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Everything Everything interview and video

Lynda Moyo catches up with the band ahead of the Shockwaves NME Awards Tour gig at Leeds O2 Academy

Written by . Published on February 8th 2011.

Everything Everything interview and video

Everything Everything are the talk of the town, not just because they’re a group of four very talented and original sounding musicians, but because they’re flying the flag for a new breed of home-grown music up north. The group are currently travelling the country with the Shockwaves NME Award Tour. Lynda Moyo caught up with the band for a chat...

There are certain mechanisms that we’ve become aware of about how you sell singles now and it’s very little to do with the quality of the song. More often than not the thing that is compromised the most is the actual song writing. But occasionally that mechanism is employed anyway and the song is good, like Alexis Jordan.

LM: How are you all?

All: Alright.

LM: Whose is the child’s keyboard?

Jonathan: It’s ours for performing experiments on. We’ve taken the brains out of it so it makes useful sounds like this... (plays an ear piercingly horrendous noise)

LM: Introduce yourselves please - in an entertaining way.

Alex: I’m Alex. That’s as good as it gets.

Jeremy: I’m Jeremy. DA NAAAAAAA!

Jonathan: I’m Jonathan – HELLOOO!

LM: Looking forward to playing in Manchester tonight?

Jeremy: Absolutely. It’s good that we’ve just had two dates.

Jonathan: Two sold out dates – it’s ridiculous. It’s our biggest show here by far.

LM: Do you all live here?

Jonathan: We do (points to Jeremy) and Mick, our drummer.

Alex: I live in London.

LM: Do you think you’ll all end up in London?

Jonathan: No. Couldn’t afford it anyway.

LM: How does this tour compare to the NME tour last year?

Jonathan: It was smaller last year, similar though. It was pretty diverse – us and Hurts, Darwin Deez and local supports.

Alex: This year is much grander.

Jonathan: It’s bigger and more professional. We have to do far less and we’ve got a ridiculous bus. Last year we thought Hurts were funny because they had one, but there’s only two of them.

LM: What transport did you have last year?

Jeremy: We had a humble splitter van.

LM: Why the name Everything Everything?

Jonathan: We were trying to use the word ‘everything’ in a band name because we quite liked it and we couldn’t find a suitable pairing so we just put it with itself and it seemed to create something new and simultaneously very optimistic and strange, just simply using a very obviously well-known word.

Jeremy: It’s sort of all-encompassing, and then it’s twice. It’s got an overwhelming quality to it.

LM: Art-rock, indie-rock, math-rock, post-punk, electro-punk and contemporary R&B. These are some of your suggested influences on the net. Accurate?

Jeremy: Yeah. Probably. We don’t listen to that much post-punk but I suppose it’s kind of filtered into all of the music in the last 10 years anyway really. We listen to everything. We really do.

Jonathan: That’s one of the crapper reasons that we’re called Everything Everything.

LM: What’s the one thing you do listen to that people really wouldn’t expect?

Jonathan: Erm...classical music probably.

Jeremy: We’ve earned ourselves this reputation so I don’t think anything would be surprising anymore.

Jonathan: Erm...Delphic?

Jeremy: That’s not surprising. They’re our mates.

Jonathan: Hahahahaha.

Jeremy: That ‘Happiness’ tune. Alexis Jordan – we like her.

LM: Interestingly enough that’s exactly who Shayne Ward said when I interviewed him the other week.

Jonathan: Well. Shayne Ward. I liked a couple of his tunes actually.

Jeremy: I’d almost forgotten about him. Sorry Shayne.

Jonathan: I don’t think he’s gonna be reading up on us somehow.

LM: Jonathan, your singing style is very random and very unique. Is that your natural voice or is that a voice you’ve created?

Jonathan: Both. I started off trying to be a normal singer but with a lot of range. My voice wasn’t really strong enough to do the high stuff so I’d use a falsetto but then the rest of the time I’d use my normal voice. Going between the two just became so normal because I couldn’t really do anything else. That developed itself and now I’ve got much more ability, but I’ve learnt this style that I like and it feels much more natural.

LM: What’s astonishing is that your speaking voice is so deep.

Jonathan: I can actually sing really low too.

Jeremy: Much lower than I can.

LM: Lower than Toni Braxton?

Jonathan: I hope so.

Jeremy: How low can Toni Braxton go?

Jonathan: (sings) Un-break my heeeeeaaaart...

LM: You’re playing at Manchester Academy. Do you have ambitions to play the MEN Arena or do you think that will ruin your street cred?

Jonathan: Yeah - bowed-up.

Jeremy: He means that in the good way.

Jonathan: We’d love to play there.

Jeremy: We were within a whisker of supporting Elbow there about 18 months ago - not that we knew it until after they’d decided not to have us. But that would have been a bit weird I think – I don’t think we’d have been right for it. It’ll be a long time before we’re there but yeah, we’d like to do that.

