NEW YORK — Aussie rockers The Vines have come a long way since their days working the microwave at the local McDonald’s in Sydney. As teenagers, front man Craig Nicholls and bassist Patrick Matthews dreamed of being rock stars in between stacking Big Macs and taking orders.
Now in their mid-20s, the band is caught in a music media frenzy thanks to the release of their debut album, “Highly Evolved,” arriving in American stores today. Roman Coppola directed the video for the first single, “Get Free,” a hard-rocking tune with thrashing guitars and screeching vocals that will surely please moshers in muddy pits everywhere. The video made MTV’s hallowed Buzzworthy list before it even left the editing room.
“Coppola kind of picked us,” says Matthews. “Our job was just to look like we’re playing the songs and he had to make us look cool.” Coppola got the idea from concert footage of Pink Floyd live in Pompeii, where the band plays without an audience. He took it one step further, adding flying dirt and lightning, which eventually blows Nicholls off the stage. “The band was very patient, and over the course of two days’ shooting, they never ever complained about getting dirt blasted in their faces,” says Coppola.
The Vines, which includes drummer Hamish Rosser and guitarist Ryan Griffiths, play Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday night. But will they hit McDonald’s for old-time’s sake? “Well, in Australia, everyone eats there,” Matthews says. “Here, it seems like it’s a bit of a homeless shelter a lot of the time.””
This story first appeared in the July 16, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.