Alex Yau 28/02/2011
GIITTV's Alex Yau caught up with two members of Manchester's Everything Everything, Mike and Alex recently. Everything Everything have been exciting people with their suprising electronic pop sounds and tongue twisting falscetto-led melodies of their debut record 'Man Alive', throughout the UK in the past month as part of the NME new music tour.
I remember seeing you in 2008 supporting the Maccabee's at the Plug in Sheffield. How do you think you compare as a band now to what you were then?
Mike: We're doing what we were doing now really, it's just that we didn't have a record deal then. We're playing a lot of the same songs to be honest but the music is still pretty similar. Alex has joined the band which has given us a shot in the arm as
well as a new impetus. Day by day we're more confident in what we do. When you start and you write your music in a basement, there's no way of knowing if people will like it and it's only by doing gigs that you realise how good some of the people think your songs are.
Alex: It feels recently that the band know what to do together, what to write and how to make music. We know exactly where we're going and how to work together.
Do you have any interesting new material lined up at all and will your future songs follow the same formula as “Man Alive?”
Mike: We've only started writing new material but we've gotten better at writing strong pop songs and they may be a bit simpler possibly but it's not to say that it'll all be like that.
Alex: It's safe to say that on the album there were a few songs that were simpler than others. The way we're going now is that there's a lot of stuff that's complex and the new stuff is going to be more complex than others and more refined I think. Finding
the space for everything on a record is important I think and you need to have a few pop songs whilst having others that aren't pop songs, but more of mood songs.
Your songs are very intelligent and complicated too. Is it a hard process when writing them or do they come to you straight away?
Mike: It takes longer than most bands. We don't try to squeeze a lot of things in but we listen to a lot of music that's multi layered and yes, it's complicated but hopefully not overly complicated.
Alex: We don't want to come across that we're trying to be really clever. We do what excites us. If you listen to a lot of music, you'll find that there are a lot of things off the beaten track that'll excite you more and we try to put those things in our music. Hopefully it'll translate to our audience.
You also recorded in a haunted house in Wales. Are you all believers in anything spiritual or ghostly?
Mike: I don't think we do, I don't know about the others but our producer said “Oh it's haunted” and I was like “ooh, it's haunted” which kind of means I do but we didn't have any particular ghostly experiences. It had a sort of eeriness to it.
Alex: There were a lot of cobwebs but it was just an old farmhouse though. It was creaky and if someone turned a tap on a mile away, then our pipes would creak.
Mike: It had character, I definitely liked it.
If you could resurrect or communicate with any dead musician, who would it be and why?
Alex: Michael Jackson but Frank Zappa is who I'd really like to get. I don't know what I'd do with Frank Zappa but I'd probably be pushed around and shouted at. You can't really collaborate.
Mike: Derek Accorah tried to have a séance with Michael Jackson which was pretty cool. We were meant to see Michael Jackson play so a few of us feel short changed. We'd get him back to play just for the four of us.
You've also stopped making a lot of the videos yourself due to time constraints. Do you feel this has taken away from the full essence that is Everything Everything and do you prefer to take all aspects of what the band does yourself?
Mike: Not really, Jon (Higgs, lead singer) is always the one that did that. He still directs videos and we always have a say in it. There are a million other things now but its not that we've handed it to someone else. Jon knows exactly what he wants.
The BBC has claimed that the Vaccine's are the saviours of British guitar music. How do you react to this?
Mike: People say stuff like that every month
Alex: Guitar music never died and it's not going to. They'll just keep playing and they'll be another band who'll be the saviour. I like the Vaccines; they have an element of youngness and sort of vital sound that's exciting and liberating guitar rock. If people want to give them that title, it helps them build a career and that all that means.
Magnetic Man's also on the bill tonight. Would you ever think of incorporating dub step into your music?
Alex: We like dub step a lot. Jon is just obsessed with having huge deep subs in our tunes and loves exploiting that.
Mike: I suppose we're into a different end of the spectrum for dub step.
Alex: There are only a few genres that we wouldn't listen to.
Mike: Magnetic Man was really good last night. I really listen to the less commercial end but that's not to say it's any better or worse, it's a bit different. I need to listen to the James Blake album and the Matt Kimble's album's really good.
Alex: We love the top shelf stuff but I wouldn't say we know every last dub person, we're not experts at it.
You've also stated that Radiohead is a big influence on the band in the past. If you could cover one Radiohead song for the rest of your life, what would that beand why?
Alex: There are a lot of good ones. I love Reckoner. I could play that and hear it for a long time. It's weird, I would say something off OK Computer obviously but you can't just pick one. The whole album is really good. There's not one song I listen to. I listen to the whole thing; it's all just one large song.
Mike: I suppose that albums our group favourite.
Everything Everything's forthcoming dates:
Tuesday 10th May 2011 - Manchester Academy 2
Wednesday 11th May 2011 - Birmingham HMV Library
Thursday 12th May 2011 - London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire