- Thu, 2011-05-26 09:25
Everything Everything have had a busy start to 2011. With a headline slot on the NME tour, headline European shows, a whistle-stop trip to Japan and nominations for two Ivor Novello awards - Best Album for their debut Man Alive and Best Song Musically and Lyrically for their single MY KZ UR BF - the band have barely had time to catch their breath...
I Like Music went backstage at Shepherd's Bush Empire to catch up with the band on the last night of a three show UK run in May. Marking the third time we have met with the band to chat, we find out about the two new tracks in their set, why Jeremy is wearing X-Factor socks, their most recent listening habits and their thoughts, plans and current work on album number two (exciting!)...
"I Like Music because…I can't really remember a time before it was the biggest part of my existence." Everything Everything
ILM: Good afternoon. How are Everything Everything ?
Alex: We’re alright, we’re all a bit tired. It’s been a busy month. At Christmas we had a bit of time off, but it’s basically been full on. It was slow in January, then in February we did an NME tour, their three week big one with Crystal Castles, The Vaccines, Magnetic Man.
ILM: Was that good?
Jeremy: It was really good actually. Our lives were made very easy on that tour! It was a big production.
Alex: The bands were really nice.
Jeremy: We had a good time. I think everybody made their case separately really well, there weren’t any bands that felt in competition with each other, but there was still enough, you know friendly rivalry. There was a lot of friendly rivalry with Magnetic Man, trying to out-do their subs at one moment in our set every night, even though their entire set is subs anyway! Yeah, it was nice. We learned a lot from them. Then we did a European tour about three weeks later, which was three or four more weeks in Europe. And that was great, we'd not done an extended European tour before, we’d done a little bit the year before.
ILM: What was the reception like, did they know the record well?
Jeremy: Much better than we’d thought they would. It was our first time in Europe since the album had come out, so it was really good. We hadn’t been to Italy or Switzerland…
Alex: We went to Japan a week and a half ago...
ILM: How was that?
Alex: Well we were there for 42 hours! If that. But it feels like a week because you just don’t sleep, it takes so long to recover from the jetlag. Then as soon as we’d done that we were straight into the studio, then out again last weekend, so…
Jeremy: It's not like we've been really, really busy. It's just...there's been so much travelling involved! Not that we’re complaining about it, but we’re definitely feeling it. We love the shows, but it’s been two years on the road basically. We are looking forward to the festivals and everything else. To be perfectly honest, we’re not looking forward to the driving eight hours across Europe – why would you? But we still love the shows and we love it when people know the music.
Alex: I just can’t wait for the sun and festivals...!
Jeremy: And at the end of it, we’re actually going to be able to get our heads down and work on the new songs.
ILM: You played Manchester the other night, I saw your comments on Twitter...
Jeremy: Oh that gig, yeah, it was really special. Really nice.
ILM: To go home and all...
Jeremy: Yeah it was, it was. And technically from our point, performance wise it wasn’t 100%, it wasn’t the best, but the vibe was so like…it just carried us, it was brilliant. The crowd were really, really loving it. We just felt like we were amongst friends, it had the X-Factor, which is what I’m advertising today (shows us his 'I've got the X-Factor' socks). I better change these before I go on...
ILM: Wow. Those are special.
Jeremy: Yeah, I got given them by a sarcastic Aunt for Christmas.
ILM: You've been playing two new songs in your set recently, it's all over your facebook wall! Can you tell us about them?
Jeremy: We’re trying to keep them sort of under wraps! I know you can't control people talking about things like that, but they're pretty new to us to be honest. I mean one of them we’ve been playing around Europe and then the first time we played it in the UK was in Manchester last night. And the other one, we’ve only played twice, which just means the past two nights, so that’s what that is. But there will be two new ones in the set tonight.
ILM: There’s just two of them?
Jeremy: There’s two in the set and yeah...I mean they’re not finished finished, they’re versions that will mature. There’s other stuff as well, but it's not as solidified as those two so far. There’s other bits and pieces that we’re really excited about…and a few that we’re not really sure about!
ILM: You have a very exciting festival schedule this summer, what can we expect from your festival set?
Alex: One or two new songs...depending on how long we get to play.
Jeremy: It should be different for us because we did all the festivals last year but we didn’t have the album out. Literally, it came out the day after we played Bestival which was the last one for the summer. So this time around, there will be familiarity for more of the songs.
Alex: Yeah. We won't feel like the whole thing is sort of waiting for the next single.
Jeremy: Not that it did last time really, but you could tell what people knew.
Alex: You can definitely feel the difference since the album came out, especially with people singing along.
Jeremy: We did a UK tour in October of much smaller rooms once the album had come out and we noticed a bit of change in reactions to the songs. But just these last two nights have have felt different, I kind of wish we were doing more dates on this tour. The band has matured that much more and many more people know it and have bought it, hopefully bought it...but probably haven't...
ILM: And you're playing the John Peel stage at Glastonbury as well, that’s special.
Jeremy: Yeah, that’ll be really nice. It’s bigger than ever apparently. The line-up is good.
ILM: Are you going to stay at Glastonbury?
