Meet Everyone Says Hi – a new band made up of ex Kaiser Chiefs, Kooks, Dead 60s and Howling Bells

Meet Everyone Says Hi – a new band made up of ex Kaiser Chiefs, Kooks, Dead 60s and Howling Bells

Former Kaiser Chiefs drummer and songwriter Nick Hodgson has spoken to NME about his new band Everyone Says Hi, his songwriting work with the likes of Dua Lipa and how he discovered the lost chord.

Hodgson’s new band, which shares its name with a 2002 David Bowie song, consists of an array of indie rock luminaries including Pete Denton formerly The Kooks, Ben Gordon from The Dead 60s and Glenn Moule of Howling Bells, alongside Leeds guitarist Tom Dawson.

Having signed to Chrysalis, their debut single ‘Brain Freeze’ – a psychedelic lounge rock hinting at recent Arctic Monkeys and Tame Impala influences and featuring a sax solo from The Zutons’ Abi Harding – is out now.

Speaking to NME, Hodgson explained how the lyrics – co-written with Justin Parker (who also co-wrote ‘Video Games’ by Lana Del Rey and ‘Stay’ by Rihanna) – are about going on a recovery mission to Ibiza after “not a relationship so much, just arguments, division, conflict – disagreements that occupy your life sometimes”.

“I love Ibiza as well, so it sounds like I’m dreaming of going to Ibiza and living there,” said said. “I’ve always dreamt of escaping in a camper van and I did go away on my own in a camper van. So maybe it’s got shades of camper van as well.”

Explaining how the track came together, Hodgson said: “I went and stayed in Leeds for a few days at a flat I’ve had for a long time. I don’t know what it is about that place but I always write my favourite songs there. I went twice. I went for three nights, two times. It’s pretty bachelor style – I definitely feel like I’m in my 20 when I’m there. I just record and play this guitar I got when I was 16. Maybe that’s where the magic comes from. It’s this quite beaten up Tanglewood Odyssey.”

He continued: “I write a lot of songs all the time and I’m always using the same sort of chords, the basic chords that you read in the basic chord books. I just thought, ‘I’m gonna do something different’. I figured I’d just play shapes I’d never played before, four of them in a row. I liked the way they sounded, but I don’t even know what any of them are called. They’re just strange shapes. I’ve asked people and there’s still one that nobody knows what it is. So I had these chords and I just started singing and gradually the ideas came out. I like Mac DeMarco as well, I like the wobbly guitar sound he has. These chords, that sound, see what happens. And I discovered the lost chord. Z-minus.”

Hodgson – writer and co-writer of Kaiser Chiefs hits including ‘I Predict A Riot’, ‘Oh My God’ and ‘Ruby’ as well as tracks for Lipa, George Ezra, Holly Humberstone, Duran Duran and You Me At Six – discussed the origins and concept of the band and his hopes or the current rock landscape.

NME: Hi Nick. What have you been doing since your 2018 solo album, ‘Tell Your Friends‘?

Hodgson: “I toured that and did some festivals in the summer of 2018, then we had a baby in September, and I don’t know if you remember COVID? Everything just got put on the back burner in terms of making music because you can’t really go away and do gigs. Just before COVID I did one gig, a little solo thing. I got on stage and I was on my own and played some songs on piano and played the guitar. It was February 2020 and I said to myself, ‘This is it. This is what I love. I love being on stage’.

“Within the month we were locked down. I started doing loads of things. I was doing a lot of co-writing with other people, started a publishing company. Around the end of 2022 I wrote a song and I realised that it was for me. The first one was called ‘Only One’. It just emerged, this chorus, and I knew that that was an album.”

Why did you gather these particular musicians together for Everyone Says Hi?

“I did the solo album, put a song out and Ryan Jarman from The Cribs texted me and said, ‘Do you and your new band want to play to support The Cribs at the Brudenell in Leeds for [annual festive show] Cribsmas?’ I didn’t have a band, it was just me on that record. I said yes and then I got the band together. We played quite a few shows and it was really good.

“On that first album I played all the instruments and everything and then when I got the band in I realised that this was better. I would play stuff in soundcheck, new ideas, and everyone would just start playing straight away. Everyone was so switched on, I was like, ‘If I make another record, I’m going to call them up immediately’. And also Pete the bass player, he lives near me and I bumped into him in the Virgin Active in Crouch End. It’s like an indie gym, The Magic Numbers were in there and loads of others. I used to see him and he was like, ‘Let’s do something together’.”

Nick Hodgson launches new band Everyone Says Hi. Credit: Jono White

Did you have any concept for what you wanted it to be?

“I listen to REM a lot, Elliott Smith and lots of American indie. I just thought if I’m gonna make a record it needs to sound like part of my record collection. I don’t want to make something and think, ‘I can’t put it on at night because it’s not good enough or it doesn’t fit’. So that’s my framework. It’s got to be a record that I feel good about putting on amongst this great company.”

The band name is a Bowie song – an intentional tribute?

“I’ve got a list of band names and in my band names list it said ‘Everyone Say Hi’. I thought ‘OK, that’s unusual, I’ll go on Spotify to see if there’s a band already called that’, which is what I always do. Usually there is but this time it just came up with that Bowie song. But the Bowie song is ‘Everyone Says Hi’ and I had Everyone Say Hi and I thought ‘I’ll change it to that because I love David Bowie’. I didn’t know [the song].”

What’s coming next?

“Gigs. We got more singles and then an album. I got signed to Chrysalis, which was very, very great, but also completely unexpected. I thought maybe my ship had sailed in terms of getting record deals, but so it’s a proper release. I think it’s coming out [in] October and there’s going to be touring and we’re just gonna see what happens. I’m very excited about it.”

What are your proudest moments as a backroom songwriter?

“I wrote a song with Dua Lipa a while ago. She’d just got signed to Warners and me and my friend wrote a song with her and that is actually one of my favourite songs. It never came out for Dua, but it came out a few years later with Kygo and Zara Larrson. It went on to be a big pop production, but the demo with Dua singing on it is actually one of the best things I’ve done. It should come out really, one day. Just piano and her singing. It’s great.”

How do you see the landscape for bands now?

“There’s some good stuff. Do you know The Molotovs? I love what they’re doing. They’re only about 15 and they’re playing in these venues full of 15-year-olds and they’re throwing themselves around and getting onstage and joining in. It’s like, ‘So the kids are still excited by bands’. They’re in a scene with a load of other bands, all the same age. You need to think of a title for the scene.”

Everyone Says Hi play their first shows at London’s Camden Assembly on June 5 and Leeds Hyde Park Book Club on June 7. Tickets are available from 9am on Friday May 3 and available here.

The post Meet Everyone Says Hi – a new band made up of ex Kaiser Chiefs, Kooks, Dead 60s and Howling Bells appeared first on NME.

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