Everything Everything

De La Warr Pavilion, Marina, Bexhill, Sunday, November 8

GRUELLING life on tour is something of a rock cliché today.

But for Everything Everything stopping the tour bus had an even bigger impact.

“It was a shock to the system,” admits bassist Jeremy Pritchard about the year they spent at home after touring second album Arc.

“We had been living in this ageless, timeless bubble. We were going home, watching the news and remembering the rest of the world around us.

“All of us came of age when we made this album – we are all nudging up against 30 from either direction. That’s the age when you start to pull your head out of your arse and start looking at family and the world.

“And the world seemed to be more unsettled than it ever had been in our lifetime. The year 2014 was a turbulent, violent and shocking year for so many reasons. Jonathan [Higgs, frontman] felt really confused and under attack I suppose.”

For this reason Everything Everything’s third album Get To Heaven contains some of their starkest and bleakest lyrics so far – touching on ebola, missing jumbo jets, the rise of UKIP and Isis beheadings on opening track To The Blade.

Even lead single Distant Past looks with longing at a history that might not have ever existed, but feels more comfortable than the present, while Spring/Sun/Winter/Dread is about a longing for an eternal childhood away from the horror.

In contrast the band elected to provide some of its brightest and most upbeat music so far – as can be heard on songs like the title track and the powerful earworm single Regret.

“We wanted to make a more vital record than our second album,” says Pritchard.

“We had become aware of how difficult it was getting some of the more reflective stuff on Arc across live. The third album couldn’t help but be informed by the experience of playing live.

“We started the process by using words like quick, hard and fast.”

When it came to writing the album for the first time the studio demoing process became part of the way the album was written.

But it was when producer Stuart Price came on board that everything began to fall into place.

“Before it was four of us in a cold room in Manchester trying to pick our way through fragments of music to make something coherent,” says Pritchard.

“Stuart came in and did an incredible job – it gave us a new lease of life. He has an amazing positivity and work ethic and we needed that.

“We had always stuck ourselves away as a gang and had a siege mentality when making an album, but this one was even more like that as we weren’t breaking it up with bits of touring. It was a totalitarian approach to the record.”

Work on the album began on the road, with album closer Warm Healer and Zero Pharoah written while on tour before being put on the back burner.

“We wanted to build up a bank of ideas to make into proper songs,” says Pritchard. “Eventually we ended up with 25 to 30 different ideas, some were properly formed songs, but nothing really pointed to a particular pathway.”

It was when Higgs did a home demo of the track Fortune 500 - imagining a royal assassination attempt from the point of the view of a self-doubting terrorist - that the album began to come together.

“Regret and Distant Past came around the same time,” says Pritchard. “We spent time looking at ways we could structure them.

“Stuart Price reshaped Regret into what we really wanted.”

There was a concern about the band moving away from its more obscure and heavily metaphorical lyrics to focus on more direct ideas.

“There’s a thin line,” he says. “You can quite quickly pigeon-hole yourself as polemicists rather than musicians. It’s about keeping the right side of that – not wanting to be preachy, but trying to reflect what is going on around us.

“[Manic Street Preachers’] The Holy Bible was a massive deal to me as a teenager. There was a real darkness and depth to it. There are some parallels with this album – except we wanted to make a pop record.”

Doors 7pm, tickets £17.50. Call 01424 229111.