The Q&A

The Vaccines

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London four-piece The Vaccines are the breakout British indie band of the last two years, and their brand of back-to-basics guitar rock has already scooped a number one record in 2013.

Frontman Justin Young took to the decks at Esquire’s Woodford Reserve cocktail party last night, and in between tracks filled us in on New York, supporting the Stones, and theme parks. He’s afraid of them, as it turns out.

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So, tonight you’ve swapped microphones for headphones. Is DJing something you want to do more of?
Yes, definitely. We love DJing. It’s amazing to be able to come here, get given drinks and play your favourite songs. It’s also a genuinely interesting learning experience - working out which songs work, which songs make people move.

Anything you’d recommend?
Well we’re playing quite a few new New York bands tonight - we just played a track by a great band called Parquet Courts. There’s also a band called The Drowners, which an old flat mate of mine is in.

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You’ve just moved to the Big Apple - how’s that working out for you so far?
New York is probably my favourite American city. There are only two places I’ve been where you feel like you’re at the centre of the Earth; London and New York. To be able to go out and get whatever you want, whenever you want, is crazy.

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You’ve got some big dates in the UK coming up, with the O2 in May, and then opening for the Rolling Stones in July.
Yeah, it’s insane. When I told my dad we’d made number one in the album charts, he was like “that’s great news”, but then when the Stones thing happened I emailed him and he just replied with ‘Fuck fuck fuuuuck.” That’s his point of reference. They’re one of the biggest bands ever, so yeah, it’s pretty exciting.

The Stones are just one in a list of bands you’ve been linked to style-wise. How would you describe your style and approach?
Fun. We’re travelling entertainers, essentially. We try not to take ourselves too seriously. There’s so much music out there, we know we’re just a drop in the ocean. There’s a tendency to over-intellectualise a lot of things, when it needn’t always be that complicated. We’re just gonna enjoy it.

Did you have fun filming the video for your new single, 'Bad Mood', in a theme park?
I actually hate theme parks. Hate them. I’m terrified of rollercoasters. Dodgems are awesome, I love the dodgems, but anything else, fuck that shit. I get butterflies every time.

jptalent.co.uk/talent/the-vaccines

Interview by Alex Allen