It’s tempting to compare Manchester foursome Everything Everything to the long lineage of white British dudes with guitars that came before them, and they know it. But according to bassist Jeremy Pritchard, those comparisons are part of what fuels them to separate themselves. He told The Guardian in 2010 that the band’s mission was “to avoid cliche, or the cliches expected of white men with guitars from Manchester.” A not-so-thinly veiled reference to Oasis—the definitive Mancunian guitar band— Everything Everything has accomplished that mission. Their third full-length album, Get To Heaven, is a 17-track opus of wildly inventive prog and psychedelic rock that’s coated with a sheen of accessibility. Each song bursts with ideas, and lead singer Jonathan Higgs’ falsetto soars over the Mercury Prize-nominated band’s sinewy melodies. Below, Pritchard took some time to tell us more about the band’s trajectory, inspirations, and why Glastonbury is very relaxing.
How did your career get started?
It was quite old fashioned and organic really. We played 100-plus little gigs and put out a few 7-inch singles on little indie labels before doing our first major record deal in 2010.
Where do you hope to be professionally in five years?
I’m pretty happy with where we are now, but we do want to be a bigger band. We’ve been lucky that our career has always moved in an upward direction so far. We’ve not plateaued creatively or professionally. We wouldn’t and haven’t compromised the music to achieve that, though. That’s not to say we’ve not matured, though. I think we’re more comfortable in our own collective skin than ever.
What’s your next project?
The fourth record! There’s still a lot of touring to come on this album, though.
What are you most proud of so far in terms of your career?
The records, the shows, staying together, each other.
What is your favorite driving music?
I can’t actually drive, but recently discovered, whilst touring the USA, the true function of a lot of country and classic “FM rock music,” for which I had little or no affection for previously; driving long straight boring roads through incredible American terrain.
Whose career would you most like to emulate?
Radiohead are usually held up as the benchmark by us and people like us. They’re like our generation’s Beatles. They never stood still, they’ve absorbed so many contemporary influences and filtered them into what they do, only augmenting their identity and never diluting it. They’ve done exactly what they please. We love them, and we’re very grateful for their guidance!
If you had to live in a past time, what do you think would be the most fun era and why?
It’s easy to romanticise the ’60s. It certainly is a wonderfully rich period of exploration, discovery, and liberation, the legacy of which we’re still enjoying today. But realistically, I think those “swinging” aspects were pretty localized to London, and to people with the right connections and opportunities and income to participate in it. It’s comparatively dour, but I’d like to have lived through the socialist optimism of post-war Britain; the establishment of the NHS and welfare, and a general sense of communal renewal.
What activities do most enjoy doing alone?
Very little, actually. Doing what we do, we’re rarely alone, and I look forward to it, but then I’m bored of my own company after an hour or so. I’m a pack animal.
How do you wind down before bed?
Drinking and smoking, thank you.
When are you most relaxed?
Away on holiday. After at least a week. It takes me ages to even start to relax. I also find Glastonbury very relaxing. The sense of obliterating isolation, immersion, and liberation you get there is very tangible.
What kind of person were you in high school?
Neurotic and difficult. Utterly dedicated to music. Not very academic or particularly popular. I was lucky, though. I had a very close group of four other lads like me. We were a band and we looked after each other and didn’t really care about anything else. We’re still best mates now.
Can you tell me a quality about yourself that you are genuinely proud of?
I can’t actually. The things I’m most proud of are collective achievements. I’m a pack animal!
Do you have any phobias?
I like birds, they look and sound beautiful. But I’m sort of freaked out by them up close. They’re dinosaurs—they can fucking fly! I own two cats and refuse to engage with the situation if one of them brings a dead one in. My partner has to deal with it. It’s not very gallant of me.
What’s a serious side of you that people are unlikely to know about? Either in terms of interests, hobbies, or personality?
I’m a staunched pinko, although I doubt that will surprise anyone now. I can play the cello and I know a great deal about Kraftwerk. I attended the inaugural Kraftwerk Konferenz last year, instead of going to the Get To Heaven mastering session.
What are some new hobbies you would like to take on?
I’m very slowly learning about architecture. I’m also toying with the idea of doing a political history degree remotely.
A list of Everything Everything’s upcoming tour dates include: