The Vaccines’ Justin Young – Does Rock N Roll Kill Brain Cells?

Testing musicians’ memories after a lifetime of abuse. This week we see how much intellectual firepower The Vaccines’ Justin Young has left in his skull.


What colour shirt are you wearing on the cover of the Radar issue of NME from January last year?
Correct. It takes a brave man to wear beige
“I got that shirt from a ’50s shop in Camden. You’re setting yourself up for the fall when you wear a beige shirt in the public eye. I like that shirt a lot.”

What three ‘S’-es did Vaccines bassist Arni Hjörvar say were all banned on your tourbus at the start of 2011?
“Sex, slamming the door and shitting.”
Correct. Did you abide by your own rules?
“Well, I didn’t have a shit on there.”

You played Radio 1’s Big Weekend last May. Who came on directly before and after you?
“Chipmunk and Noah And The Whale?”
Wrong. Two Door Cinema Club and Yasmin, whoever that is…
“Two Door Cinema Club rings a bell.”

True or false: Arni’s hair has its own fansite?
“Erm. False?”
Wrong. It’s at
“(To Arni) Did you know your hair has its own fansite?” Arni: “No!”

You let Kate Moss jam along to ‘If You Wanna’ when she performed with you in the Rimmel advert. What is she wearing?
“She’s wearing one of those hangovers from The Libertines, one of those military jackets.”
Correct. A blue one. What was Miss Moss like to work with?
“It was quite surreal. It was in a very bright white room so it felt a bit like we were dreaming.”

The Vaccines played at Arcade Fire’s show at London’s Hyde Park in June. Tell us the running order.
“That’s easy. Owen Pallett played first. Then us. Then Beirut. Then Mumford and Sons. Then Arcade Fire.”

Which song did Vaccines guitarist Freddie Cowan join The Horrors on for their Reading Festival set in August?
“‘Still Life’?”
Wrong. ‘Moving Further Away’

In the video for ‘Tiger Blood’, you use beer bottles as makeshift bowling pins. Which brand are they?
“Tuborg. It’s actually quite nice when you go to Denmark. It’s the same as Carlsberg – it’s horrible over here, but it’s nice when you go to the source.”

The Cribs’ Ryan Jarman joined you onstage at the O2 Academy Brixton in London last month wearing a natty matching socks and T-shirt combo in which colour?
“Fuck. Erm… blue?
Wrong. Red
“Shit. I was going to say red.”

What number did ‘What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?’ and ‘If You Wanna’ come in NME’s albums and tracks of 2011 lists?
“Both at 14. I read NME!”
Correct. Good man. Happy?
“I’m pretty happy with that.”

Total Score: 6/ 10

“That’s not bad. I saw that Faris from The Horrors got 10 so I was aiming for an eight or a nine. Six isn’t too bad”

This article originally appeared in the January 7th issue of NME

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