Everything Everything about experiments and new territories

On this beautiful Tuesday afternoon in Vienna`s Gasometer, FM5 met Everything Everything- a British indie rock band who is not afraid to experiment with their music. They talked about massive festival gigs, directing their own videos and grey jumpers.

FM5: Your third studio album, Get to Heaven, was accepted so well and critics praised it a lot. Do you consider this album as the best you’ve made so far?

Jeremy Pritchard (bass, keyboard, backing vocals): Yeah, probably. It is really difficult to dissociate your own experience of making it and from looking at it objectively, so it`s hard…but I think, it probably is our best. I think the basic objective of making interesting music that isn`t too pompous or exclusive has been best achieved on this record. I don`t really think that favor and best are the same anyway and it is so hard of us to be objective about it all- but yeah, we are definitely really proud of it!

Michael Spearman (drums, backing vocals): Yeah, we enjoy playing it live as well and we are happy doing it.

FM5: So it came out honest and the way you wanted it, basically.

JP: I think so, yeah, I mean it was a big struggle, it was a difficult time and writing it was really hard but I am glad that in the end, the product came out exactly the way we wanted it, an exciting record, one that we can play live.

FM5: Your favorite song from this album?

JP: I really like… [thinking, smiling] ...it`s hard to decide even now; I really like To the Blade actually, it`s quite common for the band to be attached to the last thing that you wrote for the record as well and that was the last thing that we wrote for that album, so it is the most recent to us. Although it was kind of a new territory for us to make, it was a pleasure.

MS: Today, I would say Spring/Sun/Winter/Dread, I think it was good for us cause it`s quite hard to write that catchy, accessible songs that aren`t cheesy and I think we got it here and the band is quite right with that song. It`s about real life and..

FM5:...it is really quite catchy!

JP: Yeah and it was quite difficult for us to convince ourselves that that was ok. So I think Jonathan [refers to Jonathan Higgs, singer] especially thought that it came too easily and so therefore it must be sort of trivial or cheap in some way.


FM5: Jonathan [Higgs] has directed some of your videos. Did you see an advantage in doing so or was this decision just passion-driven?

MS: We just felt so, didn’t we? It just felt natural.

JP: It`s been such a sort of a key part of our identity to work this way. Traditionally, the major label will find directors for you…We kind of went through that on one video and we spent a lot more money than we would have done if we have been working on our own and we came out with something that we weren`t happy with- so we just came back with doing it ourselves straight away. I don`t think that we`re always a hundred percent successful; I mean there are always experiments and some of them come out really, really well and you can never really tell at that time which one is going out best..

MS: I don’t know if we will always do this this way…it`s difficult and we might often find ourselves in a circus, so…I don`t know if we will keep doing it or not..

FM5: While reading interviews with you guys, one often comes across Radiohead as an influence. How many times have you seen them onstage and in what way do they inspire your music?

MS: I probably have seen them twice while you`ve seen them quite more often, haven`t you?

JP: I`ve seen them about six or seven times- I think it`s about six times. I`ve seen them a lot and I have been very lucky…They were just THE band of my life, I would say; from my teenage years to adulthood. That basic standpoint of experiments and not been married to one particular sound or process is one that we like to emulate. And they are not afraid to fall into other genres I suppose that are traditional because of  those black or white indie rock bands; which is their brand mark and how they are classified but they listen to a lot more than that...with the Beatles, it`s the same- they are both those big bands, they`re kind of sponges for all that went around them and the way they feel into their own music is really...brilliant.

MS: Yeeeah, I could answer that but…that`s pretty much it.

FM5: In which countries have you played so far?

MS: Apart from our home? Quite a lot…

JP: I don`t know… I have a list actually, I will tell you in a minute… [searching for his mobile phone]...

FM5: Really? You make photos when you are onstage with the audience in the background too?

JP: No…I know, we want to do it but it just never happens actually [laughing]…I can`t find my list but it`s something around 32 I think…Here, 31…I don`t know if that`s a lot or not.

FM5: 31 is definitely a huge number!

JP: This year since this album, we have been in around 20-25 countries, some of them were like one gig in a country, like in Ukraine (Kiev) last year. Which is brilliant…and to be honest this is one of the best things about being in a band, the travel, to go to other places that you weren`t before…

FM5: Even though staying in the bus for a long time and eating “bus-food” so to say…this is not quite that comfortable.

JP: Well, travel and transit are two whole different things…The transit is awful. But we are are very lucky to do what we do.

MS: And I mean, now we`re kind of guests in someone else`s world:  we play with the Foals and if we can gain some fans from their fans then we gain something; we got nothing to lose- but we will just enjoy it, that`s fine.

FM5: Describe your best experience onstage, thinking in terms of the audience.

JP: We had a very special show in Glastonbury this year and also a smaller one- we did two very different gigs: one was the kind of main build, daytime, big stage and there were like 20000 people there which was massive and more than we expected! And that was the same week where our album came out too, so a lot of music was brand new. We had the first kind of big reception on this festival and it was so enjoyable! Because of this tremendous warmth coming of the crowd: that is what makes the difference. We were good, but we weren`t perfect, so I think actually that`s the answer, the relationship with the people in the front and back that you create is so much more important than playing every note correctly and that carries you a lot further than just being technically professional I think. And then we did another gig, the next day which was a much smaller gig, kind of a secrete gig, and that was really emotional there.

MS: Yeah it was quite emotional, some of the songs were already connected to the people in such a short time and in such a significant way, really. It was overwhelming!

FM5: Last but not least: Is there anything you want to change or make different in the future, musically as well as in your private life?

JP and MS: [laughing]

FM5: Be honest!!

JP: Today there is an ongoing debate about our jumpers...We are wearing the same grey jumpers! Last time, Mike [MS] made me change and now I am trying to make him change because it`s his turn but he wouldn`t do it…so...we both need to expand our jumper repertoire…but apart from that..

MS: Yeah, I mean we just want to carry on being in the band and doing things our way, having a good time…and hopefully making people having a good time too. That`s what we want.

JP: It`s getting more natural, we are getting more comfortable with who we are as a band and as individuals…hopefully, that`s the idea of growing up, isn`t it?

FM5: That´s the way it should be, yes. Thank you guys for your time and this interview and I am looking forward to seeing you tonight!


Neli Fritsch

"Music to me is the air that I breathe, it`s the blood that pumps through my veins, that keeps me alive"

~ Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day