Jonathan Higgs is the lead singer of the indie rock band Everything Everything who released their debut album Man Alive in August.
So we gave Jonathan a ring-a-ding-ling so he could tell us his five favourite things about his 15-year-old, white Ford Transit van called Van Nistelrooy that he bought off their brother and they go on tour with. “It’s a female van,” he told us. “It carries us, it’s kind, has a bosom.” Makes sense.
Jonathan Higgs from Everything Everything’s Top Five Best Things About Our Tour Van
5/ The posters
“We printed out a load of black and white posters of R Kelly and Michael Jackson and stuck them inside the van and they’re just kind of rotting on the floor. We’ve got Barack Obama and Akon and whoever was in the news at the time, and we put this plastic sheeting over the top of them and it’s kind of rotten. They’ve all dissolved into each other. Really weird.”
4/ The seating arrangement
“When I bought the van it had an illegal number of seats on it, five from left to right in the back, and you’re only allowed two. So we took them out and replaced them with aircraft seats that don’t fit and made headrests out of these weird foamy pillow things that are nailed into some wood and don’t protect your head in any way. They’re massive, bulky, fairly uncomfortable chairs bolted to the floor. But they are legal.”
3/ The back door
“Part of it was falling off so we replaced it with a load of crisp packets, forced them into the hole and painted it white. It looks pretty good but the back door is made of crisp packets so you could theoretically punch your way in and steal all our stuff. The packets are stuck in with paint and we’ve never been robbed. It looks so bad no one’s attracted to it.”
2/ The stereo
“It’s very old. The noise of the van is so amazingly loud that you turn it on and you can’t talk from the front to the back. You can talk from side to side, but we wired in some more speakers and you can turn it up really, really loud but you never realise how loud until you turn off the engine. It has a mega bass setting which is insane and you can’t hear anything on any songs at all.”
1/ The smell
“It began about six months ago. My dad used to collect animal skulls when I was growing up and he used to let the animals rot in the garden so I know the smell of rotting flesh pretty well, and there’s just this smell that’s arisen and makes you retch. A horrific smell of death that clouds the car. We had this theory that there was a cat clogged in the mechanics because the smell wouldn’t go away. It’s partly why no one’s robbed us. If you open the door you get this desert wind of horror. On a hot day it’s unusable.”