Friday, 5 March 2010

Interview - Editors

Since forming in 2002, Editors’ gothic smothering of indie rock has seduced a worldwide fan base. Now with the release of their third album, In This Light and On This Evening, the four-piece have once again drawn a breath, taken their sound to a new level and nailed it. Embarking on their twenty date UK tour this weekend, Noize caught up with drummer, Ed Lay, to discuss fame in the US, their live shows and new material;

Hi Ed, so where in the world are you now?
I’m just enjoying a couple of days at home, which is always nice. It’s good preparation before the tour I suppose.

What kind of thing do you get up to when you find you have a bit of free time at home?
Laundry and a bit of cleaning of my broken house. All the really exciting stuff.

All very exciting. What was last year like for you? Was a lot of it spent in the studio working on the new album?
The first part of it was getting the new record together obviously and that’s good for a band to be off the road and writing new songs. When you form a band that’s what you want to do; create albums. So that was a good start and since it’s been released, our feet haven’t really hit the floor. We’re a touring band. I think the best way to get our songs out there is to play live, so we played an awful lot of songs in a short space of time, and it doesn’t look like stopping until the end of the year like.

What was the album-making process for the third album? Was it harder or do you have a sort of system that works?
There’s no system involved. If you start to think about a formula for writing songs you’re going to be in trouble and write really boring songs. We just wanted to write something a little bit different for us. We thought about how to put the songs together a little more but in fact, recording the album was probably the easiest one we’ve done so far. When we first went in for our debut record, we were all slightly nervous and that was bound to happen going into a professional studio for the first time. For the second record, we wanted to get it done as quickly as possible and we were writing songs in the studio. But for the third record we’d rehearsed, we’d kind of been on tour for so long, we were so ready to get back into the studio and just get on with it.

Is there an album you love you play live because of certain drumming sequences or tracks?
[Laughs] Sort of! Purely selfishly, the first two records are actually quite difficult ‘cause there are a lot of fast songs [laughs] But on the third album, it’s a bit more relaxing; there’s some real slow grooves in there.

So you’ve got your March tour starting soon, how are you feeling? As a ‘live band’, you must be pretty excited to get back out there?
We’ve literally just been in America for sort of three or four weeks so we’ve been playing this year and over Christmas we were in Australia, so we’re very settled in the sort of touring routine already. But to come back and play a really long stint in the UK, that’s cool for us. A lot of bands will only do a sort of week and a half, but we’re going to a lot more places on this tour. Some of the places and venues we haven’t been to and that’s interesting.

For a band who’s been touring as long as you have, that must be really good for you to be playing new venues and perhaps even towns you’d never played?
You’re right, we have been going quite a long time so we enjoy having more of a back catalogue to pick our set from so we’re going to see that for the first time. So we’re very excited about that, it’s taken a lot of people a lot of hard work to put it together.

With such a distinctive sound, how have you been received overseas?
Well we’ve always done pretty well over in US and have toured there quite a lot in the past. We tried to build up that following like we did in the UK throughout the years, so to go back there after 2 years away with a new record; we were really well received and really enjoyed our time there. You know, the American record industry is more fucked up than the English one is so it’s difficult to gage how well you’re doing in record sales and stuff. But seeing sold out venues there and stuff, it’s very positive.

Having played so many live shows over the past eight or so years, does playing live still have the same impact for you or has what it means to you changed?
I think it does. You feel more conscious about the audience I guess. It’s not just a personal feeling; you worry about what other people in the crowd are thinking. You just want it to be as perfect as possible every night. It’s only really on the very rare occasions that I get really nervous. As you say, we tour and play an awful lot of shows per year and some of them can be pretty big, you know festivals or our big headline shows. It takes something quite out of the ordinary to get me really nervous but that still is a buzz. To play all those gigs and suddenly get that feeling is a burst of nervous energy and that’s what we do it for I guess.

Are you going to try and squeeze anything else in this year?
There’s not a lot you can squeeze in but we all want to record a record as soon as possible. There’s not point sitting around and congratulating yourself about what you’ve done previously. You’ve got to go in there and record new material. So hopefully before the year is out, we’ll have either demoed some stuff or even got the opportunity to fully record some stuff. We’d quite like to get our own rehearsal space set up but that’s hard because we all live hundreds of miles away from each other.

The new record would be your fourth album, any idea where you would take your sound next? Any inspirations etc?
We’ve kind of spoken about it briefly but I don’t think there’s any point in planning; just see what we fall into; see what mood we’re in at the time of writing. We’d quite like to go a bit heavier. Not like cheesy rock heavy but something that’s got real muscle behind it. We all like live shows and going to see music that really hits you in face.

Bad news for your arms though...?
[Laughs] Yeah, it probably will be!

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