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What do you give a man with Everything Everything?

The last year has been a pretty busy one for Manchester’s Everything Everything, having recently signed to major record label Geffen, released their debut album ‘Man Alive’ and toured endlessly, taking in all of the major festivals across the UK and Europe.

But is life in one of the hottest bands in the UK as glamorous as you’d think it might be? Xfm’s Gareth Brooks met the boys in a Cafe in Manchester and had a chat over a full English…

So tell us how did the band come together?

Jeremy: Jon and I were at University together and played in a few different bands. When we left, Jon put another band together and he brought in two other guys from his school. Then our old guitarist left about a year ago and Alex joined.

What’s it like just starting out, playing the small empty venues to very few people?

Jeremy: We knew we’d have to do that, we didn’t actually resent it. It was quite tough, you drive two and a half hours to Oxford and you play to twelve people, and then you have to beg £20 off the promoter for petrol home. But we learnt how to play together and be in a band.

Jon: It’s still far more fun than having a normal job, not that it was our job then, but doing all that could be fun.

Did you always feel that things would come good?

Jeremy: It sounds sort of arrogant to say so, but yeah we did. We had to be quite patient, it was two full years from forming the band to us doing a deal. It helped that we’d all come into it with experience of being in bands.

So being in a band, it must have its downsides sometimes. What’s the worst thing about being in a band and how do you cope with it?

Alex: Relentless travelling. Up at 7am, drive down to the Euro Tunnel, arrive at your destination 18 hours later. And when you get onstage, you play for half an hour.

Jon: I think from the outside people look at a band and think “man, they’re having such a great time” but they only see that half hour of fun.

People will look up to you, idolise you in a way just because you’re in a band. But I know it can be far from glamorous. How do you cope with that side of it?

Mickey: You remind people that we’re working a lot of the time, or at least we like to think we are. Travelling for endless hours in the back of a van where you can’t sleep is just miserable.

Jon: I guess the biggest thing that gets us down is being away. We’ve all got girlfriends and we’re away three out of every four weeks or more for much of the year.

Jon: And the only thing they can find out about us is that we’re playing in Frankfurt that night.

Have you ever had a moment in life where things have become too much and you have felt you needed to leave the rubbish part of your life behind, move forward and start again?

Jeremy: When I was about 17, I thought I don’t want to go to school anymore or see my mates and I just wanted to stay at home. I sat around on the seafront, read books and kind of convalesced, I suppose. I was depressed and didn’t really know what it was or what to do about it.

How did you come out of that?

Jeremy: I was still pretty young, that helped. It’s easy for me to trivialise it now, but it was quite a big deal. I went to the doctor and got some medication. They get a lot of bad press, and with good reason because there’s some pretty strange side effects, but I think I was one of the success stories from that kind of process of medium strength anti-depressants and a bit of counselling.

I don’t think you ever stop being a depressive person, I mean it’s never going to go away completely, and every six weeks or so I do kind of get a bit like it again. And it’ll last like half a day or two days or whatever, then I’m alright again. But I recognise the pattern now.

A lot of it had to do with my relationship with my parents and normal adolescent problems really, that everybody experiences to some degree or another. Some people are able to cope with them better than I did, I suppose. I don’t think I was a particularly extreme case at all.

What advice would you have for anyone experiencing those kind of problems now? Would you suggest a visit to the doctor and some counselling?

Jeremy: I would actually. It’s not gonna work for everyone, but it’s worth trying.

Jon: I guess the thing is to tell people.

Jeremy: As soon as you can hold your hands up and say I need some sort of help, that’s up to you as to what that’s gonna be.

Jon: I went through a thing when I was sort of about 16 or 17, where I went mental for about 6 months, and just didn’t tell anyone at all. And then it happened to a friend about a year later and he told everyone and got all the counselling and all the drugs.

It went away for both of us, but whilst he was going through it, I was always thinking “I should have done that, I should have told someone”, just to get a name for it is a big start. When someone says you’re schizophrenic or whatever, that at least makes you know that it’s not completely abnormal, it’s not just you.

Lastly then, what advice would you give to anyone looking to put a band together?

Mickey: Write as much as you can, play as much as you can.

Jeremy: Take it seriously, you know.

Mickey: Basically, be yourself. Try and find the thing that makes your band and your song writing interesting, concentrate on that and try to carve out your own little niche. Otherwise there’s no point.

Everything Everything are on tour in February 2011 as part of the NME Awards Tour.

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