Jeremy: We might get there supporting another band. That’s usually how you do it.

LM: Be honest, what do you really think of all the manufactured music in the charts these days?

Jeremy: It doesn’t annoy me. It’s just the way it is and the way it’s always been. There’s nothing automatically bad about music that sells a lot.

Jonathan: Everything just comes up on its own merit really. It’s a good song if there’s something to believe - even if it’s just that the person is a good singer. If it’s very false and you can see it coming a mile away and the song’s very clichéd it’s just pointless and boring.

There are certain mechanisms that we’ve become aware of about how you sell singles now and it’s very little to do with the quality of the song. More often than not the thing that is compromised the most is the actual song writing. But occasionally that mechanism is employed anyway and the song is good, like Alexis Jordan.

LM: Would you consider performing ‘Happiness’ in the Live Lounge perhaps?

Jonathan: We did think about it but it’s very much a production tune and as a song by itself it doesn’t really work. It’s all about the sound of that synth in it really. (hums the song)

LM: You’re up for an NME Award. How do you feel about that and, more importantly, have you prepared a speech?

Jeremy: We’re highly unlikely to win the NME award.

Jonathan: Definitely haven’t got speeches prepared.

Alex: We have no thoughts that we’ll win it, or win anything.

LM: Maybe you could practice your speech now?

Jonathan: Oh look, Beady Eye did win. That’s the acceptance speech. (laughs)

LM: Was there ever a point where you felt like quitting music and going back to a 9-5?

Jeremy: Yeah. Yesterday. No – not from me anyway. Not for more than half an hour at a time. I guess everybody, whatever their job, is gonna have those times when you’re pissed off and tired.

LM: You’ve done really well though. If you hadn’t have made such progress, how long would you have carried on trying for?

Jeremy: There’s levels of doing it. You can be in a band and have a job or you can really go for it. It becomes impossible trying to rehearse all the time and do all the things you need to do in order to succeed. You could continue to work your 9-5 and play in a band at weekends, but you probably wouldn’t ever go to the next level.

LM: At what point did you all quit your day jobs?

Jeremy: Almost one year before we signed.

Jonathan: There was a long period of having no money.

Jeremy: Followed by an even longer one that we’re still in 9laughs). We can actually pay the rent now at least, which for a long time we couldn’t.

LM: You put together the original video for ‘Photoshop handsome’ yourselves before shooting a new video for the re-release this year. Which version do you prefer?

Jonathan: The original I think, but we couldn’t re-use it because we rerecorded the song and had a different guitarist. We absolutely love the original one and we put a lot of work into it. With the new one we did what best we could with the idea and took it to the next level, without completely abandoning the original concept.

LM: The Mystery Jets recently remixed ‘Photoshop handsome’. Any plans to work with them?

Jeremy: We’ll probably do a remix for them at some point. That’d be nice. We’ve played a couple of shows with them.

LM: Any other collaborations?

Jeremy: We have actually got one or two things in mind that we’re going to actively pursue, but we can’t really say at the moment what that is because the people in mind don’t know yet.

LM: Is it Alexis Jordan?

Jonathan: Er no, unfortunately not. Don’t know really what we could bring to the table (laughs). Perhaps somebody better than us....Michael Jackson?

Jeremy: That used to be the stock answer and then he went and died. Yet he remains the stock answer.

Jonathan: Bowie. David Bowie. That’s who we’re gonna work with.

LM: Which other less well-known bands are the next big thing, in your eyes?

Jonathan: Egyptian Hip Hop, Dutch Uncles – both up and coming Manchester bands that we’re really fond of. They’re both different and original sounding. Keep an eye on those two. Hopefully Dutch Uncles will be in everyone’s faces before long because they’ve finished their album and it’s really good.

Jeremy: Same goes for Egyptian Hip Hop because their record can’t be far off. We also like a guy called Jai Paul who was on the BBC sound of 2011 list and James Blake, we like him as well. His record’s out this week so I’m gonna go and buy that.

LM: What do you get up to when you’re not touring or making music?

Jonathan: We do this sometimes – press interviews. Go for walks. There’s very little time that we’re able to devote to anything else. But we just do the normal stuff – go home and spend time with our girlfriends.

Jeremy: Wash dishes.

Alex: Wash our clothes. Make food...

Jeremy: I’ve been making homemade wine recently. It’s probably going to be an absolute disaster. It’s been fermenting for two weeks now so it must be 100 per cent alcohol. And there’s, like, three gallons of it.

Alex: We’ll have forgotten about that in a year anyway so you can just quietly pour it down the sink.

Jeremy: No, I’ll quietly pour it down your throat mate.

LM: Would you mind singing us a bit of one of your songs, barber shop trio stylee?

Jeremy: Oh my God. Find me a note...

Everything Everything will be playing at the Leeds O2 Academy on Wednesday 9 February. Click here for tickets.

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