENE KELLY: Edwyn Collins from Orange Juice.