Meet Vacations, the Aussies taking over the world: ‘We haven’t had any big disasters yet’

Get the latest from Beat


Meet Vacations, the Aussies taking over the world: ‘We haven’t had any big disasters yet’

Words by Benjamin Lamb

Newcastle’s very own Vacations have been making waves, their unique brand of indie-rock popping up on a bunch of festival lineups, radio shows and even late night.

The lads dropped their latest record back on January 12, which has continued to receive a lot of positive buzz from their fans across the world. We caught up with Joey to chat about it all.

“It was like a longer kind of an album process,” drummer Joey Van Lier notes. But it feels good that it’s finally out. There are obviously a lot of emotions that go into an album, and a lot of effort. So we’re really happy, we haven’t had any big disasters yet.”

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Now the album’s out and Vacations have been hitting the road, they’re already thinking about getting back to the drawing board. Joey notes that once an album’s out there, it reignites the passion to get back into the studio and make the next big thing.

“There’s a lot of touring we have coming up. But we’re keener than ever to be recording new music again.

“We’ve already kind of started, but it’s tricky for us because we are split between so many places in the world. So we definitely are in a state of mind of striking while the iron is hot, just because we’re enjoying songwriting so much at the moment.”

With Vacations in high-demand and separated across the world, Australians don’t get many shows from the group that last hit our shores for Laneway. Joey notes what it was like to be part of such an iconic touring festival, the boys’ first touring festival down under.

“It was an awesome opportunity [to play Laneway Festival]. It was just fantastic, it felt like a real homecoming.

“It had been a couple of years since we toured Australia and to be able to come back here and play one of my favourite festivals, was a big goal for us, so to finally get it was just awesome.

“To have people show up and want to see us play is an awesome thing to see happen and, and so-not expected as well,” he adds with a laugh.

While festivals are on a bit of a downturn at the moment, for Vacations, nothing beats an Aussie festival crowd. 

“Aussies are very fun, very rowdy. They remind me a lot of the US crowds. I don’t know if maybe it is band-specific, though. Like, you know, maybe our crowd is a certain kind of person.

The band have been making waves in the US, recently appearing on the late-night circuit, the musical guest on a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live.

“It was a very good experience, [being on] Jimmy Kimmel, and also CBS Mornings in New York City, they were both incredible experiences.

“Late-night shows, morning shows, really help you become legitimate. A legitimate career also shows things like festivals that you can back yourself up live, you know, because that’s something we’re keen to show people – we are a professional touring band as well, we can back it up.”

Joey adds what it’s like playing to American crowds, and the differences between cities: “We’re in for a good night when it’s a college town, those are sick. They’re really, really rowdy and almost get like frat boy energy or something. But generally, they are really good crowds, and super cool too.”

Vacations are now ready to return to Australia, recently dropping dates across the country — kicking off in Torquay and finishing with a hometown show in Newcastle.

“We’ve always wanted to incorporate more regional shows into our tours, if we had have made it work better on this tour, we would have even done some more.

“It’s a more difficult thing than some people pay credit for, to put on a tour, and to route a tour. We’ve always wanted to try and do some small towns in Australia that we haven’t done before.

“Our manager suggested Torquay and we just thought it would be neat.”

More info on Vacations’ tour can be found here