IN CONVERSATION WITH: Everything Everything

WORDS BY HANNAH TINKER        PHOTOS BY MANC WANDERER

They’re the millennial indie kid’s favourite flashback and they’ve not stopped in over ten years – Everything Everything live up to their name, time and time again. In the wake of their fourth studio album, released last year, EE have marker-ed themselves as a statement Brit indie rock act that has transcended through time. At this years Neighbourhood Festival in Manchester, the iconic quartet were in pole position as the headline act at The Albert Hall and we managed to have a quick chat with lead singer Jonathan Higgs just before the day fully began.

Since their early days the band have constantly tried to avoid the cliche with their eclectic and dynamic style, by way of complex song construction and programming. Back in the early days, their sound was younger, blossoming and representative of the indie pop scene that was bursting into the ether but now it’s hit a maturer, adept peak. “We were more into RnB back then – more into production – whereas now we’ve had to draw line (and realise) ‘hang on, I don’t actually want to be Craig David'” jokes Jonathan as he mentions that around the time of their fruition they were leaning towards a more American, RnB style of work. Arctic Monkeys immediately come to mind as an act that swayed towards this heavily western sound and didn’t return from it, but Everything Everything feel they edged close to it and “tested the water” with their first two records but soon got inspiration from elsewhere.

Nowadays their inspiration comes from dance music and the generally new wave that’s providing an awakening for pop music as of late. But as with the world is in this current climate, creatives have a platform to discuss the state of the world and the bending timeline that we are all now embroiled in. Everything Everything supporting Stoptober and War Child has been a recent push that just so happened to land at the end of their run of gigs for this year. “Attitudes and approaches attract us – we’re much less bothered about the genre or how much went into it or opinion.” This can be seen with tracks such as the recently released ‘Breadwinner’ which touches on the theme of an ideological image of society as represented by the title and mentions of theories and phrases that people often easily dismiss, as well as typical stereotypes of the world.

As a band, having worked over such a long period of time, EE  have been through numerous different record labels which saw them move from Universal to Sony for three records, having been in the right place at the right time. There’s whisper from Jon about them soon switching again to a different label, but we can’t reveal anything about that with you – die hard fans will just need to keep an eye on Everything Everything‘s movements over the coming months.

But also with experience comes knowledge and skills within the industry. Back in 2009 the indie soundtrack ‘MY KZ, UR BF’ was only released on vinyl and no other formats as of course the only real format was CD, radio play and “probably MySpace” – but this was a decision that they chose just as the peak for vinyl sales began to descend. Speaking now of the new wave in record sales, Jonathan has a refreshingly unpopular opinion: “we’re fetishising a format rather than the music itself. I see the record as a vessel not the actual music.” This pleasantly makes a mockery of those who buy tangible pieces of music in a classic ‘hipster’ sense, for the ‘look’ of the sleeve or the image that comes along with a wide record collection. Music is at the heart of Everything Everything.

This year has seen them play at the final Festival No 6, a festival which has been a massive support for the band over the years and has often slotted them in amongst their ever magnificent lineups. They played the first one back in 2012 and sadly the last one – “never made the headline slot though” – which is a clear indication that this act can stand the test of time. Quick mentions of the pipeline dream to play in the Glastonbury headline slot are mentioned in passing, but it could soon be a reality if they’re to keep going at this rate – particularly as they’ve been making new music all summer long, ahead of their planned small break for the last few months of 2018.  “There are babies in the band now. It’s kind of like a new era – we’ve got families and a new record label and the Mercury nomination – it feels like a new chapter of optimism for the band.”

The next form that Everything Everything takes is unfortunately likely to be the last but they want to go out in style, they want it to be “bold.” Jon mentions that with the ageing of them as members they’re making way for new, current acts such as The Magic Gang whom he recommends, as well as Tom Grennan, who will be supporting them this New Years Eve for the Kendal Calling organised event. But of course, there’s no forgetting the legendary act that is Everything Everything.

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