Friday, May 27th, 2022
The End: Jonathan Higgs of Everything Everything
Hasta La Vista Baby
May 27, 2022
By Mark Redfern
To end the week, we ask Jonathan Higgs, frontman of British art-rockers Everything Everything, some questions about endings and death.
Everything Everything released a new album, Raw Data Feel, last week 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 discusses how and when he would like to die, his favorite movie ending, and the ambitious goal he’d like to be remembered for.
How would you like to die and what age would you like to be?
Something hilarious around 70.
What song would you like to be playing at your deathbed?
Terminator 1 theme.
What’s your favorite ending to a movie?
Das Boot, they get through everything in the submarine then just get shot anyway in a very off-hand way. It’s war, baby.
Whose passing has most affected you?
Celebrity-wise, I really miss Rik Mayall. He was such an incredible force and influence on my humor going up. I also think of Keith Flint’s [of The Prodigy] suicide, it chills me to think of him feeling that way.
If you were on death row, what would you like your last meal to be?
Penne pasta with pesto. I would make it.
What’s your concept of the afterlife?
Similar to the feeling of not being born yet, only not as optimistic.
What would be your own personal version of heaven if it exists?
Another go at life.
What would be the worst punishment the devil could devise for you in hell, if he exists?
Hell would be knowing the devil is really, really, really thick.
If reincarnation exists, who or what would you like to be reincarnated as?
Some kind of whale that lives for ages and is supremely intelligent and never sees any humans because it hangs out in the deep sea and sings to other whales 50,000 miles away and occasionally has a wank.
What role or achievement would you most like to be remembered for?
Solving the climate crisis.
What would you like your last words to be?
Cowabunga dudes, I’m dead.
Check out the fourth episode of our Under the Radar podcast, where we speak to Higgs.