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Manchester band, Everything Everything debunk name rumours and chat new album

Written by Sophie Hall.
Posted April 24, 2024.
Everything Everything playing at the Union launch event

Classified as an ‘Art Pop’ band, ‘Everything Everything’ began their musical venture in Manchester in 2007. Almost two decades later, the foursome are still smashing out hits. We were lucky enough to chat to them at Union’s headline launch party and ask them some burning questions.

If we go back to the start, you all met in Manchester a number of years ago. Where did it go from there?

“I went to school with Jonathan in Northumberland before that. Then he met Jeremy at Salford Uni. Jon and I always said we might start a band, but when he met Jez, it became more of a solid idea.”

“Then, we found Alex in another band, about a year/two years later. We’re a Manchester band in the sense that we all lived together in Didsbury and started the band there, live here, and we played all our early shows here.”

What’s it like creating music in a city as big as Manchester?

“It was different back then, because it was 2007 when we started, and there was maybe less music in general happening, ‘indie’ was still a mainstream music.”

“We started playing at venues, in quite a traditional way really. We started supporting other bands that came to town. The infrastructure of Manchester was really good for us. Promotors would ask us back to support other artists, and then we’d do our own shows. It was old school in that sense… I think nowadays it’s more about socials.”

Who did you initially make those contacts with?

“Local promotors and venues themselves. Basically, as soon as we started the band, we started traveling. We played at The Cavern in Liverpool and stuff like that. We’d just drive around and play wherever anyone would have us.”

Everything Everything performing Distant Past

I’d maybe class you guys as ‘indie rock’. But it’s quite a debate, isn’t it? Especially in your fanbase?

“Yeah. We don’t say what we think we are. We’re not sure. I think it’s more like ‘art pop’.”

“The ‘art’ bit to me means it opens us up to things. I think pop is not as restrictive as ‘indie’ as a term. Especially in Manchester where it’s got such a strong history of indie bands, which is a good thing. But it’s hard to measure up to the likes of ‘The Smiths’.”

How did you create your musical style?

“A lot of it was Jonathan, even before university, when I first knew him, he always wanted to try and write music that was outside of the norm and different really, trying to avoid cliches.”

“At the beginning, it was quite purposeful, we want to try and do something that that feels very different and that we haven’t been hearing on the radio. Then bands like Vampire Weekend came along and that felt like, “oh, actually, there’s other people trying to do that as well”. I think these days we’re not as restrictive about that.”

What was the point you realised you’d made it and could do this as a career?

“Well, there was an overlap with those things, because we did sign to Universal at Christmas 2009, so that was about two years after we started the band.”

“We all had part time jobs, but even then we were still doing some part time work while signed, and we were all totally skint. So, it was a transitional period of trying to go from one way of life to another.”

“It was very exciting. Playing abroad was really fun, going to America, the first time you do all of this stuff is the best. Even if it’s little venues in Europe, you’re still in Europe, in a van, and it’s fun.”

So obviously that was 2007-2009. We’re now in 2024. The music industry has moved on a lot. How have you guys managed to move on with the times?

“It’s tricky. We’ve always been open to evolving, we always liked the idea that we would keep changing album to album anyway. If anything, we’ve probably got less of the guitar elements and more electronic elements now. Not that we consciously say, “we shouldn’t do that, we should do this because it’s more relevant”, We probably agree with everyone else that there’s limitations to playing the guitar.”

“We spent quite a lot of time doing that, and then we just wanted to do something different, and we still love it. We still have guitars on most songs, but it’s more of a balance with synth’s now.”

What about ‘Mountainhead’, your new release? How is that different from your other stuff?

“Well, Alex, our guitar player, ironically is really into synths, and he makes his own synths, and he produced the record. It’s probably more than ever on the record in terms of electronic stuff, and still loads of guitar. That’s just what’s exciting him at the moment, and it’s a follow on from the last.”

“We were talking about this the other day, you see some bands, and their first record is really big. Our first record wasn’t particularly big, it was ok, but it didn’t do massively well commercially. It has been more of a of slow upward curve for us.”

“We’ve found the essence of what we think is interesting about ourselves and what excites us and made it stronger.”

“We’ve been lucky that we’ve had a manager and a label that have been okay with us still making quite weird pop music that gets on the radio. It’s such a weird combination sometimes. We’re lucky that the label has been like, “that’s quite a weird song, but we want it to be the first thing off the record.”

“It’s not just us driving that. It’s other people, supporting our weirdness.”

What’s your favourite track that you’ve released?

“It really does change. I think ‘Leviathan’, it’s a slow song on the last album. It’s new ground for us is very heartfelt and has a lot of beauty to it.

I love ‘Distant Past’, that’s got to be one of your most popular songs. What’s the story behind that?

“That’s a theme that Jonathon has returned to a few times. That’s one of his favorite things to talk about. There are always a few things going on lyrically. Essentially, it’s the idea of how the human race hasn’t really changed. Going back to being cavemen, it’s not that different to how society is now. It’s that sort of cyclical, “well we haven’t really changed for good or for ill.”

Is it true? You got the name ‘Everything Everything’ from a Radiohead song?

“It’s not consciously true.”

“When we came up with the name, we weren’t thinking that, someone pointed it out later. Kid A is one of our favorite albums, we were all like 16 when that came out. So no, but maybe unconsciously.”

Where did it come from? Who suggested it?

“It was Jonathan, we wanted something that was repeated, and it was a feeling of optimism and that anything could happen. It’s also quite a blank name. It doesn’t give you too much of a steer of what we are.

What has been your favourite gig that you’ve played?

“All the early stuff has been great… we had a really special show at Glastonbury, which was on a smaller stage. Being in that tent where people were singing those songs back to us that had only just come out a few days before, even though they’ve been at Glastonbury and so how have they been listening on Spotify? It’s incredible that people would care enough to actually listen to our album, even though they’re at Glastonbury, and then sing it back to us really loudly.”

If you had to give any advice to somebody starting out as a musician in Manchester, what would that be?

“It has changed since we started, but I think you try and stick to your guns in terms of musically, creatively, what you feel is good. Try not to bend too much to other things. Then just putting in the work, whether that be playing shows or writing a lot of songs.”

What else should fans expect from Everything Everything this year?

“We are going to Australia with The Vaccines. We did an NME tour with them in 2011. They’re really nice guys.”

“Australia is in May, and then we’ll try and do more touring towards second half the year, some festivals.”

Have you got any festivals booked?

“Yeah, but they’re not announced yet…”

Keep up to date on @e_e_’s Instagram page for upcoming Everything Everything tour dates, and our page for more interviews with launch night artists.