Example is currently in the midst of a slew of festival appearances and gearing up for his headline tour in September and October. We managed to grab a few minutes with the man to catch up with what he’s been up to and his plans for the next few months.
Hi, how you doing? Where are you and what are are you up to?
I’m just in my flat in London, by Hyde Park. I was supposed to be doing some accounts work but I got distracted and have been watching Friends. You can’t avoid that programme. It’s always worth a watch though.
Even though you’ve already seen them all! Anyway, let’s talk about your album. Are you proud of it?
Of course! I’d been working on it for 18 months; it was a relief when it came out. I thought it was going to keep being written forever. I wrote 35 songs for it and only 14 went on, you just think when’s it going to end? When you’ve been working on something for two years, 18 months you need to stop and make a decision at some point.
The artwork for your album is pretty interesting. There’s a lot of you in it. Did you enjoy that?
We shot for a whole day for the album artwork. I just wanted it to be different to everything that’s out there at the moment. When you look at most album artwork it just seems to be a big image of a face with a serious look on it and a logo that’s difficult to read. Look on iTunes, with most artwork you can’t even read the name of the artist or album title. I wanted mine to be easily visible. My logo is simple but it works for that.
You clearly like dressing up looking at the photos from your new video. Was that fun to make?
Well, back in 2006/2007 my videos were all dressing up and telling stories. I mean, I’ve made about 15 music videos now. The last five have all been fun but quite serious. They’ve all been me, performing and dressed cool surrounded by hot brunette women. So this one is like an old cop drama with an ensemble cast. When you stick on the sideburns and the sunglasses you can’t help but get into character, that’s the genius of dressing up, I suppose.
You supported Lily Allen on her recent arena tour. That got you a more mainstream audience and brought you more attention. What do you think about that?
I’d played 300 gigs before that tour, it’s not like I was a newcomer. Lily Allen is one of the biggest acts in the world so I guess it did get me more mainstream attention. I was playing to 10,000 people a night. I supported Just Jack a few years ago too though, that’s quite mainstream. I just supported Tinchy Stryder and I’ve got Faithless support at the end of the year. The worst gig of the Lily Allen tour was Liverpool though. Everyone just stood there and stared at me. No one moved or got in to it at all compared to Nottingham or Birmingham where they were all jumping. Maybe it’s because Liverpool had just been knocked out of the Champion’s League… it was the same night.
You’ve been playing a lot of festivals this summer and have a few more coming up. What’s been your favourite so far?
I’ve got seven or eight more to play and I’ve already done ten. Wireless was good because it was in London, so it was local and I was on the main stage to loads of people. Glastonbury was legendary, it was just immense. We were on the same time as Snoop Dogg and still played to a packed tent of about 8000.
So, you have your own tour coming up in September and October. Are you looking forward to it?
Of course, it’s the main reason I do this job.
Looking forward to coming back to Liverpool?
Yeah, I’ve been back to Liverpool since the Lily Allen tour and they got into it. I also supported Tinchy Stryder in the Stanley Theatre there. That’s the worst venue; you want to see the backstage area. It’s like a crime scene! But it’s not all bad, I’m playing the O2 Academy and I think it’s pretty much sold out.
Are you playing anywhere you haven’t played before on this tour?
No, I’ve played 460 gigs in five years. When you play 100 gigs a year, there’s not many cities I haven’t played in. I’ve never played in Wigan actually; maybe I’ll play there one day.
So after your tour and Faithless at the end of the year, what’s in store?
Well, I’m going to Australia, doing a mini European tour and going to America. I have another UK tour planned for February and I’ve started writing my third album which should be out around this time next year.
Woah, you never seem to stop. Don’t you want to try and fit in a holiday or something? Just relax for a bit?
I’ve never got the time to think about going on holiday or relaxing because I’m always busy. If you’re too busy to think about being busy, it just keeps going. I’m not good with holidays anyway. I need to be active. I always find myself sitting on the beach and I just need to go for a run or go on an adventure or something. I’m not good at relaxing.
Maybe you should learn to meditate or something.
Maybe I should.
Well, thanks a lot for your time.
Example plays O2 Academy in Liverpool on 4th October and his new single “Last Ones Standing” is released on 12th September.