2015 Artist Survey: Everything Everything

Jonathan Higgs on the Election, Being Fired, Disastrous Dates, Gun Control, Getting Older, and Childhood Memories

Feb 12, 2016 Issue # 56 - Best of 2015 - Father John Misty and Wolf Alice
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For Under the Radar's 13th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2015. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2015 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions.

Check out our Best of 2015 print and digital issues for answers from Arcade Fire's Will Butler, Julien Baker, Blanck Mass, CHVRCHES, Dan Deacon, The Dears, Dutch Uncles, EL VY, Father John Misty, Field Music, The Flaming Lips, How to Dress Well, Sondre Lerche, Low, Luna, Mew, NZCA Lines, Cullen Omori, Natalie Prass, Small Black, Surfer Blood, Tamaryn, Telekinesis, Vampire Weekend's Chris Baio, The Walkmen, Youth Lagoon, and others.
 
Here are some answers from Jonathan Higgs of British four-piece Everything Everything. The band's third album, Get to Heaven, was released last year in the U.K. and is finally getting a proper U.S. release on February 26 via Big Picnic/RED.

A shorter version of this interview ran in the Best of 2015 print issue, which is still on newsstands now. This is the full unedited version of the interview.

Top 10 Albums of 2015

1. Julia Holter: Have You in My Wilderness
2. Joanna Newsom: Divers
3. Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp a Butterfly
4. Outfit: Slowness
5. Reptar: Lurid Glow
6. Aphex Twin: Syro 
7. Foals: What Went Down 
8. Sleaford Mods: Key Markets
9. Viet Cong: Viet Cong
10. Vince Staples: Summertime '06 

What was the highlight of 2015, for either you personally or for the band? What was the low point?

Glastonbury was the absolute highlight, in every way. The low point was leaving Glastonbury.
What are your hopes and plans for 2016?

Writing new material, getting a bit better as a band. 

With the launch of TIDAL and Apple Music in 2015, there are more streaming music options, but the same issues of adequate artist compensation persist. What are your current thoughts on streaming and which service would you most like to have your music on?

It makes no difference to us which service we are on. We don't see any money at all from any of them. 
What are your thoughts on Friday being the new global release day for albums? Is it helping or hurting album sales?
 
Album sales couldn't get much worse at this point, so again, it makes little difference. In the past, the weekend sales would obliterate whatever happened during the week, so with this new format at least you start off the week's chart knowing where you stand a bit more.

Mainstream pop music is increasingly embraced by indie rock musicians and listeners, as well as serious music critics. At this point, do you draw any distinctions between Top 40 pop and indie rock/pop? Are you comfortable with this shift?

We've never believed there was a difference, and we've always called ourselves a pop band. Totally comfortable.

What are your thoughts on how the 2016 U.S. Presidential election is shaping up?

It seems to be populated by several people who are literally insane. American politics always confuses the absolute shit out of me, I can hardly agree with any of them. Sanders seems okay, but he'll inevitably disappear before long. 

Ryan Adams covered Taylor Swift's 1989 (and then Father John Misty covered Adams covering Swift). If you were to cover another artist's album in its entirety, which would you pick and why?

Probably an old Simon and Garfunkel "best of" of some kind, as a lot of their best material really suffers when it comes to production. 

Have you ever been fired from a job (be it a day job or musical one)? Why were you fired?

Err, not really. The closest we've come musically is being asked to change a James Bay remix to make it more palatable. We didn't.

What's your earliest music-related childhood memory?

Probably dancing to The Prodigy in the dark with my brother and sisters as little kids.

What outrageous request would you most like to put in your tour rider as a joke?

A monkey to play with.

What's the most disastrous date you've ever been on?

Someone who had a very angry Polish opera singer as an ex, who was constantly threatening to appear. 

Which Star Wars character are you most like?

Jabba.

Following the terrorist attack at the Eagles of Death Metal concert in Paris do you think that security at music venues should be improved and do you now worry about something similar happening at one of your shows?

No, I don't worry at all. I don't really believe "extra security" is actually a concept that makes sense. Having lots of guns and paranoia around is really insecurity. 

What's the lamest breakup excuse you've ever given or been given?

"Ya packed! Ya packed! And that's a fuckin' fact!" 
Joanna Newsom took five years to release her new album, while Beach House released two albums only a couple of months apart. What's your ideal window between album releases?

About a year.
What currently overlooked artist is creating a body of work that will one day be considered a work of genius?

R. Kelly.

Many musicians seem to become less relevant and creative with age, relying on greatest hits and covers albums or releasing music nowhere near as strong as their earlier work. What do you plan to do to combat this?

Nothing. There's nothing worse than an aging artist trying to hide the fact.

Mass shootings continue to be a problem, and yet the U.S. government still has yet to take action on curbing gun violence. What are your thoughts on gun control?

It's far better to have control of them. America just boggles my mind a lot of the time. 

In 2015, what do the words "indie rock" mean?

A type of trouser style in a Japanese Topman.
Which actor or actress would you most love to have in one of your music videos?

Rik Mayall.

Which recent anniversary for an album, film, TV show, or historical event has most made you feel old?

20 years since Windows '95.

If your house were on fire, what would you grab as you were running out?

My cats.
2015 is the year that Marty McFly traveled to the future in Back to the Future Part II. Beyond not having hoverboards, what most disappoints you about 2015 now that we're here?

How little we've sorted out. 
What was the most baffling cultural phenomenon in 2015?

Trump.

What's the biggest goal for your life that you have yet to achieve?

Being useful.

In which way would you least like to die?

As the last person on earth.

www.everything-everything.co.uk

 

 

 



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