Ace Enders is a lot of things. He's a dynamic and versatile songwriter, as his time fronting The Early November and I Can Make A Mess has shown. But he's also as hardened a Warped Tour veteran as you can find, having played at least a portion of the tour in six different years to date.
Enders just began his 2013 stint on Warped playing the main stage with his recently revived primary band, The Early November. After a hiatus of several years, the group put out In Currents via Rise Records last year and is on Warped for the first time since 2006. But the busy Enders also just released Enola via his side project, I Can Make A Mess, and will be performing solo sets under that moniker in Warped's Acoustic Basement as well.
It'll be a busy summer for Enders, but he took the time to give us his personal guide to Warped Tour, including what to expect from the lineup this year, how the tour has changed since The Early November was last on it in 2006, which band he's most excited to watch all summer and some tips on how to survive the heat when you're out at your local date.
What To Expect from This Year's Lineup
Well, the best way I can say it is, really I'm not 100% sure what to expect. Obviously the first time we did it was 11 years ago and we were on the [now defunct] Drive-Thru Records Stage and it was much different back then. We were much different people and all that. I think the headlining bands that year were Midtown and like, Less Than Jake or something. It was a whole different scene, a whole different world, that's what it feels like anyway.
But I think the thing that you always like about Warped Tour, this is like the fifth or sixth one that I've done or something, it's really a whole summer of fun, it's a really cool atmosphere. All the bands, no matter what style you are, everybody's always really respectful and nice to each other. You end up hanging out with people you would have never even imagined hanging out with. So I think in that respect I’m extremely excited for it.
As far as the shows go, I think the blend of music that's usually there is a good thing because it opens you up to different types of people that you wouldn't be with. I mean, sometimes it can be a little scary when you’re the acoustic guy next to the hardcore stage, but that’s gonna happen when you play any festival. So I'm looking forward to it and I think it’ll be a good summer.
How To Survive the Heat All Summer
Well, a lot of water, definitely, and as much shade as possible. It's an extremely grueling tour...you look forward to doing it so much all year, and by the time you get here, by the first day pretty much you’re like, "Oh my God, I forgot how hot this actually is, and how draining this tour can be."
You know, one of the things that I always say is just stay out of the sun as much as possible. I know that that’s extremely hard to do, but I don’t know man. It's important to take breaks through the day. It’s just one of those things that after two months of it, I’m sure at the end of those seven weeks I'll have at least a week of just body recovery.
On our first Warped Tour, the guy that we had driving, by the first weekend he had heat exhaustion or whatever. He didn’t sleep during the day and at night when he was driving, he fell asleep at the wheel and flipped over and we lost all of our stuff. Thankfully nobody was hurt, but you really have to be careful. We learned that real early on in our Warped Tour experience. Don't overdo it, try to take it easy, because making it through a whole day, let alone the whole summer, is not easy.
Reaching Younger Fans
I’d say that’s one of the big reasons for us to get out on the tour this year, or one of the big things that we're hoping for. We're hoping the younger generation of kids will have a chance to get out in front of our music. So we're really looking forward to that opportunity.
How Warped Helped Shape The Early November
I'd say the 2004 Warped Tour was extremely important, we were on the main stage that year and it was probably one of the coolest feelings ever. I think at that point in our young careers, a few years before, no one had ever heard of us. And then were playing the main stage. It was nuts. It definitely helped us out and made us not only look like a bigger band, or more professional, it made us feel like we were achieving something.
Growing up we all went to Warped Tour a ton of times, so it’s one of those things thats a mile marker. Like, "Wow, I can’t believe that this is happening." That definitely helped push us. We’re extremely thankful for that. I remember getting the call where they said, “Kevin wants to put you guys on the main stage,” and it blew my mind. So that's one of those things that Warped Tour can do that has that power. Anytime you see that with a young band, it's awesome.
The One Must-See Band this Summer
One of the bands I know we're real good friends with is The Wonder Years, and we've known them for a while, we’ve done tours with them and whatnot. We just shared a bus with them for the Slam Dunk Festival and just seeing how they’ve developed in their careers is so exciting and amazing. The places that they're going as a band is really cool to watch.
So I’m excited to see that they’re on the main stage this year. I’m really looking forward to seeing all of it and taking it all in because they’re on one of those tracks as a band right now where it seems like they keep gaining more and more steam. So I’m super, super excited for them, and just can’t wait to watch them every day. I think that's gonna be cool.
The Early November's Future Plans
Well, I think this is, as far as right now, this is the rest of our plan for the year. We’re not really doing too much else. We’re old men. I’m sure Warped Tour is gonna take its toll on us, on our bodies. I’m just joking. I think it's pretty much what we’ve been leading everything up to, and we’ll be able to gauge or see what’s gonna happen for us.
Is A New Album Finished?
I mean, I like to work a lot. I like to write a lot. I mean we could be done with an album. We’ll see. We’ve got some stuff in the works, we’ve got some stuff cooking. And I think we're gonna be deciding exactly what we’re doing. But there's stuff brewing.