Don’t let the nonchalance of Everyone Everywhere
fool you, they are as restless and nihilistic as the next guy. In fact, they have kind of made their name on it. Lead singer Brendan McHugh didn’t want to compare the band to Woody Allen, but the similarities are there, from the self-deprecating humor to the vast, internal exploration that is relatable to everyone but a rock. We checked in with the guys of Everyone Everywhere as they get set for their European tour and the official release of their new self-titled album (which is out today) that introduces a notably more mature, yet still youthful and curious band. You can read our interview with them below.
The Deli: How did the pay-what-you-want vinyl pre-sale go?
Brendan McHugh: It went very well.
Matt Scottoline: Gangbusters.
Tommy Manson: Success.
TD: Did anybody actually pay?
Everyone Everywhere: Yeah.
BM: A majority did. There were a few wily folks in there who tried to skate with paying the minimum of 50 cents. Most everyone paid a fair price for it, and if that’s what they wanted to pay it is fair, because those were the rules.
TD: Were you prepared to spend all that money and get zero in return?
BM: Not only did we lose money on the physical production, but we actually lost money with the transactions occurring with the credit card charges, and the Paypal - we actually paid money to give them and the item that cost us money.
MS: It was a good financial experiment.
TD: Would you consider doing it again?
BM: Oh yeah, I would do more next time.
TD: Do you know anyone who has done a physical name your price before?
BM: Not with vinyl, it was approved by Guinness. I think Radiohead or something. They did name your price, but their vinyl still costs like 80 dollars, because there really is no reason to do a name your price vinyl from a financial standpoint. We wanted to get the records in the hands of the fans first and foremost, so that’s what we did. That’s how we started it off. For us to move 100 records in less than a half hour was pretty great. It’s honestly just really exciting, and I really don’t care what people paid. If 100 people have the record that want it, that’s awesome.
TD: Who did the artwork for the album?
BM: The girl who took the photo is Jessica Polar. She is from Germany, I think. I kind of just stumbled upon it.
MS: We found it at that coffee shop that day, remember?
MS: We have her permission.
TD: Where did you record the album?
TM: Pretty much everybody but me has been in a band together since high school, and they have recorded together with Mike since high school, and then I started recording with him with our first 7”, and this band hasn’t recorded an official release with anyone else.
TD: Did you do anything different with this album from last one?
TM: We demoed a lot more for this one. We had a demo of every song recorded in some form on my computer.
BM: And I wrote vocals before.
TM: Pretty much we demoed and tracked on our own pretty much every single song before we went into the studio. A lot of them have changed since the demos, but we recorded the drums and bass on my computer, and then Brendan and I a bunch of nights last winter just solidified our parts and worked with each other and tracked these songs out, and I spent a little more time on my guitar parts and writing things out. Brendan and I just spent a lot more time tracking.
BM: It went a little slower. Plus we all moved. It takes a while to get settled. We were in a state of flux.
TM: So, definitely a bit different, and like Brendan said, he demoed out most of the vocals before going into the studio.
BM: That was really different. I never actually really sang a line of vocals before recording, so that was a change.
TD: Were there any particular influences for this album?
BM: I don’t know, probably.
MS: Frank Zappa.
TM: My biggest influence is probably Mark Linkous in Sparklehorse. He is probably my all-time biggest inspiration for songwriters. I think his stuff is just really solid. Pretty much everything he does I have always admired, and that probably carries over a bit, and I probably listen to them now more than I ever did.
BM: Jimmy Page and Steve Vail.
Woody Allen is unbelievably successful and universally respected, but his entire life he has been dealing with these existential issues and dealing with meaning and purpose, and I don’t want to try and compare our lyrical content to his genius, but he acquired great wealth, and these issues still plague him. I think the way you feel is the way you feel. I don’t think you can yourself much as a person without, like, brainwashing.
MS: Electro-shock therapy.
BM: I think you are pre-disposed to feel the way you feel about things, but I don’t know how that fits into the context of this band.
BM & MS: It’s all tongue and check. It is sort of the philosophy of the band, the detached mundanity, maybe realistic. We’re not trying to make some kind of grand statement. We don’t have any delusions about who we are.
TD: Do you like touring?
BM: We like travel and spending time with one another. We don’t like playing shows to 4 people, and losing money on gas and tolls, and not getting anything for shows. We don’t make money on tour so in that respect we don’t like it because it’s a money hole. But we like the fun parts.
If you were to say “oh, you are going on tour tomorrow - don’t worry about work and stuff,” we’d like it.
But you don’t get to do that.
TM: If someone were to say to us, “hey your next year is financially secure because you are going on tour, and we are taking care of you.” I don’t think any of us would object to it, but a lot of it is making sure you have enough money saved up so you can go on tour, and making sure you are not jeopardizing the job that is supporting your life. You know, we have to make sure we have something to come back to so we can start living again. But I love hanging out with these guys, and traveling and being away from my house, and everyday.
TD: How did this European tour come about?
BM: We got an email from this guy Giome, who is a booking agent in Europe. He owns a booking company over there called Back From Outerspace Bookings, and he just said “Hey do you guys want to do a European tour? I would book it.” And we said, “Yeah, that sound great maybe in August,” and he said, “August isn’t good that probably won’t work,” and we said, “Well, that’s the only time we could go. We could probably do a couple weeks.” And he said, “Okay, let me work on it,” and he came back and was like, “how about 32 dates in August.” So we were like “uh - okay, cool.”
TM: We have 33 days on and one day off.
TD: Are you going to do a US tour when you get back?
EE: Next question.
BM: We only go on tours that allow us to take elaborate vacations.
TD: Do you prefer to play basements, or is that just where you happen to be booked most often?
BM: We prefer not to play basements. But that’s where we started playing shows, and we’re always excited to be asked to play any show, and that continues to be the case. It does get fatiguing to play to the same group of people over and over, but that’s partly on us because we can’t leave Philly because we can’t tour, and obviously, there is only a certain amount of people in Philly, and it’s great that anyone does. We really love all the people that care about our band and most of them are really good friends of ours, but after a while, it does wear on you a little. It’s not the venue. It’s the sameness of playing the same show for 2 weeks, which we did for a while. I can’t complain about getting to play a show at a friend’s house, but it gets a little repetitive. You like to feel like you are progressing in some way.
TM: We’ve had great shows in basements and crappy shows in basements, and we’ve had great shows in venues and crappy shows in venues.
BM: The answer is we like shows.
The first day we started this band, we said, “As soon as we get asked to play the Tweeter Center, we’re done, and we’d never play again.”
TD: Matt, tell me about your side project Hurry.
MS: Here’s exactly what happened. I was bored so I made song up. I realized I made 9 songs so I compiled them all together, and because I was bored, I recorded them and really that was it. There’s no ambition really behind it besides when I’m bored I like making songs up.
EE: Probably skinboarding. I would watch skinboarding.
TD: Nice movie, how many takes were there?
TD: Did anyone fall asleep?
BM: Brendan Graham did.
TD: Who snores the loudest?
BM & MS: We’re gonna give it to Tommy.
TM: I’ve been told that I snore, but not all the time. I don’t have a serious problem.
I would say, “No one should be concerned. None of us have sleep apnea.”
TD: What man in Philadelphia do you find most attractive?
BM: Mayor Nutter.