We caught up with Editors front-man Tom Smith on the eve of the band’s performance at this year’s Reading and Leeds festival to discuss their recent documentary, life in the US and the bands’ latest album The Weight of Your Love:
What made you decide to make a documentary about the band’s recent issues when the normal state of play for bands would be to keep this stuff under wraps?
I think it was important to be honest about everything really. Fans were gonna want to know what happened with Chris and then the making of the record, plus we were gonna get asked about it anyway so to put together a film, documenting the recording and having us talk openly about the whole thing seemed right. After all it is the first record we’ve made where there’s been a proper “story” involved in the making of it, seems silly not to tell it.
What did you make of the US and Nashville in particular?
We liked Nashville a lot. As we do many parts of the states. It’s a driving town like many cities in America, we spent a lot of time together crammed into the car surfing the radio stations watching it all go by. It was fun. We found places to hang out too, the more left field and studenty bars and coffee shops etc away from the cowboy hats and country music of downtown. Great BBQ food too, we all put on a few pounds.
How has working with the Tom Waits and Kings of Leon producer Jacquire King altered the sound of the new album, if at all?
Not too much, he helped us capture great takes and made sure the sounds were right but we had a strong idea of how 80% of the record was gonna feel and sound before we went there. He makes bands sound great but not in an overproduced way, I think his records have soul.
You’ve been through a lot of changes as a band, but how do you think you’ve changed as individuals since The Back Room?
I’d like to think we’re a little wiser. I know personally I’m less worried about the bullshit that can come with being in a band. It’s our 4th record, that longevity breeds confidence within yourself, it’s empowering in a way. I like us all more the older we get.
A few people have said that the new sound is U2-ish, how do you feel about being compared to the likes of Bono?
I’m cool with it.
This year, you’re playing the main stage at Reading and Leeds for the second time – how do you think it will compare to when you played it in 2008.
I think it’ll be very similar.
You made your debut at Reading on the NME stage in 2005 – did you expect you’d still be around eight years later, playing the main stage?
Totally, it sounds arrogant I guess, but definitely a small part of me thought that’d be the case. I wouldn’t have shouted it at the time but if you’d have poked me for an answer that’s what I’d have said.
Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year’s festival?
My boys are coming to Reading, I wont have seen them for over a week so them definitely. Sod the music.
What does the next 12 months hold for the Editors?
Loads of shows up until Christmas then we’re not sure yet. Need a planning meeting or something! I know I’m gonna get stuck into writing.
Oh and could you play Brixton Academy soon as it is really near my flat? I would be very grateful, thanks!
You are in luck!
Editors are touring throughout the UK in November and tickets go on general sale from 9am on Friday August 30.