U.K.’s Editors highlight U.S.

Ryan deBiase

The newest Brit-rock hopefuls, Editors, channel other indie-rock bands such as Interpol and Bloc Party. The group will perform with stellastarr* at The Agora. PHOTOS COURTESY OF +1 MANAGEMENT AND PUBLIC RELATIONS

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Americans have an affinity for British rock ‘n’ roll. From the Beatles to Led Zeppelin and Oasis to Franz Ferdinand, Brit-rock has always thrived on this side of the Atlantic.

U.K. buzz-band Editors hope to add to this legacy of British success, hitting the road for an extensive U.S. tour. Editors had an astounding year across the pond, finishing 2005 amid a crowd of 250,000. Last January, their LP, The Back Room, crested the U.K. Top Five, reaching number two on the charts, and platinum status.

Although The Back Room did not hit U.S. shelves until last Tuesday (see review on next page ), Editors toured the U.S. last January, playing buzz shows in select cities like New York and Los Angeles. Editors drummer Ed Lay said the band was surprised with the early American enthusiasm.

“We hadn’t released anything here yet and people really hadn’t heard of us,” he said. “We were surprised at how many people came out and spent their time and money to see us.”

Lay said most of Editors’ success in the U.S., at least early on, could be attributed to word-of-mouth and the acclaim they have received in England.

“I think people have heard a lot about us through hype,” he said. “I’d like to think it’s because of all the hard work and effort we put in over the last year in the U.K. We played as many shows as possible.”

Lay said he believes the band’s European success can be mirrored in the U.S., citing the popularity of contemporary Brit-rockers.

“Americans at this time have a hunger for new English music,” he said. “Bands like Franz Ferdinand were very important for putting England back on the mainstream map.”

Musically, Editors draw comparisons to fellow indie rockers Interpol and Bloc Party, following the lineage of post-punk architects Joy Division. Criticism toward any rock band is a given, but Editors do not get caught up in the trappings of rock ‘n’ roll, Lay said.

“Our priorities have never been to go to parties and hang out,” he said. “We’ve never been particularly involved with the media industry, because you get a bunch of hangers on with marketing or fashion. Basically, we formed the band because we were all friends. We really enjoy making music. That’s why we do it.”

Editors’ songs are expansive and melodic, and the band plays with passion, especially at live shows, Lay said.

“We’re very proud of the reputation we’ve built as a live band,” he said. “The tunes we write are very concentrated on melody – that’s the keyword in our songwriting dictionary. It’s got to have a hook and a theme and a good melody in it.”

Concert-goers can expect to hear these melodies in smaller concert clubs, which is the predominant type of venue for Editors’ American tour. Despite playing for tremendous crowds in the U.K. at the end of 2005, the band will be starting anew for its gigs on this continent.

“In the U.K., we were used to playing 1,000 to 2,000 seat venues,” Lay said. “(Now) we’re getting back to basics, which is exciting.”

Editors are wholly prepared to work hard to win over American crowds. The band could think of no better way to develop a following, Lay said.

“That’s the way we want to do it,” he said. “We don’t expect to come to a new country and just step into the same scene we had back at home.”

Contact ALL correspondent Ryan deBiase at [email protected].