AAA Music meets EVERYTHING EVERYTHING
aaamusic | On 03, May 2011
AAAMusic: Man Alive is not an easy album. Can you tell us about its creative process? Did you have a clear idea of what you wanted to achieve?
Everything Everything: Mostly yes. We’d been playing some of the songs for a long time, years. Some were written when Alex joined the band, so about three or four months before recording, and some were half-finished when we entered the studio.
AAAMusic: Among the artists who come up to mind whilst listening to your album Talking Heads are one of the most important ones; while looking wise I thought of Devo as being inspirational. Both of them are definitely not your usual influence. Which other musicians do you love?
EE: In a very general sense we live in the middle of a kind of venn diagram consisting of modern US R’n’B, electronica, math rock, classic pop, and the indie of our youth. So Destiny’s Child, Kraftwerk, Slint, The Beatles and Radiohead!
AAAMusic: Who do you like the most amongst the current music scene?
EE: Metronomy, Friendly Fires, Wild Beasts, ofWGKTA.
AAAMusic: Can you tell us about the creative process? Who writes the lyrics?
EE: Basically, Jonathan will sketch out a song, in varying states on unreadyness and then we will collectively pull it apart and put it back together, add bits, take bits away, chop and change it til we’re happy. The lyrics we leave entirely to Jonathan.
AAAMusic: Who looks after the arrangements and the sound choices?
EE: All of us, although they’re often suggested or already present in Jon’s demos.
AAAMusic: Your music have a synth rock sound, with dreamy moments; yet the lyrics and melodies are their strength. Are you thinking of an unplugged version of the album?
EE: Not really. We can play some of the songs acoustically as a promotional necessity but we’re very into the electronics and the sounds we choose. However we don’t look upon them as an excuse for poor writing; the fundamentals (lyrics, melody as you say) have to be good first. We did do two special shows with an orchestra where we tried to use them as our synthesizers almost. But there were 19 people onstage so its not something we can roll out very often.
AAAMusic: I was impressed by your versatility, as you all play various instruments. Are you thinking of expanding the line up? What would you like to add up?
EE: If we did add another (non) member it would probably be to cover some of the keyboard/synth/samples/percussion parts that we don’t have enough limbs to cover ourselves. We like the intensity and simplicity of the four of us on stage though, I don’t like the idea of extra players that aren’t in the band, unless its a special addition like a string section or brass or our orchestral shows. But it may eventually become a necessary for us so we’ll see…!
AAAMusic: Your lyrics are poetical and modern, which writers inspire you?
EE: Bear vs Shark by Chris Bachelder is probably my favourite book, it’s not particularly poetic but the future utopia/dystopia it’s set in is one of the most inspiring ‘places’ I’ve come across, I think because it’s so likely, and sort of already here.
AAAMusic: Your songs titles often refer to technology (Qwenty, Photoshop). Are you a bit geeky then?
EE: Fairly, I always had computers around me growing up and didn’t have a TV in the house so lots of my early influences were related to computing and gaming as opposed to things I saw on TV. Maybe my ways of thinking are related to that in some way now.
AAAMusic: Your videos are quite dark, a contrast with the happy melodies. In MY KZ UR BF the writing “The End Is Near” appears: what’s your vision of the future?
EE: It changes all the time, but if things keep going in the same way they are then there might be some very big problems in the near future. Mostly I think about the really really distant future, after Earth and maybe after us too, or us as we are now, and that’s always in a positive way.
AAAMusic: Video for Photoshop Handsome could be part of the abstract art. You are quite sensitive to the visual element; are you planning to add anything like this to your live performances?
EE: We’ve done some things to make the live show more visually exciting, we got some uniforms made and some backdrops and stuff. Our approach usually is to add something if it adds something, but the music is paramount always.
AAAMusic: How’s the European tour experience going?
EE: We love love love it. We’re pretty lucky to have this job you know. We meet great people and visit great places. It’s always exciting to be away from home.
AAAMusic: Will you play any festival this summer?
EE: Yeah loads. We’re not sure about Italy yet though but when we toured there in March we had an amazing time so we’ll be trying to come back as soon as possible.
AAAMusic: What kind of similarities and differences did you find between the UK and European fans?
EE: European fans are more quiet during the quiet bits, which is good. Uk fans are drunker!
Author: Roberta Capuano