Vines Hoping To Return To Live Duty

Australian rock act the Vines is back in the spotlight with a new Capitol album, "Vision Valley."

Having emerged from a period of great uncertainty following frontman Craig Nicholls' fall 2004 diagnosis with the neurobiological disorder Asperger Syndrome, Australian rock act the Vines is back in the spotlight with a new Capitol album, "Vision Valley."

And while Capitol sources had previously indicated that Nicholls' condition would make it difficult, if not impossible, for him to undertake extensive touring, the band is easing itself back into performing, having recently taped sessions for broadcast on Australia's Triple J and Channel V.

"We'll probably start with a couple of shows in Australia, and assuming that works, we'll take it overseas," drummer Hamish Rosser tells "We have to take it a step at a time and do it at our own pace. Capitol would love a massive world tour. It works for Jet but it's not going to for us," he adds with a laugh.

Nicholls' unpredictable behavior gained the Vines as much notoriety as their music and ultimately forced bassist Patrick Matthews out of the band (he has since joined Youth Group). Bass duties on "Vision Valley" were handled by You Am I's Andy Kent.

"He came down when we were making the album, and the first time I saw him and Craig together I was very nervous, but they got on like old friends," Rosser says of Matthews. "It almost brought a tear to the eye. There's no hatred between us at all. I don't hold it against him that he quit the band."

Rosser admits he's relieved the Vines even exist at this point, and that the collective adversity resulted in quality music. "Craig feels that he doesn't have much recollection of the events the Vines went through," he says. "The best thing to come out of it is the songs on this album. Also for him, he stopped smoking pot, which is definitely a positive. Craig is in a lot better headspace than he was two years ago. The future is looking brighter than we could have imagined, really."

For now, Nicholls' bandmates are doing their best not to push him into any new commitments before he's ready. "Craig has a few new song ideas, and there's a couple we didn't end up recording," Rosser says. "We'll do a fourth album eventually, but we're a long way off making that."