Justin Hayward-Young may admit that his first discovery of Brit-pop legends Oasis was “the coolest thing ever,” but the leader of the British quartet The Vaccines is also very upfront about his American qualities. The bearded vocalist and guitarist, 26, was even so bold as to stroll into a recent Live in the Lab performance at our Boston Globe studios sporting a dark blue Yankees jersey (no name on the back, though). As his penance for encroaching upon Sox territory, we pegged him with six random questions.
Q. If you weren’t in a band, what do you think you would be doing for a living?
A. I’d probably be very sad. I’m not sure though, I did do a history degree. Maybe I would be a librarian or a history teacher or something. I was going to go on to do a master’s and PhD, so maybe I would just continue studying.
Q. Are there any American traits that you think you’ve picked up from touring the US so much?
A. I’ve definitely grown an American-ism in the way I inflect my voice. I’ve always been really guilty, no matter who I’m around, of trying to converge with their accent. I think I usually kind of soften the way I talk when I’m in America. That and I’m wearing a baseball jersey right now.
Q. What was some of the earliest music you were into without being introduced by your parents?
A. The first band that I discovered on my own was Oasis. In the early- to mid-’90s, they were basically unavoidable and their songs were such great pop songs with such great energy and attitude.
Q. What’s something about your musical taste that folks would be surprised to hear?
A. I more surprise myself by discovering acts that I had otherwise dismissed. ABBA and the Bee Gees are two of my favorite bands and a few years ago I thought I really disliked their music. One day it clicked and I realized what great songwriters they were.
Q. In the US, British comedies are basically considered their own genre of film. What’s your favorite American comedy?
A. I love “Eastbound and Down.” That’s straight up my favorite American comedy. I love “Arrested Development,” as well, and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Ironically, I think they’re heavily influenced by English comedy in how dry they are. It’s a very Alan Partridge/”The Office” kind of setup of this horrible person who is somewhat likable in an underdog way.
Q. If your tour bus suddenly caught fire and you could only save one thing, what would it be?
A. It’s really boring, but my laptop. It’s got all my music, my films, all of my work. I feel really guilty saying that, but I do suppose it’s got about everything on it.