We’re huge fans of Everyone You Know. Not only are they two of the nicest guys to walk through our office doors, but their music is insane. Don’t believe us? Well, after releasing their first-ever EP, they bagged themselves a record deal just 2 weeks later.
Ordinary brothers, extraordinary sound – Everyone You Know are definitely ones to watch. Rhys, 25 and Harvey, 20 started making beats and writing music in their rooms. Fast forward 10 years, they’ve got themselves a record deal, they’ve played Reading & Leeds and they’re about to embark on their sell-out tour. “Not Chester, though“, Rhys tells us. “We’ve only sold 6 tickets“, he laughs. “And that’s probably just our family“.
With the release of their new major single Seen It All (below), we had the boys in to chat about all things music, how they keep on the straight and narrow and whether sibling rivalry ever enters the studio.
Can we have an insight on your intro into music?
Rhys: We’d been making music individually for about 10 years; 5/6 years ago, we decided to make music together, exclusively, and we created our first EP. A couple of weeks later, off the back of that, we got ourselves a record deal!
Harvey: It’s mad to see the progression from when we started making music to playing Reading [festival] last year. It’s nuts because a year before Reading I was DJing house parties.
Rhys: We weren’t expecting it, though. Everyone thinks it was just the overnight record deal, but that wasn’t the case. There was a lost of graft prior to that.
Tell us about your song making process.
H: It’s different every time. Sometimes we start with a guitar loop or a session on piano, other times Rhys might have a vocal idea first. Once we have a starting point, we can piece it together. We then take that to Sony and they tell us what they’re liking, and we roll with it.
R: 90% of the time, the beat will come first. A lot of people have the same formula every time they make a track, but we don’t.
H: For us, it’s more about being in a room together – we bounce off each other and that’s how we get the tracks going.
Have you ever thought about switching roles?
R: What? Let Harv do the singing?
H: I can’t sing… I think we’d get dropped from Sony.
Do you know if a song bangs right away?
H: Yeah, I think most of the time we do know.
R: Generally, if we hear a track and think, “yeah, this is alright but I don’t think it’ll be wicked”, I won’t even bother to continue with it. I like to think, “could this be a single, is this good enough?”. Every tune needs to be as good as the next.
How do you think your fans discovered you? Is there a particular platform you felt really worked for growing your fanbase?
H: We don’t use social media much – a bit of Instagram and a dabble on Twitter. To be honest, it’s hard to say what drew people in. It’s always been about the music, and if that’s relatable and resonates with people, then the music will draw them in; it speaks for itself.
Do you guys ever get a bit of sibling rivalry in the studio?
R: Not with music. We remove the ego from the room and just think about the music. Because we do different things, there’s not much to rival about!
H: We do with FIFA, though… and football. But I’m a QPR fan so I can’t say much about that.
How do you decide what covers you do? Sam Fender’s Play God, for example.
H: We loved doing Sam Fender‘s song, and we’ve just dropped Becky Hill’s Lose Control, too. We choose what we want to cover but sometimes the label will give us references that they think will work well for us.
And what about Everyone You Know’s image? Is that something you both decide on together?
R: Everything you see is just us. Our image and style. I think that’s important because music is about being true to yourself and we don’t want someone coming in and telling us how to do that. You’d be able to see through it anyway, so we just do what we like.
We were listening to Our Generation yesterday and thought how lucky we are that we grew up just before the heavy tech era kicked in hard. Do you feel that?
R: Yeah, definitely. We were so lucky growing up because people only just had phones – they weren’t out filming everything. People actually had to use their imaginations!
H: I think I was probably the last to enjoy that. I had MSN, and Twitter had just come out, but it wasn’t a huge thing. Then there was BBM on the Blackberry – that blew up! We’ve got a younger sister who’s 16 and she’s always on a phone – all these new platforms! She’s into it but she doesn’t let it run away with her. Her feet are on the ground – she’s a legend!
R: It’s too much for me! If I have to reply to a text, that’s a struggle enough… I don’t even like texting, just call me! Look at how many unread texts I have. *pulls out phone*. 190!
H: What we talk about in Our Generation is how social media gets abused when not used in the right context. It’s actually quite dangerous. It’s great for us to be able to promote ourselves, but I see younger people having so many problems with it. We are products of our environments – when you’re living on your phone, that becomes the environment!
Is it easy to keep on top of things, keep grounded? How do you keep the pressure off?
R: I mean, it would be very easy to spiral out of control. We’re really lucky that we have such a supportive group of friends and family around us, and I’ve got my little girl! We get invited to parties most nights, so it would be easy to go out on the piss all the time, but I’d much rather be in a room with my daughter than a room with a bunch of knob heads!
H: A huge thing for us is keeping our feet grounded. It’s important to us.
R: If we were going to have a big night out, we’d want to do it with all our pals anyway!
Seen It All is insane – big fans. Talk to us about it.
R: Thanks! This song is all about how, as a man, you can mess up and make mistakes (sometimes more than once), but you’ll always have supportive people there for you, regardless. For the video, we wanted to touch on female empowerment. There are a lot of strong women in our lives, so we wanted to do something that represented them.
H: We’ve just shot the video and it’s looking wicked! Keep your eyes peeled.
Seen It All sounds a lot tamer than some of your other songs. Was this intentional?
H: We definitely wanted to make music based on what’s done well in the past, but we still love making heavy tunes which is 100% part of what we are. The thing is, at the end of the day, those heavy tunes aren’t going to sell tones of records or get played on the radio. People connect more to Songs like Wasted Love and She Don’t Dance.
R: We made loads of tunes in the last 4/5 months, and Seen It All was the one that stood out the most. When I was writing it, I felt good about it and sometimes you have tunes like that. You just really believe what you’re saying.
Any stand-out career points so far?
H: Leeds fest was the first time we played to a huge audience. I remember looking at our drummer like, “this is mad!”. Moshing everywhere!
R: The Underworld was mad, too. There were about 600 people packed in like sardines and I couldn’t get a word in edgeways. They were chanting the whole way through which was so crazy for us.
H: Soccer AM was crazy as well! We grew up watching that show.
R: Yeah, but there was so much more pressure doing the volley than there was performing our track live on TV!
How’s tour life treating you both?
H: We’ve got America in May! It will be wicked and hot – summer will just be starting. We’re there for 10 days and there are around 5 shows, so we can have some chill time too. Our tour starts on the 22nd with about 20 shows, so that’ll be good.
R: We’ve got 12 or 13 days pretty much back-to-back, then they’re a bit more spaced out which is nice.
What about work/life balance?
R: It’s hard. Whenever I get a day off, I get a train home straight after the show to have my day off there. I don’t want to be one of those people who can’t look after their child because they’re always on tour. It’s hard, but at the same time, we’ve worked hard to be where we are. Even if I can see my daughter’s face for 5 or 10 minutes, it’s worth it.
H: Also, if we get to a point in our career (fingers crossed) where we’re doing so well, it would mean we could take time off to spend with our friends and family. We have to embrace all these opportunities; we have the chance to provide for everyone – we have to take that.
What are you working/focusing on now?
R: The plan is to get our album out at the end of the year. We’ve just been in Wales getting loads of it done.
H: Wales is nice and out of the way. There’s nothing else to do there – it’s just the studio and a pool table, so we had to make it work.
R: Until then, it’s all about touring and putting out singles. We’re keeping the ball rolling, and we’re looking forward to what’s coming up!
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