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The write stuff
New kids on the rock block, Editors are one of this year's hottest tickets.
John Walshe, 05 Sep 2005
This year has been the stuff of fairytales for Editors. Their debut, limited edition single, ‘Bullets’, had the music press and DJs all of a lather. Follow-up, ‘Munich’, saw them break the UK Top 30. Sell-out gigs inevitably followed, culminating in the release of their debut album in July.
“Over the last six months, things have really escalated and rollercoastered,” grins guitarist Chris Urbanowicz. “Before that, things went really slowly. So we feel that we’re justifying it now. After being so patient, now we can be a bit impatient.”
The ‘Munich’ single put them on the musical map. In fact, the band confess to being a little surprised by its popularity.
"‘Munich’ was our first proper release. To get to number 22 in the UK charts was incredible,” gushes singer Tom Smith. “We never really expect praise. We’re not that big-headed, but it was brilliant.”
Urbanowicz and Smith, together with drummer Ed Lay and bassist Russell Leetch, were the subject of a record label feeding-frenzy last year.
Despite their relative youth, they took the deliberate and very mature step of retaining as much control as possible. To this end, they signed on the dotted line with highly respected indie label Kitchenware, who released both singles and debut album The Back Room.
“We had numerous chats and arguments with our management over signing a deal,” recalls Smith. “We wanted 100% creative control over what we did and much as we haven’t got the best music business knowledge, we still wanted the final say over what was going to be done with us."
Editors were wary of being built up as the next big thing.
“We’re kinda’ scared of hype, so we’ve done everything we can to avoid it too soon. If it happens now, because we’ve got the album out, we feel that maybe we deserve it to a certain extent. But we’ve done our best to keep it growing slowly.”
Now, however, it’s a case of “the more people who get to hear the album, the better”, according to Urbanowicz.
“Obviously, if no-one buys it but everyone’s heard it, that could be a problem. But at least we’ll be busy gigging," he adds with a laugh.
The quartet have been doing their share of touring this year, treading the boards on the festival circuit all summer, including their “baptism of water” at a rain-soaked Glastonbury.
“It was like a war-zone. We were playing to people who were in a state of shock, on the biggest stage we’ve ever played on, so that was hard,” Smith recalls with a smile. “But we did our best. The sun came out just as we went on, so that was great.”
They’re due in Ireland in September, for their first headline tour of the country. However, it will be their third visit to these shores, having made their Irish debut during this year’s Heineken Green Energy Festival, opening for The Departure at Whelan’s. It’s a gig they remember fondly.
“That was the first time we’d ever played to an Irish crowd and it was mental,” Smith says, grinning. “It was one of the best gigs we’ve done. We hadn’t had a record out so not a lot of them knew who we were, but it was great watching people getting into it. It was really satisfying being able to win them over. It was the same kind of response we get from Scottish crowds, and we got a similar reaction in Amsterdam recently. It’s just people who want to have a good time and don’t really give a shit about anything else.”
The Back Room gets a live airing at Cyprus Avenue, Cork (September 6); Dolan's, Limerick (7); Whelan's, Dublin (8); Nerve Centre, Derry (9); and Limelight, Belfast (10)