“We just feel that we can do anything now...”

It’s not even summer and already London venue Oval Space is hot – very hot. Everything Everything have decided to play an intimate – by their standards – show, designed to unveil material from then-forthcoming third album ‘Get To Heaven’.

The crowd surges to the front, and it’s clear that this is set to be an extremely special show. Hits of old – ‘MY KZ, YR BF’, ‘Kimosabe’ and the rest – are detonated with quite brutal force, but it’s the colour, the sheer vivid fluorescence of the new tracks that truly catch the eye.

Speaking to Clash about that show, a grin floods across Alex Robertshaw’s face. “It just feels like we've suddenly got the brightest bright to go with the darker shades which we have already,” he says. “I think before we had some slow songs, and some songs which kind of pushed you a little bit. Now we can just create far more atmosphere, I think.”

Drummer Mike Spearman agrees. “We just feel that we can go anywhere and do anything now,” he states. “More than ever. Partly because it's our third album and we've been around for a little bit. But we just afford ourselves that kind of range, in every way, really.”

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They’ve every reason to be confident. New album ‘Get To Heaven’ is without doubt their strongest document to date, a work of quite shocking ambition which plugs itself directly into the electricity of current affairs.

“Lyrically, Jon is always interested in... the word 'absurd'. He says he feels absurd, sometimes,” muses Alex. “He writes things that sound absurd but there's a deeper message.”

Listening quietly, Mike utters a sigh. “The world is absurd”, he says. “More and more.”

With their new album Everything Everything seem to take aim at the darker side of the world today, at the fanaticism that bubbles under daily life. “More on this album than ever, with Jon, he's kind of lyrically set himself free of any kind of chains,” Alex reveals. “He kind of feels like he can take on the voice of someone that he doesn't know – maybe an extremist in some way. So it's not his personal views, he's entering these characters, their headspace.”

“He's taking a lot of cues from Nick Cave on this record,” the guitarist continues. “You can become a character. You can say things that if you were to say so as Jonathan Higgs would come across as offensive, or difficult to understand that he may believe in these things. But he's not being Jon Higgs, he's being many different characters.”

‘Get To Heaven’ is an album that is unafraid, at times, to be ugly. It’s both a reflection of the world it was constructed in and a parody, a grotesque. “I think the world is getting more and more extreme,” the guitarist insists. “Our access to it is so much more in your face these days, with the internet. Also Jon, I think, is just an extreme person. He's interested in the extremes, both ways.”

“He's very sensitive to it,” Mike adds. “There's definitely a macabre thing going on, where he's interested in it but at the same time he despises it. He's battling with it. To turn your back on it is to give up on what's going on. To pretend it's not going on is to give up on your humanity. So he always has these huge battles going on.”

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To pretend it's not going on is to give up on your humanity...

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But that’s not to define ‘Get To Heaven’ solely by its lyricism. Musically, Everything Everything supply a maximalist pop sheen, a flood of fresh ideas delivered in a near fluorescent daze. Constructing the record in Manchester, the four piece were then joined by producer Stuart Price – who credits include Pet Shop Boys, New Order and more – to bring the whole album together.

“With this record, people were very clear,” Alex insists. “We didn't want there to be any downtime. We wanted real high energy, real excitement. I wanted people to come to the gigs and actually dance and not come and scratch their chins for an hour and a half, which is what it felt like at the start. Now it feels like we're starting to achieve that.”

“We just wanted it to be really bold,” he continues. “And also have that thing where the first idea is the best idea. I felt in the past we would often over-think and would labour things for ages. When actually, that kind of impulsive excitement you would get from listening to that song, piece of music comes to you. You want that to carry through to the end. You want that listener to feel that way about it, so it has that kind of raw, thrown together feel about it. It's kind of exciting.”

Mike nods his head. “I think this album is the best we've ever done, because there's multiple voices from the off, lots of things going on that have started from very different places and I think that's what makes it exciting to listen to,” he says. “And it's more Everything Everything than ever, really. I think it's hook-ier than ever, and it's weirder than ever and it's all of what we are but intensified, I think. Distilled more.”

The outside influence of Stuart Price undoubtedly helped achieve this. A producer of enormous experience, his calm assurances pushed Everything Everything further down a path they had already begun to chart. “I think he just exudes confidence because he's made lots of records before,” Alex states, simply. “Lots of records with bigger budgets and bigger artists. With us, he's probably feeling the pressure and not showing it but he's made it seem like a breeze. And he literally hopped off the plane and didn't seem to have any jetlag – he was like, right let's get to work.”

“He absolutely smashed it,” agrees the drummer. “It was insane. For us at that point, we'd gone through a year battling with these songs and for him to come in and have such fresh ears on them, that's exactly what we needed. What the songs needed, really.”

The band admit to having a tendency to over-think, to losing themselves amidst the plethora of creative options available to them. “We definitely need a producer,” Mike smiles. “There's a reason why they exist. You need someone who everyone is confident can just take control of certain situations.”

A record of outstanding daring and invention, a bravura showcase of enthralling ideas, ‘Get To Heaven’ is topped off by a lurid, unforgettably colourful piece of artwork. Designed by Australia-based illustrator Andrew Archer, it shows a faith-healing as it reaches its climactic stages.

“The colourful nature of it is very similar to what's going on with the record, there's this battle between what's going on in the world and how we're dealing with it – which Jon is trying to approach lyrically. And then the music is uplifting, pushing and bright,” Mike muses. “There's this consistent contradiction going on.”

“We wanted this record from the off to be as bold and up in energy as possible,” Alex asserts. “Like, you were absolutely going to get hit round the face with it. That feeling is what we wanted, so it was right to have a totally unreal image along with it. We were aware that some people would hate it, and it's the same with the album. It pulls no punches, it is exactly what it is.”

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'Get To Heaven' is out now.

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