- 26 Aug 16
After more than a decade on the go, Editors remain in rude health. Tom Smith tells Ed Power how the Picnic-bound rockers came through past upheavals to end up stronger than ever
On stage in Germany recently, Tom Smith had a funny thought. "We were playing this goth festival in Cologne. The audience was dressed like something out of a Tim Burton film and there was a really gentle vibe - not like a rock concert at all," recounts the Editors' frontman. "And as I was singing, I found myself listening back to the words. I thought... 'wow, maybe I am a bit of a goth'. The lyrics seemed to make sense in that setting. It was quite striking: the festival had a beach, and you had this gorgeous weather, and all these sun loungers by the water - and a load of goths head-to-toe in black. It was quite a sight."
Smith is chuckling as he says this - a display of levity many fans of his band would have once considered ludicrous. When they shuffled into the spotlight with their 2005 debut The Back Room, Editors were the quintessential gloom-shrouded young men inviting the world to drink deep of their bottomless angst.
They were predictably branded copycats in certain quarters. Yet the charge that Editors were indebted to Joy Division and Interpol was always inaccurate - a fundamental misapprehension of what the group was about. As a songwriter Smith has a rare gift for wide-screen empathising - one that arguably marks him out as a peer of Chris Martin rather than of Ian Curtis (and we absolutely mean that as a compliment). "Well I was always lot more chilled than people thought," he says today. "But I did find the whole thing a bit..." He trails off, grasping for the right words.