Self-Portrait: Jonathan Higgs of Everything Everything | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, May 29th, 2024  

Self-Portrait: Jonathan Higgs of Everything Everything

Killer Music

Jun 13, 2022 Web Exclusive Photography by Jonathan Higgs Bookmark and Share

For our recurring Self-Portrait feature, we ask musicians to take a self-portrait photo (or paint/draw a self-portrait) and write a list of personal things about themselves, things that their fans might not already know about them. This Self-Portrait is by Jonathan Higgs, frontman of British art-rockers Everything Everything.

Everything Everything released a new album, Raw Data Feel, last month via Infinity Industries/AWAL. On the same day they also released a limited-edition lyric book, CAPS LOCK ON: Lyrics + Debris 2007-2022, via Faber Music. The album is the follow-up to Re-Animator, which made it on our Top 100 Albums of 2020 list. For Raw Data Feel the band used an AI (artificial intelligence) of their own making to help create the album’s lyrics, song titles, and cover art, via selected information they fed the AI.

Everything Everything formed in Manchester in 2007 and quickly gained momentum, making the BBC Sound of 2010 list in December 2009 and releasing their debut album, Man Alive, the following August, which found the band nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize (a feat they repeated with their fourth album, 2017’s A Fever Dream). Everything Everything have established themselves as one of the most unique bands of the modern era, aided by quirky lyrics and the band’s memorable music videos, which are usually highly creative and often self-directed by Higgs. The band also features Jeremy Pritchard (bass, keyboards), Michael Spearman (drums), and Alex Robertshaw (lead guitar, keyboards).

The band collectively had this to say about the new album in a press release: “Raw Data Feel is, to a large extent, about new beginnings. It’s our first record made entirely under our own steam, with Alex producing. Many of the songs are concerned with healing and starting anew, as well as the trepidation that comes with that.

“Jonathan was interested in using Artificial Intelligence to both undertake some of the emotional labor of writing, but also to provoke new approaches in the lyrics. The result is, paradoxically, very vulnerable and human, and maybe our most emotionally open and honest work. After five albums and 14 years as a band it was time to be provoked into new territory by an exterior force. Sonically, the album delves further into appropriately electronic territory, but with a certain freshness and spontaneity which has grown over the last couple of albums. It’s our most sonically colorful and even our most (cautiously) optimistic record.”

Read on as Higgs writes about a weird collection his dad had, the film he made at university, and what Wikipedia gets wrong about him.

1. My dad collects skulls and my house growing up was full of them. We would also get skulls from roadkill or wherever we found dead animals, so often the freezer was full of heads too!

2. In a very early example of internet “cancelling” I made a website about my exam board when I was about 17. It was called Edexhell and I used it to freak out Exexcel, who were terrible and totally fucked up the GCSEs and AS levels for my year. It ended up with me on Radio 4 and in Private Eye. There are some scraps of it still online here and there.

3. I made a film in my spare time at uni called Man Alone. It’s a musical that last well over two hours—I play several characters including a medieval Scottish monk. It’s about a piece of music that kills the listener.

4. I did at one point have 11 cats, however this is no longer the case. I have no cats now, and I want this on record so I can finally change my Wikipedia without it snapping back to saying I have loads of cats. I don’t. Most of them are still alive, don’t be sad, but I am catless.

5. I climbed Mount Fuji by myself, and took a stuffed squirrel all the way up. It sounds impressive but there was a queue. At the summit there was a little hut with a photo of David Beckham in it.

Also read our recent My Firsts interview with Everything Everything’s Jonathan Higgs.

Plus read our recent The End interview with Higgs.

Check out the fourth episode of our Under the Radar podcast, where we speak to Higgs.

Also read our COVID-19 Quarantine Check-In interview with Higgs.

Support Under the Radar on Patreon.


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