Jeremy: We’re going to stay for Sunday night, yeah.
ILM: Queens of the Stone Age or Beyonce?
Jeremy: Is that the choice? Beyonce then. I'd love to see Beyonce. I’d love to watch Queens of the Stone Age as well actually, but I’d rather see Beyonce.
Alex: I've seen Queens of The Stone Age a few times. I saw Queens of the Stone Age followed by David Gray followed by Red Hot Chili Peppers when I was 15 at V Festival...
Jeremy: That's a dangerous sandwich.
Alex: Yeah. I was just sort of thinking 'David Gray is going to get so abused'. But I think it was that boring that no one bothered (laughs).
ILM: How's the writing for your second album coming along?
Jeremy: Pretty well, in places – in fits and starts.
Alex: It’s finding time to do it, to do it well. When you really want to focus on something you really do need to block off at least two weeks at a time and get down with it.
Jeremy: You've got to allow for all the time that you're just going to sit and stare at each other and go ‘ohhh, what happens next’? Because sometimes it feels really lubricated and something will happen that will spark everything off and before you know the song has changed completely and you love it, whereas half an hour beforehand you’d thought it was shit. And then other days it’s just like treacle – swimming in treacle.
Alex. Yeah. Seven days of those two weeks are just going to be you hitting a wall (laughs) basically.
ILM: Have there been any typical starting points?
Jeremy: You mean in terms of style? We always start with a germ of an idea from Jon’s laptop and there may be a certain feel or arrangement suggested by that. More often than not we’re abandoning all that completely and trying to work out what it is exactly that we like about the melody or the chords or whatever, then just focus on the bits that we think are good and ignore everything else. Then we just knock it around between us…
ILM: When we spoke just before Christmas, you said you would stray away from tracks like Come Alive Diana and Weights. Is that still the case?
Alex: Naturally we are straying away from those things.
Jeremy: I think as you get older you’re less...
Alex: Less angst-y...
Jeremy: You’re less anxious to make something that’s not really complex and you kind of feel more confident in yourself as a band. I don’t really feel like we have to prove that we can do complex things. But at the same time we don’t want be boring, it's treading the line between interesting and accessible. Weights is from the point of view of very young man. It was written about five years ago when Jon was still at University. It’s still a great song though, I still really like it.
Alex: We’re not going to dumb down or anything, we’re going to try to keep things interesting, but try to be a bit more considered.
Jeremy: And focused. Develop the span of our focus! (laughs).
ILM: Producer wise, will it be David Kosten again?
Jeremy: We would like it to be I think…David has got all the history with us, so as soon as we get into the room, he knows exactly what happens.
Alex: He's got the sort of the hand of God to basically just say STOP. WORK. (laughs).
Jeremy: We’ve got this good relationship with him which is half the battle I think. He understands our processes and the idiosyncrasies of everybody, so he’s inevitably miles ahead of everybody else. (Other producers).
ILM: Any idea on the release date for your second album? Will it be next year?
Jeremy: We actually don’t have any idea no. 2012 yes, but...
Alex: We would actually like it to be in the first half of 2012, but that seems less and less likely as time goes on. But let’s just say that it is coming out in the first half of 2012 and then people will get pissed off if we push it back to like...2014 (laughs). But really, we have set a sort of deadline for ourselves, as ridiculous as it may seem, but that helps us sort of drive towards it a bit.
Jeremy: The festivals present such a huge barrier now, you don’t want to be swallowed by them and you can't not...well, we might not do them next year but only if we don't have an album out... That four month block is such a huge part of the year, there’s so many of them, it's such a big part of the business. So it’s quite difficult to get the timing of your record right. We need to try and get it out in the first third of the year or leave it to the autumn.
ILM: What have you been listening to lately?
Jeremy: I was listening to Smother (Wild Beasts) this morning, but I was half asleep...but I like it.
Alex: I just got Adrian Belew - Lone Rhino and Twang Bar King from the 80s, 84 I believe those were released, I really like that.
Jeremy: I really like the James Blake record and the Dutch Uncles record.
Alex: I still haven’t quite gotten into the new Deerhoof.
Jeremy: No...I didn’t bother really, I don’t know why. You put it on and think ‘well I’d rather just listen to Friend Opportunity'. This one's a bit lightweight, it's straying into twee territory.
Alex: It’s not just that it’s, it's got a....it's just not very focused. On Friend Opportunity every song has sort of, at least six parts, there’s a continuation of quality, but this one...
ILM: The Merry Barracks is a great track though...
Jeremy: They do have great titles...
Alex: Duwh, da da da da, Duwh, da da da da (singing The Merry Barracks intro) and it’s completely out of time. It's amazing that song, a really good tune that.
ILM: We spoke just after your incredible show at The Union Chapel which saw Man Alive interpreted by an orchestra. Any more similar, exciting plans?
Jeremy: We've not got any plans like that...
Alex: There's so much going on, we don't want another one of those! Album first.
Jeremy: Then extend it. (laughs)
Alex: Yes. Into a totally pompous choral arrangement... (laughs)
Guest Edit #29: Everything Everything Take a look here