Craig Robert Nicholls (born 31 August 1977) is an Australian musician, best known as the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the Australian alternative rock band The Vines, of which he is the sole continuous member.
Nicholls was born in Sydney. Terry Nicholls, his father, was the guitarist and vocalist in a 1960s group named The Vynes. He later worked as an accountant for Sony Music Australia. Nicholls has an older brother, Matt, an older sister Tara who is a solicitor, and a younger sister, Jessica. Nicholls’ father taught him to play guitar during childhood. He spent his spare time listening to The Beatles, painting artworks, and skateboarding. He stated, “I grew up a loner… I never socialized. I stayed at home and listened to music all day. Music became a mystical world.”
Nicholls attended Marist College Penshurst until he dropped out of high school during Year 10. He enrolled in an art school for six months to study painting. He supported his ambition to be a musician by working at a McDonald’s in Hurstville. There, he met future bandmates bass guitarist Patrick Matthews and drummer David Oliffe. To form a quartet named Rishikesh, Nicholls invited his schoolmate Ryan Griffiths to join on guitar. Nicholls provided the band’s name, Rishikesh, from the city in India where The Beatles had attended an ashram. Reviewing early gigs, newspapers would misprint the name as “Rishi Chasms”, so Nicholls decided to change it to The Vines, a reference to his father’s group.