Example's New Album 'Live Life Living' Gets Special Remix Treatment From Static Revenger! [Interview]
UK singer and rapper Elliot John Gleave, better known to the public as Example, has taken his music to completely different territory with his fifth studio album, Live Life Living. Released on Epic Records in the UK and Ultra Records in the US, the album peaked at #8 on the UK albums charts and #1 on the UK dance music charts. Combining his illustrious rapping and singing skills that helped make a name for himself with a modern electronic club direction, Live Life Living showcases a variety of poppy progressive house tracks, heavy bass and dubstep-esque tunes, and Disclosure-esque house anthems, all topped with the very familiar and very likeable voice of Gleaves.
Example's ability to create and masterfully weave together an album that draws influences from such a wide spectrum of EDM should be applauded, as the first listen through Live Life Living seemed like an audial game of “Where’s Waldo” - a search to recognize the all-too-familiar sounds and synths that we’ve heard from many of our favorite genres. The lead single off the album "All The Wrong Places" draws from heavy techno and acid house roots, but the voice of Gleave turns this track from a heavy-hitting electro house tune to a more accessible mainstage anthem. However, to find the gems in this album, you have to look further than the singles that were released off of them. "Only Human" opens with a melodic riff before dropping into a heavy-hitting, grimey, dark techno track that serves its air time stronger in the back room of a UK club rather than at the mainstage of a festival. "Take Me As I Am" offers the listeners a chance to tease their ears with drum & bass sounds that are quite fitting to come out of the UK.
"10 Million People," a progressive and soothing house track, effortlessly combines Gleave's majestic vocal nuances between his rapping and singing, all the while driving listeners and dancers with it's catchy, dancefloor-certified groove. Static Revenger, a deep house icon in his own right, has taken the original's club-vibes and piano-driven melody and rewired it with a bouncy and deep bassline perfect for any late-night party. EDM.com is proud to present ane exclusive interview Static Revenger conducted with Example, where they discussed the inspirations for the new album, future career plans, and seemingly everything in between.
[Static Revenger = SR; Example = EX]
SR: Hey El! Thanks for letting me crash the party and remix "10 Million People." I knew I wanted to get my hands on it when I heard it months ago in demo form - I love this song! Where there any particular inspirations for it?
EX: Thanks! Your mix is great by the way. This whole album is like a love letter to the 90's. We started off with a big piano riff that pushed a "hands in the air" feel. I was watching this documentary on illegal rave culture in the early 90's on Youtube. They interviewed this guy from Liverpool and asked him why he was at the rave and that it might all be a passing fad. He replied with, "10 million people can't be wrong!". It doesn't even make sense, as it's just a number he plucked out of nowhere, but it really resonated with me.
SR: The production on your original version is amazing, who produced and mixed the original version?
EX: Thanks man! I co-produced it with Fraser T. Smith. Then there's a new kid I'm working with from the Hard House scene called Critikal - he added some layers as well. Then Wez Clarke mixed it for us. He's done my last 4 albums.
SR: Seeing you at Ultra Music Festival this year was great - your fan base here in the states seems to be enthusiastically growing. That stage filled up very quickly when you started your set! There were flags from around the world flying, which pushes me to ask - any plans for a tour here?
EX: It was cool seeing your side of stage! I was a bit anxious and I'm not usually like that. Not in Europe or Australia - I'm always confident we'll have a big crowd. But as you say - it filled up nicely. Afterward so many people tweeted me saying "Wow, I have never seen a show like that, so much energy." Basically, we've had live electronic acts around for years - as you know all too well yourself - right now it's all about DJ's. In Europe we're used to seeing a live electronic band. Maybe a lot of youngsters in the US who are into EDM are not aware there's other ways to enjoy live music. I think this is why we had such a surprising reaction to our show in Miami. It was like "You have a drummer?!" I will come and tour the US if and when there is enough demand for me!
SR: Your collaboration with Calvin Harris on "We’ll Be Coming Back" is one of the all time greatest anthems, providing the platform for some of the biggest Main Stage moments of the last year. Since Calvin is known for writing and recording his own vocals, how did this collab come to be?
EX: All time you reckon? Thanks Dennis! I toured with Calvin in 2008 when he had a live band and was a singer, and not a DJ. A lot of US fans may not be aware of this. I was his support act for about 15 gigs. He also produced a track called "Time Machine" on my second album Won't Go Quietly. He sent me the backing track for "We'll Be Coming Back." I liked it. We got together in the studio and worked for a few days writing and recording it. Calvin writes a lot of his songs and other people sing the vocals, but on this song he pretty much let me do all the words even though he had a big input on the melody.
SR: You are known as a very hands-on person when it comes to curating your remix packages. Tell us a little bit about how you discover new music and anyone up and coming we should keep our eyes out for.
EX: I just listen to a lot of specialist radio shows on Radio 1. I meet lots of other artists and they recommend people, and then you catch their sets at festivals. I've always commissioned my own remixes - ever since 2006 which seems like a long time ago now. The package on the new single features your good self but also Eli & Fur and Kove - worth checking them out too.
SR: Who was the first person to embrace what you were doing as an artist? The person that made you feel like, "Yeah… I can do this. I’m on to something here."
EX: My manager was a big influence. I used to make rap demos just as a hobby. He heard my stuff, invited me to meet him (he had also discovered The Streets and Plan B) and he basically said he thought I was a star but hadn't yet found my voice/sound. This was in 2005, but I feel like I'm still finding new voices and sounds I didn't know I had in me. When Pete Tong first played one of my songs on national radio at the end of 2005 it was a huge moment for me
SR: Getting that first Tong play is always exciting, it's like a right of passage. Do you remember the first concert you attended?
EX: I think it was Michael Jackson! But I don't remember much of the gig, just a few moments - it was so long ago. The one that sticks in my mind was Wu-Tang Clan at Brixton Academy in the mid 90's.
SR: Was there a moment that you remember where the idea of a career in music was for you? Like, "I’m going to do THAT…"
EX: I think after I got my second record deal with Ministry Of Sound in 2008 I started taking things seriously. It had been a bit of fun and games before all that. I started working with a higher caliber of producers, sorted out my image (somewhat!), starting singing and even I tried to write songs rather than just verses! I've since got into producing and also directing my own videos.
SR: A lot of EDM.com subscribers are up and coming producers - any quick advise for them toward achieving a career in music?
EX: I think the key thing I've always found is try to do as much stuff by yourself, if you can only write then learn to produce, if you can only produce then learn to sing. Be as active and creative on social media as possible and keep a great team around you. All of the most successful people I know in the electronic world run a small tight ship - great manager, great tour manager, a key associate at a record label and that's it. You don't need an entourage and you dont need 15 people all whispering in your ear telling you different things and all offering their advice.
SR: Alright dude! Thanks for taking the time, tell the missus we said hello, and congraulationsts on all the good news! Hope to see you soon.
EX: The missus says "Hellllooo!" Cheers man!
Live Life Living is available on iTunes here, so be sure to check out the album and give a listen to Static Revenger's awesome remix of "10 Million People!"