The Vaccines’ Justin Young: ‘Rihanna is as important as Radiohead’

Vaccines frontman says no type of music is more valid than another

The Vaccines‘ Justin Young says Rihanna‘s music is every bit as important as that of Radiohead.

His comments came after he was asked why he felt the need to define The Vaccines as a rock band and dress in denim when they released second album ‘Come Of Age’ earlier this year.

Speaking to NME, he said: “I just feel bands can be misunderstood, and I think people can over-intellectualise music.

I think an artist like Rihanna is as important as a band like Radiohead. They serve different purposes, neither is more important. As for us, people might think of us an indie band that got big, but I think of us as a small pop band.


Young adds: “I think there is a crucial difference in that we make records for ourselves, but we don’t make decisions based on that. We’re not scared of selling records and like the idea of it. The idea of getting bigger is desirable as long as you’re getting better. I wouldn’t want to be big and bad, or water anything down.”

The statement contradicts the band’s guitarist Freddie Cowan who earlier this year criticised Rihanna for not being a ‘real’ musician.

Cowan said back in August: “Rihanna isn’t an artist – she has 15 writers, 15 songwriters and 15 producers all fighting for space on her albums and she’s the face of it. I have nothing against it, but I don’t want to be associated with it.”

Meanwhile, Young went on to say he was happy with the way the band avoided the trap of merely adding string sections to their second album to make it sound bigger.

“We could’ve done that, but I actually think we made a more exciting sounding record. We could’ve moved toward the middle lane, but I think we actually moved further away from it.”

The Vaccines begin their UK tour with a show at Plymouth Pavilions on November 15 and finish up at O2 Academy Bournemouth on November 30.


The Vaccines will be supported by Diiv, Deap Vally – pictured right – and Pale on the tour. Fucked Up will be special guests at the band’s show at Alexandra Palace on November 17.

The Vaccines will play:

Plymouth Pavilions (November 15)
Cardiff University (16)
London Alexandra Palace (17)
Leicester De Montfort Hall (19)
O2 Apollo Manchester (21)
Liverpool Mountford Hall (22)
Doncaster Dome (23)
O2 Academy Glasgow (25, 26)
O2 Academy Newcastle (27)
O2 Academy Birmingham (29)
O2 Academy Bournemouth (30)


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