Example – InterviewTweet
Earlier, I got the chance to speak to him on a number of topics ranging from Limerick University to pints with Snow Patrol.
Hey Example, how are you today?
I’m good, looking forward to today. It’s going to be interesting.
This is your second Arthur’s Day. How was your first and what’s different this time around?
The last one I wasn’t as famous or well-known and I played with Tinie Tempah in some bar somewhere and no one really knew who I was. Now obviously a lot more people know who I am. It’s a different concept this year because everyone knew where Example was playing last time whereas this time I could be in any of 500 pubs across the country.
I was reading that Noel Gallagher told you to go get a pint of Guinness in his dressing room at V Festival over the summer, how did that come about?
Yeah, he came on stage, I was on just before him. I’d met him a few times and he just came up to me and said ‘I like you, you don’t go away you just stick around like a bad smell’. I think he meant my career, not me hanging around (laughs). And he just said ‘Go and have a pint in my dressing room.’ And that’s my Noel Gallagher story.
On that note, with whom would you ideally have a pint of Guinness with?
A pint of Guinness with anyone? Wow, now that’s an interesting one. I had a pint of Guinness with Craig Doyle in the Guinness Storehouse last night, that’s pretty Irish isn’t it? You can’t get much more Irish than that. Two of your most famous exports, Craig Doyle and Guinness. I don’t know really, I like too many Irish people. I’d say Guinness with Snow Patrol in Ireland. I had a beer with them in London and they’re good guys, I get on with them.
That actually leads nicely on to my next question, you co-wrote Say Nothing with Snow Patrol pianist Johnny McDaid, how was that?
He did all the music and I did all the lyrics. We actually wrote it about two years ago. It almost made it on to my last album when it was called Don’t Speak but it didn’t quite fit as the album was mostly trance and dubstep. So I went back to the drawing board with this album and made a guitar album and I was like well what if Say Nothing was made into a guitar rock stadium sound, cause originally we had written it on piano. So I just got the guitars re-played by Graham Coxon, as you do and yeah, it was an amazing experience.
Would you collaborate with a lot of songwriters?
Johnny’s one of the only ones I’ve really collaborated with in terms of songwriters. I usually collaborate with producers or guitarists and I do all the lyrics. Johnny actually writes lyrics as well, so he’s quite unique on the album because everyone else was an electronic producer that I worked with. You know Feed Me, Venga, Scream, Dirty South. I went to the studio and played guitar and they turn the song into what you hear on the album. With Johnny, I just went down to his studio, played piano and sang along.
Say Nothing entered the charts at number two, were you disappointed or do chart positions matter to you anymore?
They do when you’re on the rise up. An increased chart position helps you put your mark on the industry. So you know, my first album had no chart hits, second album had three top twenty hits and the last album had two number one hits. When you’ve had four albums the charts tend not to matter anymore, I tend to focus more on gig bookings and selling out tours, if I never got another number one hit it wouldn’t bother me, as long as the songs don’t come in as low as 46th or something, that’s when radio stations deem you irrelevant!
Your next single, Close Enemies got its first airing on Wednesday, how has the feedback been?
Yeah, great. everyone seems to love it. Close Enemies pretty much sums up the sound of the new album, where as I mentioned earlier, I’ve gone to more a guitar based sound. That in itself will always draw criticism as people will undoubtedly moan and say “Oh I preferred when he did dubstep” or “I loved when he rapped” but as an artist you’ve got to be constantly changing. Take David Guetta for example, I think he’s a really intelligent guy and has been very successful but I find his music very boring, it’s always the same beats, same production. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a nice guy but his music’s boring.
Are you looking forward to the gig in the O2 in February?
Yeah, of course. It’s been quite a progression since I played a uni ball in Limerick five years ago. Since then I’ve done gigs all over the place, I think my first Dublin gig was in the Academy, I did a set with just a DJ there and then another one with the full band and then I moved on to the Olympia. You guys don’t have any middle ground venues, do you? I mean I’m going from around 1,000 people at the Olympia to something like 15,000 at the O2. Hopefully I’ve enough fans to fill the place. If I do, I’ll probably have Arthur and tonight to thank.
New album, The Evolution of Man is out in November, have you any plans to try to break America with it?
I don’t like that term, ‘break America’, I think people have become too obsessed with it but I understand you have to ask. I don’t think I’m bothered, if it happens then great but I’m happy as it is. Why would I go to Boston and play to 500 people, losing money in the process, when I can go to Abu Dhabi and play to 20,000? It just doesn’t make sense.
That’s right, you’ve got a lot of touring coming up, shouldn’t you be resting your foot?
Yeah I damaged my Achilles tendon, I can just about touch them now, they were extremely sore. But I’ve been resting up quite a bit and I’m looking forward to some great gigs, taking in China, Australia, Dubai, South Africa and then the Arena tour starts.
Are there any Irish acts you’ve been listening to lately?
Let me think, well Craig Doyle recommended I listened to the Frames at the Storehouse last night so I checked them out on Youtube when I got back to the hotel and was quite impressed. I’ll definitely be looking to listen to a lot more of them over the next while.
Example’s 4th studio album The Evolution of Man is due out on November 18th of this year. He plays the O2, Dublin on February 21st 2013 with tickets priced at €35 going on sale on October the 5th from Ticketmaster and all usual outlets.