Drugs! They're amazing! Except — seriousface alert — when they're not.
It makes you think, doesn't it.
Here is a song (Example's new single, as it happens) that is sort of about that sort of thing. It had its first play on Annie Mac's show on Friday night, although you will no doubt remember that we 'reviewed' it in May.
As it happens we recently asked Example about this tune, and here is what happened.
So, ‘Stay Awake’.
It’s about a generation of kids taking too much drugs. Will the country be able to operate ten or fifteen years from now if this generation keeps on taking drugs? I recorded it and then I started thinking, ‘are people going to like this? Will people buy it? Will radio like it?’. And then I thought, ‘do you know what, fuck it, I like the song’.
So it poses the question…
Yes, but it doesn’t offer any answers.
So what is going to happen?
I don’t know because I can’t see into the future.
I mean there were a lot of people getting fucked in the 60s and 70s but I don’t think it was on the same scale as what I see now, I mean I don’t think it’s all kids but I do come into contact with a lot and they’re on MCAT or ketamine. When I was at school there was a lot of weed about — which I’ve never really been into because it’s never agreed with my lungs — but cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine, I didn’t know what they were when I was 14. And now they’re doing it at shows! And I just felt the need to talk about it. I’m hoping it doesn’t alienate everyone.
So basically you think everyone needs to calm down?
Erm… I think they do need to calm it down a bit. I think everyone has it in them to stop. Some people will always become addicts, it just depends on your strength of character. I’m happy in a way that I didn’t try drugs until I was in my 20s because I feel like I was old enough to make a decision and I’m in control of it now, I can pick and choose if I want to do something. At 14 I don’t know if you’re ready to make that decision. I’m not trying to do it in a ‘lecture’ way or in an ‘isn’t this cool’ way. I just want to pose questions I suppose.
Are you, as they say, 'starting a conversation'?
I just thought after the last album… Well, whilst I thought the production and the melodies and the lyrics were high level, it didn’t have much substance to it. Good songs, but they didn’t really pose any questions. Apart from 'Kickstarts' which got people emotional. But the darker stuff, I think, tends to connect more. As much as I’m an artist and I want to make music I like, I’m also a businessman and I will look at what sells then I’ll do my take on it. A lot of artists won’t admit that, they’ll be all like ‘oh it’s all about the music’ but deep down you don’t want to make a record nobody’s going to buy, do you?
Some people say they don’t mind.
And some people just make shit albums. Like I did, five years ago.
Interesting stuff. Well, fairly interesting. Let's give that song another listen shall we?