Interview: Editors at This Is Tomorrow


Editors played an electrifying set on the This Is Tomorrow 2019 on Saturday 25th May. Tessa Bury managed to catch Ed from the band before the performance to talk about Newcastle and collaborating with producers such as Jackknife Lee (Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian) and Blanck Mass (aka Benjamin John Power from Fuck Buttons)…

The sound of Editors always evolves from album to album. What motivates the band to do this?

It’s always been really important to us to discover new sounds. If we’re in the studio we don’t really mind where they come from but we try and incorporate new technology every time we’re in with each other. We try and use samples and things like that. I mean we just did some recording with Jackknife Lee over in America and we were a bit influenced by African music that we were hearing at the time. You know it sort of goes in phases, everybody will go through those phases. I think with us we haven’t hidden it behind what we usually do. It always comes pretty much to the front of what we’re doing and that usually makes all the other music on whichever record we’re working on go towards that way. So rather than having a set sound we’ve always been desperate to get away from that on every single record so whatever is inspiring us at the start of a session will lead us into how that record is going to turn out.

How does playing newer tracks compare to playing your older ones in a live setting?

They’re [older songs] important. They’re important to some of the people that have grown up with them. I think when you go back to ‘Munich’ and ‘Smokers…’ they’re sort of 10, 15 years old now. So people have connected their experiences through their lives with them. You get people who, when their music is really important to them, they tell you about it- they met their future husband or wife to it or there’s a certain moment in time that the song speaks to them about and we can’t- and we never will take that for granted or shy away from it. I think it’s so important to blend what you used to do with what you do now because it’s all part of this story so it feels pretty good. I mean we’ve never had a gig where we haven’t played ‘Munich’. We’ve probably dropped everything else along the way for a little bit but that’s ever present in the, I don’t know the 1000 plus gigs we’ve done. You think it would get boring but something like that it’s just such an important piece of music for us as a band that it will never get boring. I don’t think. The day that gets boring is probably the day we’d sort of have to knock it all on the head.

For record Store Day you collaborated with Blanck Mass on your most recent release. How did this collaboration come about?

Well we were listening to his record ‘World Eater’. Sort of going back to [how] what we do at the start of a record influences us and at the start of ‘Violence’ we listened in our rehearsal studio or in the evenings or [when] we were just hanging out at home taking about stuff, playing music. That was- ‘World Eater’ was one of the records that we listened to and we couldn’t believe it. We couldn’t believe the excitement of the electronic music and that was what we wanted to incorporate into our thing at the time. So we just kind of worked on some songs, sent him a song called ‘Barricades’ which is on the ‘Blanck Mass Sessions’ and he sent it back and we just couldn’t believe how much he had done just to liven it up. We had given him a fairly straight forward ballady rock song and he just sprinkled some sort of electronic madness on it and it really whetted our appetite to work with him… It was immediate like “I know that sort of sound, that blend can work throughout the rest of the tracks on that record”. So we worked with him on ’Violence’ and then we took him to a more band-y place after he’d messed about with that but ‘Barricades’ was the track that we didn’t touch again. We just left that as his work and then we decided that the other tracks on that ‘Blanck Mass EP’ were different enough to what we’d released on ‘Violence’ to warrant everybody hearing them and sort of seeing the meanderings of our work to what was a full record with ‘Violence’. That was a really meandering answer but you know what I mean.

We started doing demos, got inspired by Blanck Mass, he did his work on the songs that we sent him, most of the songs on the record. then we moved to another producer Leo Abrahams and we sort of made it a bit more band-y so made our human impression and that’s how we ended up with violence but then of course we had that work in the middle which was purely Ben [Blanck Mass]. We felt with ‘Barricades’ we really needed to release that track so [that] gave it a little grouping of tracks to get together and make a bit more of an impression than just to put one track out randomly… I made more sense.

If Editors could collaborate with any other artists or producers in future who would it be and why?

We’ve been really lucky with the level of producers we’ve used. People like Flood, Jackknife Lee… [We worked with] Jim Abbiss when we started out as well who was doing all the bands [at the time] you know Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys it was nuts… and we’ve done the sort of self produced stuff as well. We’ve used Jacquire King who worked with Kings Of Leon so we’ve done the whole range of different producers. Superstars, Grammy winners and then we’ve done our own thing as well by doing it ourselves.

Personality wise I dunno. I think when we found Blanck Mass- I think we’d like to just stumble across somebody rather than have something planned. I think if we’re inspired by something a certain producer is doing we’d get them involved at that time but we don’t really plan it.

What’s your personal favourite song to play live and why?

There’s a song we don’t play all the time actually, which is one of the reasons why I like it ‘cause when it comes in it feels like a bit of a treat. It’s a song from our first record called ‘Open Your Arms’. I just- I think I love the sentiment behind it as well as the musicality. It’s just sort of got a bit more of a connection to me with the lyrics than I usually get with other songs so that’s a good one.

How do you guys usually find Newcastle crowds?

Newcastle’s cool man. It’s sort of one of those [cities where] you can’t do it on every tour. It’s the sort of one every other one. Which, again having a sort of familiarity of a place is cool but sometimes if you come to something a bit more sparingly it’s better. It’s a wonderful place and our guitarist used to live here when he first joined the band and it’s just such a nice city to meander about. Before the rain started I went up onto the hill behind, had a wander and got a view of the city and it was really cool. It’s that perfect sized city isn’t it? It’s not too big, it’s friendly, people want to talk to you and it’s interesting. It’s architecturally exciting and it’s got a vibe to it. It comes across in the shows. I hope the rain doesn’t dampen the energy too much because it feels a bit set in.

Have you got any more projects that you’re planning on releasing during the rest of the year?

We’ve done some songs with Jackknife Lee recently. We worked with him on our second record so it was nice to join up with him ten, fifteen years later and see what had changed between the two of us. It turns out quite a lot and I think stuff we’ve written and recorded is much different to ‘An End Has A Start’ era and although it’s got that kind of anthemic quality sonically it’s very different and it just proves how much people learn along the way and people should sort of expand with who they work with and sort of explore new vibes really. So yeah we’ve done a few things with him and we’re trying to work out exactly what to do with them so hopefully we’ll play a few new ones tonight. So something hopefully isn’t too far around the corner.



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