We caught up with Example prior to his performance at this year’s Evolution Festival

Why should people pay to see you live rather than just buying your recorded material?

Without sounding too harsh but there’s not that many great live acts, and I think that one of the things I do well is put on a great live show, I think its entertaining.

I don’t feel like I’m the best singer in the country or the best rapper,  or the best looking, I haven’t got any high opinions of myself in that sense, but when it comes to the live show I’ve honed it over 7 years and 800 gigs.  In this time I have supported many artists and performed at arenas and festivals and I kind of know now exactly what to do…when to stop a song short and when to stick a remix in and how to place the order of the set and I think now we have one of the best live shows in the country.  Certainly that’s  the feedback we’re getting everywhere we go, from  all the UK tours and festival bookers.

Last year we were voted best act at V, I’m not saying this in a big headed way but I think to do well you’ve got to know what you are good at, I don’t think I’m better than Prodigy, but I aim to be the best.

You Supported Faithless Last Year What did you Learn?

I learnt a load off them, the thing with Faithless is that they were the best at what they did, they’re finished now (supposedly).

Firstly when you’re a support act you can’t have as many lights as them and your not allowed to be as loud so your really working with the bare minimum and so you just have to put on an amazing show.   I think every night by the last song or the last two songs we had most people bouncing which for a support act in that market, where they’ve an old audience, and they’re quite hard to please, was really great.

I learnt a lot from their sound, their lights, their production and that’s the benchmark really for me now.

Have you applied that into what you do?

Yes, straight away, we switched the equipment we use, got new personnel and started doing vigorous rehearsals.

When you see some dance acts and if the mix isn’t quite right, or the lights aren’t right then it lacks impact, that’s why at every festival I’m going to now I bring my own lights, which is quite rare unless you’re headlining, but I just want to have that impact.

On my new album Rollo and Blissy only produced one song, but there are three or four of the other songs, (trance/rave songs) that are influenced by that era, just big riff, emotional lyrics and uplifting. 

Have you learnt from your mistakes?

Yea, I don’t regret anything I’ve done in the music industry, I’ve made lots of mistakes but I’ve learnt from all of them.

Are you happy with what you have achieved in the UK or are you thinking about going International?

I’m doing another UK tour in November / December and were doing a couple of nights at Brixton, which I think is a good sort of identification of where you are at, I think it’s a milestone for a lot of artists. I sold out Shepherds Bush Empire for two nights in a row and that’s a local venue for me so that was pretty exciting.

We’ve got some dates pencilled in O2 Arena next year but we’ll have to see how things go,  to do that would be less than two years after we supported Faithless there if we sell that out and that would be a sign of how far I’ve come.

We’re doing Australian festivals in October, I’ve had a few hits in France and Germany and then I’m doing Dubai, New Zealand, Singapore. 

A lot of people ask about America, but I always think about America, don’t try and force feed them because they’ve got so much music.  I think the best way to go there is wait until there is a demand, wait until you are played on a TV show or a film trailer and then go and try and hit it hard, because otherwise you go there and end up wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds touring with not much in return.

How hard is it for bands to get into the industry today, what kind of advice would you give, pitfalls?

I’ve done it over 7, 8 years so, I’ve had to learn everything myself, slowly, over that period, but I’ve actually enjoyed it because I feel now that I’m getting bigger now, I wasn’t ready for what I’m doing, 4, even 2 years or 3 years ago, but it all seems to make sense now.

The main advice I would give to people is be patient, and sometimes the longer it takes the better it is.  I think I’m going to have a lot more longevity now because I have found my niche on my third album I’ve learnt how to put on the best live show and know exactly what to talk about in my songs now, and I know what my market is.

Also I believe that artists should try and do everything themselves, social networking is really important, but try and book your own gigs, try and shoot your own videos, try and do your own artwork it’s almost better to be discovered as a complete package, or a half finished package, then you can dictate to the label what you want to do.

If you look at  Ed Sheeran, he went on tour with me , his EP was top 10 on iTunes by himself, so  when he signs for a  major he can say what he wants to do as he has a track record rather than the record label telling him.  Whereas if you’ve come off a talent show, or your plucked straight out of the Brit school, you’re not going to have as much influence over your own stuff.

So how do you cope with all the travelling to all of these festivals?

I exercise every day, I have to go for a run because it’s the only thing that keeps me sane, to clear my head.

Example is appearing at the following festivals in GB

We The People Festival
Summer Break 2011
Rockness 2011
Glastonbury Festival 2011
Wireless Festival 2011   
Lounge On The Farm
Lovebox Weekender
The Big Chill
Summer Sundae Weekender
V Festival (Staffordshire)
V Festival (Chelmsford)
Shakedown Festival