“We find it baffling that there should be this A or B option. You’ve either got a guitar or you’ve got a synth, and if you combine the two then, Jesus, people get so confused.”
It is no wonder us listeners suffer from such confusion. Everything Everything seem to go out of their way merely to provoke such a reaction. Their formula of cramming as much as they can into one song is, however, extraordinarily catchy. They make shamelessly quirky, complex pop, which seems to work in their favour, and they openly admit to being influenced by pretty much everything simultaneously.
Along their journey, they have acquired fans such as Zane Lowe and Jo Wiley, who have undoubtedly helped them on their way to pop stardom. I’m sitting with the guys backstage at the NME Radar Tour’s Oxford show. To start proceedings, I ask about their new single, ‘Schoolin”.
“It’s not that old really, we were kind of knocking it about at the end of last year. The latter half of the song was something really quite old that we mucked about with, and then literally stuck to another song. Luckily, it worked. We don’t usually do it in such a clumsy way. Getting two halves of songs and putting them together is quite a bad way of doing it, but we do synthesise a lot of different elements into our music.”
This is an apt description of their sound, and they have even been described as having their own genre of ‘Everything Everything Pop’. “Well, it’s much better than any other label. We don’t really want to make a new genre though; we don’t want to run that road, although it wouldn’t be the first time a band has tried. It would mean that we would have to keep doing what we’re doing on the next record. The debut album spans about two years so the songs that come later are probably a better indication of what’s to come.”
Is the first album about showing everyone what you’ve got? “Most definitely, that’s what makes a first album so special. It marks us for now but there are parts of us that aren’t on this record which we still need to show, we will develop after this. We don’t want to rest on our laurels, do we?” The band has recently been trying to break America, a feat that does not come easy.
How did they cope? “It was pleasantly familiar, surprisingly optimistic. But the food is awful; they just chuck cheese on everything. When we did SXSW much of the audience was British so it was slightly more comfortable, but we did a few American shows where we felt like we really had to prove ourselves. “Overall though, they are a lot more accepting as they appreciate British talent coming through. In the UK I find that we are complacent about seeing live music, which I guess is what makes us such a great pop-producing nation.”
Forming in Manchester, though not actually being from there, the band have found themselves being constantly measured against the 1980s Manchester era of Happy Mondays, Stone Roses and such. “I think this has got to us quite a bit, it just makes for a better story. If we were from Birmingham or somewhere like that then our origin wouldn’t even be an issue. The other annoying thing is that bands that are actually from Manchester say, ‘Oh, look at them, trying to pretend like they’re from Manchester.’ It’s a losing battle.”
On the other hand, being from a city where the music scene is so thriving must have provided some great opportunities. “The infrastructure is there and there are loads of venues and places to rehearse. It’s just a really easy place to form a band. But there are views of what a band from Manchester should be like and we just don’t fall into that category. We don’t care though. The music is the only thing that counts.”