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EDITORS

EDITORS
September 10, 2007 | Author: James Manson. Pics by Marty Williams

editors1With their second album, An End Has a Start debuting at number one in the UK, Birmingham band , Editors made a lightning visit to our shores and finally gave Australian audiences the chance to experience first hand what all the hype has been about. As well as a powerful show at Splendour in the Grass, the band presented impressive live shows in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. AM’s James Manson spoke to the rhythm section, bass player Russell Leetch and drummer Ed Lay at the Hi Fi Bar in Melbourne before sound check.

AM: So how does it feel to see a recording like An End Has a Start  reduced to stars in review, especially if it is a bad review written by a journalist who may never have picked up an instrument in their life?

Russell: The thing is, I bet they have played an instrument and I bet that it has been absolute wank.(laughs) I think journalists are generally lazy. I don’t think there are writers out there any more where you buy a magazine just to see what they have to say. I think the internet is great for listening to stuff so people can make up their own mind. Yeah, it stings when you get a bad review and it’s great when you get a good one. All of ours have been completely conflicting and all over the place which is interesting.

Ed: There seems to be no consistency, even in their own review. At first it’s praising one side of it and then it contradicts itself, you take everything with a good pinch of salt.
Russell: You know, you get bands like Arcade Fire that get praised globally that journos love. It’s like ‘OK, fine’, but you know…

AM: Arctic Monkeys?
Russell: Their records aren’t like amazing as everyone says they are. I don’t think so anyway, that’s my opinion.

AM: The Editors are compared to many different bands and Tom, your lead vocalist is often compared to various singers, Joy Division’s Ian Curtis to name one in particular. How do you feel about this?
Russell: I guess it is a reference point which is fine. We get compared to a lot of 80s bands and what was good in the 80s is that there were all these bands that came out, and there was all this music which was great, and there wasn’t like this bickering, you know. Editors or Interpol, we are just two bands doing something not that apart but you get slagged for it.
Ed: Well, you can either like us both or not like us at all. it’s kind of indicative of popular culture when everybody wants everything to be different. it doesn’t matter if it is good, it has to be different or it has to be new or a bit more exciting. Nobody can have sort of a classical idea of how to write a song, it’s not about that. It has to have some kind of quirk. It’s so frustrating everybody wants to write about something that nobody has seen before. They want to make a name for themselves and that’s where journalism has really got a problem.

AM: Garrett Lee, who produced An End Has a Start is obviously a massive talent. Can you tell us a little bit about what it was like to work with him?
Russell: He’s good, he’s crazy and he is enthusiastic about music. He was really enthusiastic about our band which is important. He was the one going “I really want to make a record with you” which I don’t think happens so much in music these days. Usually bands go to people these days and say can you work with us and the producers go ” how about a million pounds and 25 points on your record thank-you.”
Ed: Yeah, and they will sit there drinking coffee while the engineer does all the work. Garrett is very hands on. And I was gonna say that he knows exactly what he wants but that’s not true, but when he gets, it he knows. It was a hard work in process. We were worked really hard by him and ourselves. The connection between us and Garrett was really strong.

editors2AM: So what did you learn from Garrett Lee in regard to the recording process?
Russell: Everything really.  We had a lot more time in the studio. The first record is pretty much a live album recorded in two and a half weeks, this one was recorded in like three months. Ed had five different drum kits at least and some of the songs have at least three different drum kits playing the same part just to add texture.
Ed: Yeah, that’s where you pay money for a producer and spend time trying to make an album that is unique. That’s why it is such a shame that everybody listens to music on mp3 now.
Russell: We tried to make a big modern rock record, you know … record like twenty five guitars and why not … just make it really rocking.

AM: Why did Cenzo Townsend mix the album rather than Garrett Lee?
Russell: It’s just a really good collaboration they’ve got going. When we worked with Garret for the first time on a song called Bullets we weren’t happy with the mix that he did and basically Cenzo mixed our first album and he is a great mixer, so we said let’s give it to Cenzo. Garrett was like … wow … he does it a lot better than me. It’s a collaboration that they have done ever since … the Bloc Party record was mixed by Cenzo and produced by Garrett Lee and so was Snow Patrol and REM’s is going to be as well.

AM: Cenzo mixed An End Has a Start at the famous Olympic studios. Did you get to sit in and have an input?
Ed: Yeah, yeah.
Russell: We’ve been down there loads but we more or less let Cenzo get on with it and then have a listen in the evening or take it home as a wav. file and listen to it on the speakers at home. We don’t need to really go into the studio, but it is nice to go in there and hang out a bit.

AM: You were obviously on a deadline to complete the album?
Russell: No, we weren’t on a deadline, We could have taken as much time as we wanted but we didn’t want to lose any momentum that was generated by our first record. We had the songs, we were happy and that’s why we have an album out.

AM: Unlike many bands all four members share the song-writing credits.
Ed: Each song is different. Some are very much near completion when we get them but some are works in progress so ya gotta weigh it up. We’ve got a fair thing going on and we all put a lot of effort into it. We all share the press, we all share the touring and we all come up with ideas.
Russell: Tom is the lyricist and he comes up with most of the chord progressions but from there it changes.

editors3

AM’s James Manson (left) with Editors’ Russell and Ed

AM: Lights was played on Neighbours not so long ago. Do you feel like you have really hit the big-time now?
Ed: Absolutely!
Russell: This is our first time over here in Australia and we were here when it was played on Neighbours in the UK
Ed: And all our phones went mental, text messages and messages from all our friends who should really know better.
Russell: Yeah, that’s a big thing. It was a huge program when we were growing up, everybody watched it after school and it was pretty insane that we were played on it. Apparently we were the soundtrack to someone having a mental breakdown.

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