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Interview: Everything Everything

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For connoisseurs of modern, progressive, indie music Everything Everything are a must-see band.

Live they have an incredible reputation. A reputation which is leading to another packed summer of live dates for the band. Front-man Jon Higgs sat down with us ahead of their crazy summer schedule, that includes a show at Truck Festival.

Everything Everything

The interview that could have taken place, may have included lyrically-inspired cues, *cough* wait a second *cough*, as the phone call connected. Or questions along the lines of “What’s your favourite animal? (No reptiles)” and “What’s the best set you’ve played in the distant past”.

But this is a band that deserves more than poor attempts at dad jokes.

The band’s sound cannot be put in a box, their smooth blend of pop, rock and everything in-between sets them aside as one of the most unique bands of the moment.

As Jon describes it, “Recently, experimental pop is probably the best description of us. High energy, unpredictable and colourful”.

The band’s third album, 2015’s, Get To Heaven, was a critically acclaimed, quirky-pop wonder.

On the surface, the album appears as an energetic pop album, but it’s undercutting theme is of a much darker nature. The rise of Isis, far right leaders and the general election are all treated through a cynical lens in Jon’s playful lyricism.

“It’s very easy to write a moody album. But it’s very difficult to make it positive and this is what we are very attracted to. We don’t like to write it just one colour, but different shades. We’re not going to stop talking about things and we’re not going to stop making pop – you’ve just got to balance these two things.”

The atrocities addressed on the album have persisted, with the events in the Bataclan projecting the fear of terrorism closer to home. I asked Jon whether they could have predicted such events at the time of writing the album.

“We couldn’t have predicted that one. Though it’s surprising, it’s not outside their parameters. It’s totally horrific but it could happen to any group, not just music lovers. It hit us strongly how much the stuff we talked about is still happening and much worse. The rise of far right leaders, Trump and Farage. We could write the same album this year which is really sad.”

Over the course of their three albums, Everything Everything have proven they are a lyrical force to be reckoned with.

Jon explains, “I discovered I could write at 13 maybe? I was just messing around and slowly got more interested. I did it through my teens and uni years – 19 years ridiculously, ” he laughs and chimes “practice makes perfect”.

 

In some cases, the absurd rhymes that they pack into their tracks may appear odd to some, but these too are ripe in meaning. Take the line “It’s alright to feel like a fat child in a push chair” from ‘No Reptiles’, as an example.

“It’s a feeling I find in myself. It feels helpless and kind of useless to everyone else. You feel like you should be doing something but can’t.”

On a whole, the single ‘No Reptiles’ has proven a stand out track for Jon, who asserts that it is the track he is the most proud of writing.

“It really connected with people in a way I wouldn’t expect, it’s a highlight of the show when we play live. We’re really happy with it as it’s not the most obvious pop song. It’s got the strongest emotions and is interestingly arranged. I’m trying to beat this one.”

Jon has spoken openly in the past about his experiences with depression and the effect that music has had on his health.

“Performing certainly helps and writing also helps. It’s difficult at the time but you just have to keep on top and let the feelings out. The big power of music and therapy is telling people ‘I feel the same as you and you shouldn’t feel bad about it!”

Given that the government has been intent on cutting both mental health services and the arts budget, it would suggest that they do not recognise what Jon and so many others do about the power the arts can have over someone’s health.

“They’re completely out of touch but what is new. They’re out of touch with pretty much everything except bankers and big business”

Everything Everything recently supported Foals across the country on their arena tour of What Went Down.

“They’re great friends of ours. We’re really similar in a way, but also very different. We love touring with them, it’s very healthy as we learn from their show and vice versa.”

The band aren’t strangers to touring and have even played to audiences in Russia, which was obviously had its moments of culture sh

ock.

“Taking the train in Russia was really weird, those huge trains you sleep on. There were Russian police on-board too. We played three big arena shows with Russian artists – that was very weird too.”

Closer to home, the band will be playing a series of small festivals throughout the summer.

“We’re really excited as there are lots of places we’ve not been before. Such as Stepping Stones Festival, near where I grew up in Carlisle and Kendal Calling.”

One jewel in this small festival crown is Truck Festival, the cult festival that was one of the places to be for people in the know in the mid 2000s and is now and event that manages to bring big names to Hill Farm in Oxfordshire. This year Everything Everything join the likes of the Manic Street Preachers, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Jurassic 5 and Young Fathers.

As for their plans for when their busy summer schedule draws to a close, well…

“We start work on the next record this week. We’ve all been working on demos, now we’ve got to  get our head down and into writing. We are in the very early stages.”

 

Catch the band at Truck Festival, Oxfordshire in July 15-17th. Weekend tickets are available here for £86.50!




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