Returning for 2013 with second album 'Arc', Manchester’s Everything Everything have traded the complex operatic rock of their debut for a more structured, clearly-defined method of songwriting, transforming themselves into a more confident beast altogether.
We caught up with Jeremy Pritchard from the band to discuss their recent time in America, the response to their recent second album, and what their adopted home of Manchester means to them.
You’ve just come back from an extensive period in America, right?
Yeah, and we did a couple of other shows in Moscow and Porto. We’ve been all over the last few months. We’ve been non-stop on the road for about four months, really. And now it’s got a little bit less hectic, it’s just more rhythmic. We’ll go away for three days, come back for four, until October sort of time really. It’s quite nice, that sort of pattern.
What was your experience like of going back there?
We’ve sort of dipped our toe before and we feel like we’re doing that again. We did our own headline shows in L.A. and two in New York. All of which were unexpectedly amazing, actually. L.A. was a really rapturous reception, which we really hadn’t expected and then we did a smaller, secret warm-up show in Brooklyn and then we did a sold-out Bowery Ballroom. We had an amazing time.
How do you feel about the second album now, a few months on, compared to this stage with the first album?
There were times when the record came out when I was whining to my girlfriend, saying “Oh, I don’t think it’s going to be that good”, which I don’t think is the case now. She says I was doing this on the first album as well and that actually I went through all the emotional peaks and troughs with the first record as I did with the second, I just don’t really remember it. Your relationships with the songs change all the time through a campaign period, the year-and-a-half or two years that you’re working the record, before and afterwards. And that’s a good thing, because it keeps it a bit fresh.
Do you think there’s more pressure on you for a second album than a first?
There was but only from ourselves. We really didn’t get squeezed by anybody else, really. We were quite conscious of what we liked and didn’t like about ourselves, having toured ‘Man Alive’ for two-and-a-half or three years. We were aware of what endured for us and what we wanted to leave behind. We though it had to be a bit more honest, a bit more bare-faced. The fact that we put ourselves on the cover of the record, just our faces in a very old-fashioned way, is not insignificant. It was a kind of ‘taking off of the mask’, kind of thing. That was the whole idea with this album. To just try to be a bit more heartfelt.
When you compare ‘Arc’ to ‘Man Alive’, it does certainly seem that way. Arc’s strength is in being a bit more considered.
Exactly. It’s just a maturing. Some people regard it as quite the sea change. I don’t, I think we matured a bit. We were less uptight and a bit more confident about who we were and what we were trying to do, and just a bit more content to allow ourselves to stay in one place for more than eight bars. Have some choruses. And just have people connect with it a bit more easily. There’s a greater challenge to writing considered songs than there is to playing a lot of notes.
Is it still important for you being a Manchester band, at this stage in your careers? Does it still matter?
Culturally, it’s Britain’s second city – it’s either us or Glasgow – so there is enough in terms of media spotlight but it’s not the enormous mouth that London is. I think if we’d tried to do this in London, we’d have been swallowed up very quickly. Plus, just the normal pressures of living in London – the cost and the stress and the time, you know what it’s like.
I think it’s been something we’ve been lucky to benefit from but because we’re not indigineous to Manchester, we haven’t felt any kind of duty to the perceived norms of being a ‘Manc band’. And even our friends who are, like Dutch Uncles who are from Marple, they didn’t feel any of that either.
You’re playing as a part of a Now Wave-curated bill at Parklife. What’s it like doing stuff with Wes and Jon from Now Wave?
Now Wave started at roughly the same time that we did and they really had exactly the same idea. They had a policy where they never played anything older than a year and then they expanded to put on more bands. That was exactly the same thing that we were trying to do and exactly what other bands at the same time – Egyptian Hip Hop and Dutch Uncles – were trying to do.
How are you feeling about playing at Parklife this year. Does it feel like it’s an important thing to have in the city, it having started in the time you’ve been based here?
I’d say definitely. I’ve met so many people who say Manchester is the greatest music city in the world and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t regard it as that, so for it to have its own festival is common sense, really. Something on a larger scale that can bring in international acts and celebrate what we have here and the appetite for music, which is unending… I think people are really understanding that lifestyle on an international scale now and Parklife is part of that.
I’m really looking forward to being at Parklife too, especially as part of the Now Wave stage. It’s got a great line-up on our day, Wes and Jon have done an amazing job.