The Early November’s Ace Enders Discusses His Emo Roots and Acoustic Leanings
New Jersey's Early November are one of the most celebrated emo bands of the early 2000s. They put out some near-flawless, passionate and sad (albeit in a good way) albums like 'The Room's Too Cold,' which, in 2003, could be heard blasting from the car windows in many high school parking lots. Four years later, the Early November went on hiatus, allowing frontman Ace Enders to establish himself as a solo artist under the names Ace Enders and a Million Different People and I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody's Business.
The Early November reassembled in 2011 and released their comeback record, 'In Currents,' the following year via Rise Records. Enders, who recently wrapped up a full-band acoustic tour, took some time off to answer a few of our questions.
With a name like Ace, do you play poker?
I wish. I actually had a brief point in my life where I thought I could, and I actually just lost a bunch of money. I didn't do well with it. It didn't work out.
Why 'The Early November' and not 'The Late May' or 'The Middle July'?
It was the early 2000s. I had just graduated high school and everybody [else] was going back to school and I guess I was just very emo. It was a lyric from a song I had written at the time and I think that was really the only reason for the name. It was the peak of emo in my life as well.
Do people think you're from Canada because of your band's maple leaf logo?
Always. Absolutely. For example, when we played the Canadian dates of last year's Warped Tour, they were our biggest merch days because we had the maple leaf on all of our stuff. So it worked out kind of well.
What got you into the habit of writing sad songs like 'Ever So Sweet'?
I'd have to say it goes back to me being socially awkward. I didn't have all that many friends and in school, I was one of the slow, "special" kids, so I was in all these classes that I was embarrassed to be in. So I just played music and wrote songs about my feelings. It helped me feel [like I was] a part of a community and normal.
Why do emo bands have to ruin nice love songs with a few tragic lyrics?
It's just in our DNA. It's in my body to be negative. There's been so many times I've written a song for, let's say, a pop artist -- since I've been working with some -- and it's funny because every time I do a co-write with someone, [they say something] like, "I like that. It's just really sad." The message could be good, but it just turns into a sad song. I don't know, it's just how I'm programmed.
Why are you so fond of acoustic touring both solo and with a full band?
If you know me, I'm extremely socially awkward. I think when it comes to acoustic music, it's usually [performed in] smaller venues and more personal. It's just more comfortable for me a lot of the times. [Acoustic shows] have been some of the best shows as far as the crowd's energy. Also, it's hard to tour nowadays because everything in the world is so expensive. Being in a band, you don't really make all that much money unless you're poppin', so [touring acoustically] is a lot more cost-effective. If I toured with a full band every time, we probably wouldn't be touring at all
In what ways can you make a mess like nobody's business as your solo project's name suggests?
In all ways. I like to think that I'm good at doing most things wrong.
The Early November's 'In Currents' is available now on CD, digital and vinyl formats. Get details on the record here.
Watch Enders do a lot of things right while playing 'Ever So Sweet' last month: