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Everything Everything Dish On The New Album And Binging On ‘Star Trek’

Written by Elisa Parry on June 12, 2015

How do the boys from Everything Everything unwind? By getting seriously hooked on early Star Trek episodes. Obviously.

Known for their incredibly diverse sound, these guys well and truly broke the mould reserved for Manchester quartets and according to vocalist Jonathan Higgs, they have no intention of conforming any time soon.

Ahead of their upcoming appearance at Splendour and the release of their highly anticipated third album, Jon took some time out to chat new music, and the inspiration behind writing Get To Heaven.

Music Feeds: When you started writing Get To Heaven did you have a clear aim from the beginning? Or was this something that developed or changed significantly throughout the process?

Jonanthan Higgs: It was clear, actually, which is unusual for us. We set out with this idea of what we wanted – which was to make something much more energetic and aggressive than we had in the past. We wanted a relatively short record with no quiet songs. Personally I wanted it to be really insensitive and confrontational.

MF: Each song on the album is quite stylistically diverse. Was the constant shift in styles a very conscious and deliberate effort, or did it happen more organically?

JH: I think we’re just very, very, experimental as a group. There are two of us who are constantly writing music, and we’re always just trying new things. It’s much more exciting to put on a different hat while writing and be willing to take risks no matter what.

Watch: Everything Everything – Cough Cough

MF: You guys are known for your eclectic sound, so while the songs may vary greatly, how would you describe the overall attitude of the album?

JH: It’s quite active. We wanted it to be active, as opposed to having a more passive feeling of letting the world wash over you. We wanted every song to sound as though it was doing something; getting up out of its chair and trying to make a difference, trying to make something happen. That’s the only thing that really ties everything together – that feeling of being active.

MF: With Man Alive and Arc under your belt, were there any specific things you wanted to avoid or were determined to do differently this time around?

JH: I think that happened in the past, when we came from Man Alive to Arc we wanted deliberate things to try and not be quite as “Everything Everything-ish”. But with this album we thought screw it, we’re going to do what we want to do.

I’m going to sing high, I’m going to sing fast, Alex is going to play guitar in a ridiculous way! We let ourselves be ourselves much more on this record and did what we felt came naturally. So no, it was kind of the opposite with this album.

MF: You’ve often talked about being influenced by political events and there are certainly some pretty heavy themes throughout the album. Both the lyrics and film clips for Regret and Distant Past include explicit violence. Was this album a way to vent your frustration at the head-in-the-sand and at times despondent attitude people can have towards the state of current affairs?

JH: Yep, that’s pretty much exactly right. I think that 2014, was a hugely violent year around the world and I took a lot of that in through the media and tried to understand what was happening. Perhaps I took it too far, and sort of tried to take it all on. But I definitely felt that I had to react to it all in some way.

A lot of the writing came out quite aggressively because it was a reflection of what I was seeing. I wanted to try and inhabit it and try and understand it, rather than just ignore it and try to categorise it in the way that so much of the world does.

They just kind of put things in boxes and expect it to go away. I just thought that’s not the right way to deal with it. The only way I could take it all in, and deal with it in my own head, was to do this, and write about it in that way.

Watch: Everything Everything – Distant Past

MF: On top of these intense themes, the writing and recording process is very intense in itself. What did you do to unwind when you needed to take a break? Any guilty pleasures? Did you binge-watch a good series or two?

JH: We all got into early Star Trek, which is absolutely absurd, but it’s actually kind of amazing at the same time. Some of the influence of that definitely came across throughout the album. There’s a sample that we use in Distant Past, it’s one of the first things you hear, and it’s a sample that sounds like something from Star Trek – that kind of computer beat sound.

The whole idea of this imaginary retro future really came across in some of the songs. People in the past imagining what the future would be like – and then the reality of it is not quite as good. So yeah, that was one of the things we did. We also played a lot of table tennis and snooker as well…

MF: Do you have a favourite track off the album?

JH: I think No Reptiles is probably my favourite. It hasn’t got old for me yet, well obviously not yet, but it feels exciting for me every time we play it. People keep coming up to me and talking about it and the record is not even out yet! So that’s pretty amazing, that people can latch onto something that they haven’t properly heard yet.

MF: You guys are involved with some up and coming bands through your role as mentors for the Here To Be Heard initiative. Are there any new bands on your radar at the moment that are pushing the boundaries and you think might have the potential to blow up this year?

JH: There’s a very new band in Scotland called White who we’re quite fond of. But I’ve sort of had my head in the sand a bit with the new album. While we’re writing we tend to not listen to contemporary things and sort of shut down a bit on that front.

MF: It’s been two years since you played Splendour in The Grass are you looking forward to playing in Australia again and are there any standout memories from last time?

JH: Yeah, we definitely are looking forward to coming back! In fact, we’ve been asked quite a lot recently about what we’re looking forward to and I keep saying Australia! Last time was awesome. We didn’t know what to expect we just turned up, we were an impossible distance away from home and there were people singing our songs, the sun was shining – we didn’t know what the hell was going on!

It’s really difficult to imagine anything that far away. But we keep seeing on Twitter that Triple J is playing our songs, and it’s incredible when we’ve only been there once in our lives and we’ve got all this attention. We just can’t wait to get back we really enjoyed it last time.

Everything Everything hit Australia next month for Splendour and some sideshows, grab all the deets below!

Watch: Everything Everything – Regret

Everything Everything Splendour 2015 Sideshows
On sale now.

Thursday, 23rd July
Metro Theatre, Sydney
Tickets: Metro Theatre

Saturday, 25th July
The Corner, Melbourne
Tickets: The Corner

Thursday, 23rd July
Metro Theatre, Sydney
Tickets: Metro Theatre

Saturday, 25th July
The Corner, Melbourne
Tickets: The Corner

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