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Baker's Dozen

Sense Of Absurdity: Jonathan Higgs Of Everything Everything's Favourite Albums
Christopher Sanders , September 2nd, 2015 14:48

The Manchester indie band's frontman gives Christopher Sanders a tour of the formative records of his teenage years, and explains why they, along with Australia's longest-running soap opera, have made a lasting impression


The Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
I've got some family in Canada, and when I was about 12 we went over for a holiday. When we came back, my cousins had given my brother a load of American music, and that was really the first time that I had heard Smashing Pumpkins. And he'd come back and play these tapes and it was like: "Wow! Music from America!" This was the time before the internet, and we didn't have a TV either, so this was all kind of exotic.

I remember not really realising that they were playing guitars because it didn't really sound like that. I couldn't tell what it was made of. It sounded like machinery and that it was made of fiddly twiddly weird tones, and obviously with his voice on top of it, I was like, "What the hell is this?!" I remember for a year not really liking it, but my brother kept on playing it, and it slowly crept into me.

That whole album is so deeply produced that the playing on it, the sound on it, is just fucking awesome. The breadth of different sounds are amazing. Every intro is like a perfect little new world opening up. You always think of Billy Corgan being a total egomaniac locking the other band members out of the studio as the story goes, making Jimmy Chamberlin rehearse for 12 hours a day until the drums were perfect. The end result is this perfect dreamy, shoegaze-y album with a hard core, yet it's also quite gentle as well, which I think is a common theme with all the albums I've chosen.

Can you see any similarities in the way you head up Everything Everything with the way Billy Corgan leads The Smashing Pumpkins?

I hope not because he's notoriously a total penis!

I didn't mean that! But in terms of your creative process…

Oh certainly he had a strong vision. But sometimes that's to the detriment. He could have probably benefitted from relinquishing a bit of that control actually, which is the case in my experience. So maybe he showed me what not to do in some ways! He's not a very approachable frontman, and doesn't really welcome the listener. He's very much the specimen that you buy and watch and move on, you don't really get close to him. Well, I hope that's not how I come across anyway! I know my band can be alienating to some people, because I do sing in a weird voice, and the music is weird, so maybe some of that influenced me, even if I didn't want it to!