- Fri, 2012-09-21 13:45
Almost a year ago to the day, we sat down with UK pop main-man Example to chat about his third album Playing In The Shadows. He told us he loved working and, true to his word, one year later he's finished another album (!) his fourth, The Evolution of Man.
With the release of his new single Say Nothing this week and a bunch of stories from his mega hectic summer, we called him up for a chat...
ILM: Good morning Example. How are you?
Example: I'm alright, yeah. Haven't really done anything yet. Got a day off.
ILM: After your appearance in the moob on Celebrity Juice last night, I now feel like I know you very intimately...
Example: Oh brilliant. Yeah. My manager wasn't too happy with that. Ha. I think if you go on there and you don't join in you come off worse for it. The idea that no human being doesn't like having a laugh is ridiculous... So yeah, I enjoyed it.
ILM: How are your feet?
Example: They're not great. I'll cope. I don't know how to explain it...I can walk, but I can't run. Even though I might be walking in the street and people think I look alright, I'm not.
ILM: How did it happen again? Too much work?
Example: It was no rest. I've done loads of gigs before, the arena tour was 15 gigs in three weeks so I can do it. I just normally go to bed after the gig. All this summer it was driving straight after the gig or flying for a few hours or sitting around waiting at an airport. And that's obviously not how you repair your muscles.
ILM: This time last year we met to discuss your third album Playing In The Shadows. You sang I Owe You Nothing by Bros to me. A moment I shall cherish. A year later...and you've already finished another album. Your fourth, The Evolution of Man. Congratulations.
Example: Cheers. I finished it a few weeks ago but it was mastered yesterday which is when they make it all lovely and loud and colourful. I wish it could come out next week, I just want people to hear it but as it happens, it's November 18th.
ILM: The first single is Say Nothing. The single artwork features your very cute baby photo. When was that taken?
Example: I think I was two. I won a 'Good Looking Baby' competition in the local paper. I did that cover because I was looking through iTunes thinking how fucking boring all the covers were. Everyone's front cover looks exactly the same. Just like, a picture of their torso or face looking into the camera. I was kind of guilty of it on my last album. So I was just like fuck this, I'm just going to get a baby picture. If anyone asks me 'what's the relevence?' I'll just say, well, it doesn't need to be relevant. All these covers back in the 80s and 90s, it was just about, you know, what looks cool?
ILM: The video for Say Nothing is pretty epic. You're in a desert for a start...
Example: I wanted to shoot in the desert. But I didn't want it to be like one of those cheesy ballads. I wanted it to be a bit more weird and menacing, like a fucked up dream. That's why we put these characters in who look like they're from post-apocolyptic Mad Max town, you know? They don't have a relevance to the song. It's about a lost civilisation. The couple in it have a loose narrative throughout the song though...
ILM: What's the track about? The end of a relationship perhaps?
Example: It isn't even that. It's not a break up song. It's about communication in a relationship, when you can tell people are lying just from their eyes. "No more tears, no more lies, I know what you want when you say it with your eyes." So. I don't think it's a break-up song. Maybe my tone suggests I'm really upset but it's really just saying be honest, be honest in a relationship. Something I've been guilty of not doing...
ILM: It came out this week...
Example: Yeah, it was number two in the mid-weeks. I think Gangnam Style will be at number one though.
ILM: Ah. Have you seen the video?
Example: Yeah! It's fucking hilarious! The fact that no-one knows what he's singing about?!
ILM: So. We're going to put this interview on our site straight away, for all the people reading this afternoon...what should they get up to this weekend? Buy the single perhaps?
Example: I'd say go shopping and buy something nice. You don't have to buy my single. I don't care whether the single is one, two or three, I'm kind of beyond that stage now. If it was number one, that would be a nice bonus, but the stage I'm at in my career now...I'm at my fourth album, I'm going to be bringing out my fifth album next year or the year after. You have to start thinking about the end game which is more about live shows, good music and good albums, less about chart hits.
ILM: You've always been incredibly ambitious. When I first interviewed you, you told me you wanted to headline Glastonbury...
Example: Yeah. Three years ago I said I wanted to headline arenas and everyone laughed. Now we're on our second arena tour and this summer at V we were mainstage and it was me, Noel Gallagher and Stone Roses. The next step is to get second on the bill and then, obviously headline. I'm not going to give up. I think the only way you can do that is to keep making music, keep touring and get your message out there.
ILM: What's your message?
Example: My main message right, it's changed over the years, but for me now, it's about making good, honest music that's about me and from the heart. About all my experiences or how I'm feeling. I make music that I'm a fan of and that I'd buy myself. I make music that's influenced by all my favourite acts, bands, rappers, producers. My main thing is that I want to put on a great live show and be a great entertainer. I never set out to be the best rapper or the best singer, I just wanted to be the best entertainer. I think that's why our live shows have done so well.
ILM: You've played so many shows this summer (hence the ol' foot problem), which moments have been the best?
Example: V was amazing. We had 60,000-70,000 people on both sites. We had the biggest crowds of the weekend at both! Even more people than the people playing after us. Meeting Ian Brown and Noel Gallagher there too, I've met them both before, but just to have them give their approval on my set. The fact that I was on before them on the main stage, they've been around for years, they know what it takes to get to that level. Regardless of my journey, or my musical journey or the music I make, they were very complimentary about my show and the fact that I had such a big crowd.
ILM: Did you chat with them?
Example: I chatted to Ian Brown for a couple of minutes. He gave me a hug and was like "fair play lad, that were proper good that, I heard you absolutely ripped it a new arsehole, yeah, yeah." Then Noel Gallagher was pretty much just like "you don't go away you, do you? You're like a bad smell. I fucking like that about you. What is it, your fourth or fifth album?" I told him it was my fourth, "yeah. Fucking like that. Go to my dressing room and have a Guiness."
ILM: Did you?
Example: Yeah. Course.
Example's fourth album The Evolution of Man is released on November 18th 2012, his new single Say Nothing is out now.