We caught up with Jonathan and Jeremy from Everything Everything shortly before they took to the main stage at Truck Festival and we addressed the burning issue everyone wanted to know, why did Jonathan have a black eye!!
The first time I saw you was when you supported Foals so I was a little bit late onto the EE fanzone! Then I went back and listened to older music so I’ve seen you loads since then. You headlined Blissfields Festival 2 years ago and every time I see you guys or listen to you I remember that because it was one of the best headline performances I’ve seen
Thanks, we had a really good night, it was one of the first festival headlines we did. We have a largely Welsh crew and they were celebrating the Euros (I think!), some big Welsh win anyway. And we got the news whilst we were on stage. The crew were partying off-stage, I remember that!
It was a very atmospheric show, perfect lights, perfect weather and such a big sound. Since then you seem to have played everywhere and become huge!
We are absolutely huge!
Have you played Truck before?
Yes, just the once, 2 years ago and that was off the back of touring the ‘Get To Heaven’ album, it was about a year old at that point and doing that run of second festival runs was really fun which is kinda the stage we’re at on this album (‘A Fever Dream’). There’s a more relaxed atmosphere to doing it cos you feel you’re not doing it so much for promotion per sé, you’re just doing songs that are going to be enjoyable in this environment.
So at every show you have people singing your songs back to you, does that still give you a buzz?
Absolutely yes, if they don’t do it then it’s terrible!
Does that ever happen?
It does when we’re abroad sometimes but actually I don’t mind that cos it means we’re seeing people who have no idea who we are, and connecting, which is great cos what’s the point in playing to the converted.
Bands going abroad to America sometimes find they’re playing tiny little venues much smaller than they’ve played for a long time and it reminds them of why they do it I guess.
Yes it does, if all gigs are just the same, everyone loves you kind of thing you get a strange sense of how well we’re known but it’s good to get different reactions.
So we need a bit of booing from the crowd?
Hmmm not per sé, we’ve had some cold, indifferent crowds and a sort of booing sound which actually meant positive things. That was really confusing for us. Can’t remember where it was! They seemed to be having a good time. I remember I once saw Tony Blair or Cameron visiting a school abroad and all the kids were going boo and he thought they were actually booing him which was really surreal. We should track that footage down.
So I have to ask what have you done to your eye?
Jonathan – Oh that was some DIY, I hit it with a spanner! That’s what happens when we go home and we’re not touring. We think we’re adult men and we suddenly and painfully find out we’re not!
You find you’re just mere mortals.
Yeah we’re just idiots.
So what’s next for you after Truck?
Jeremy – I’m going on holiday so everyone’s got 2 weeks off. We start up again at the beginning of August and we’ve got 8 or 9 festivals in August so it’s quite busy. And then we take the festivals right through to October.
Do you get a good break apart from the next 2 weeks?
2 weeks is a long time for us, we had the whole of February off because Alex had just had a baby and we’d just come back from Australia and we were due to do a gig and UK tour in March. That seemed to last forever. A month was like a really long time for us to do nothing. We prefer being busy, We like doing the work.
So you still love what you do? That’s what it looks like when you’re watching from the crowd. There’s nothing worse than seeing bands that seem to be going through the motions.
No and we wouldn’t still be doing it because it’s not so financially rewarding, it’s a means to an end in itself and there are so many bands that keep going for the money. It’s never been about the money for us so it has to be sustained by something else. It can’t be about the money for us! We do what we love and we’re lucky to do it. It’s not always easy but it is important to maintain that relationship with it and remember how much you love doing it.
I saw something recently with Noel Gallagher and he was asked why he was still recording and playing when he didn’t need the money and he was saying “it’s what I do, it’s me”.
It’s a vocational thing, I can’t really remember a time before I wanted to do this. And when that lasts for such a long time before you’re legitimized as a professional musician or whatever, that carries you a really long way. You make choices along the way which means you’re closing certain doors and you’re saying no I am going to do this thing actually. If you make it then you stick with it.
What would be your advice for new bands coming out now through ‘This Feeling’ or other avenues.
This Feeling are sort of indie bands right?
Yes and that’s given them a platform to go on to festivals and play bigger audiences.
Yeah it’s good. Basically enjoy yourself, don’t let it get in the way of doing good work cos there is that constant balance which is hard. I feel lucky we’ve enjoyed ourselves and we’ve been able to do some good work too. We haven’t always been able to do the two side by side but mostly we have.
But then you’ve grown up together in the band? You’ve known each other long enough and gone through those vital years when you find yourselves.
Yes absolutely there isn’t much the four of us haven’t been through together. We’ve seen a good few bands recently who we thought were going to last forever like us, who have split up which has made us aware of our own mortality.
Keeps you grounded doesn’t it?
Yes, exactly that!
When you’re watching a band and you think they’re a bit up themselves it’s not so good.
Yeah but then again you do need to sort of be a bit of a dick at the same time as part of your stage persona. It’s a really weird balance. When we started I (Jonathan) was far too humble a persona I think and it didn’t work as well as it could have because I was making very bold music and I was saying certain things but in a kind of apologetic way! Somewhere around the 3rd album I switched into being a sort of angry person.
Do you switch that off though when you come off stage?
Oh yeah absolutely and I’m very sarcastic as well. We don’t take ourselves super seriously but certainly you have to mean what you’re doing. You can’t just destroy everything you’re trying to put out there. We struggled with sincerity for a long time. The music we took very, very seriously within the songs but between the songs we’d be ruining it all and compelled to undercut ourselves. Because of embarrassment being a band. Saying, listen to me I’m important which is a kind of stupid thing to do. We were conscious of it at the time and it took a while to work out how to present the songs. It’s something you grow into and you grow into your own identity/persona whatever you want to call it and that’s something that happens in any career as you get older. We just feel more comfortable in or own skins. We’re happier about what we are and how we perform now than when we started. Just more confident and happy to be doing it.
Thanks to Everything Everything for chatting to us and smashing it on the main stage.
Words and photos by Rhona Murphy