The Early November

By Andy

Ben – Firstly, if you could just introduce yourself?
Ace – I’m Ace, I sing and play guitar and do all sorts of stuff in The Early November.

Ben – Last time you were here was with Allister and Homegrown on the Drive-Thru Invasion Tour and now you’re supporting The Starting Line – are you building up to a headline tour?
Ace – I think so. Right now we’re not big enough to do one over here yet, but next time hopefully will be a headline tour. Even this time, the amount of people that come out and know us is just great compared to last time.

Ben – Why is that?
Ace – I think the bands we’re associated with helps. We got lucky because Homegrown do very well and TSL does very well over here. And the label association, there’s a lot of Drive-Thru fans here too.

Ben – Have you found that people have been coming to see the bands you’re supporting and not paying attention to you?
Ace – It depends, some nights no one will be paying attention and others there’ll be kids loving it the whole time. It depends on the mood of the whole show, on how open everyone is. But this tour, kids seem to like the whole package.

Ben – What’s it like playing to a bunch of people that aren’t into it?
Ace – You could misunderstand the crowd, thinking that they’re not into. That’s the hardest part, looking at people and they’re on their phones, or if there’s a quiet part and everyone’s talking…that’s tough. But I feel like here you have to work for it and win people over, so we go out of our way to be as friendly as possible.

Ben – How is it being at a different level here than you are at home?
Ace – It would feel like we’re doing it all again but we have a bus. We go from place to place, if people know us then awesome, if not then it’s time to work.

Ben – Do you feel as if you have to put more effort in when playing to TSL fans, in that this is a partisan crowd but not necessarily your crowd?
Ace – Sometimes you feel like that, but other times if they like it then they like it. It’s hit and miss.

Ben – How hard is it to pull yourself out of feeling crap for the twenty or thirty minutes that you have to play [Ace is nursing a cold and a shitty cough]?
Ace – For me it’s tough, I never prepare anything. I got sick right before we came out here and it just kills every night. When you’re onstage and the adrenaline’s pumping you can pull it off, but as soon as you finish it all comes down. Last night was rough. This morning I woke up like β€œaaaaargh.”

Ben – Does that add an extra barrier to touring? Does it increase the distance between where you are and where you think you should be?
Ace – I guess. Last night everyone was hanging out and having a good time and I just had to lay down. I’m not really the kinda guy that hangs out, I like to sit by myself anyway, but it makes it even worse when you’re like this.

Ben – Are you playing any new songs on this tour?
Ace – We’re playing one new one.

Ben – When’s the next release?
Ace – March

Ben – Does how you feel feed into the new record?
Ace – Definitely, it really does affect it. It goes every way. The next record’s actually a triple CD. One’s more aggressive, one’s more laid back and one’s like a movie on a CD.

Ben – What is it like setting your sights so high?
Ace – At first it’s cool because you can do whatever you like, but then the pressure becomes the hardest thing. We had to take a bunch of breaks but we came through it. It was a weird experience.

Ben – Are you proud of it?
Ace – I am. Whatever anybody’s doing, you have to remember that you’re not making music to be cool or artsy or different, you’re just different.

Ben – In that case why did you decide to make it a triple CD?
Ace – I wanted to do something for myself that would be worth it for me.

Ben – It feels like TEN is quite personal to you, is it a band for people that feel lonely?
Ace – I think we are, in a way. I’d like it to be that whoever listens to us, if you want to feel better, if you want to relax with it…that would be my favourite. However anybody wants to take it is fine.

Ben – Is it strange releasing your songs into the public and having them read and interpreted in different ways?
Ace – No, because the reason why we release it is so people can do what they want with it. When people come up to us and say β€œthis song help me through this” and I think that that song had nothing to do with it I don’t mind, because it’s awesome that people can do that with our music.

Ben – Do you try and make your songs have a wide scope?
Ace – I try to keep it open. They’re all written with something in mind but I don’t want to make it too focussed or too out there.

Ben – When you were starting out what was the moment that you realised that this was the way you could make a living?
Ace – When our CD first came out and we saw people singing along for the first time was cool. Something that we did that we could enjoy together.

Ben – So is the idea of community and a collective catharsis important to your music?
Ace – Definitely.

Ben – What’s the next hurdle after this triple album?
Ace – I hope that we make it through, and that we all stick together and can make the next album a fun album. The only hurdle that is holding us back is ourselves.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]