Editors: The band that will not be bossed around

Though he speaks sedately, Tom’s passion for music is clear. He speaks with affection for live performing and being in an arena with the fans: “I really like the end of the show because of the excitement the encore raises.

“The noise that they can make is pretty special, so when you feel that you’ve got them on your side and you can hear them singing and see them dancing, that’s an amazing thing.”


Editors frontman Tom Spring on stage. Photo: Paul Frideriksen

Editors’ website boasts that the band are “renowned for their explosive live performances”, Tom is extremely modest when describing his stage presence: “I don’t know how you connect with an audience. I’m not very good at chit-chat, but I throw everything I have into playing live, it’s quite an energetic and visceral thing. If we make mistakes, it doesn’t seem to matter.”

Visiting venues such as the Lincoln Engine Shed and Preston’s Guild Hall, Editors are determined that the audience and the band will experience the evenings together: “We want that spirit, that energy in a room that can be easier to attain in the places we’re going on this tour.”

Their touring success is not limited to the UK. In recent years the band have taken Europe by storm, playing gigs for thousands of fans in countries such as Belgium, Germany, and Poland.

“We’re probably bigger there than we are in England,” he said, “It’s amazing to go that far away and meet people who your music means a lot to.”

Tom recalls that his favourite place to perform is Madrid, where he feels a real connection with the audience even though English isn’t their first language: “There’s that Spanish passion in the air. They sing louder and quite often it’s the melodic parts on the guitar that they’re humming along to. That means that I get to hear them going mad for once as I’m not singing and it’s just amazing.”

Taking their music further afield, Editors have tried their hand in the American market. This February saw them playing on the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” show. Although the response was smaller than in Europe, not surprisingly, they left their mark nevertheless.

“America is a funny old place,” Tom said. “It’s a lot harder to make an impact [because] radio is very nationalistic and we don’t get played on American stations or get talked about in the press.”

Bringing it back to homeland, Tom makes it clear that although touring is a part of their job that the band look forward to, it is an essential in the music industry’s current climate to tour extensively in order to make any money.

“It’s a complex issue. We don’t see any money from selling records because there’s no money in it,” he said. “To make a living you have to have audiences that want to come and see you night after night. We love being in the studio but once we’ve done, we have to tour it for well over a year.

“Thankfully we like what we do and understand that it’s all the cycle of being in a band.”

Tom recognises that quality is suffering and homogenous records are being released time and time again (think X Factor) in the desperate attempt to make money from records. But the Editors are adamant that they must write the music they want to, and compromise on nothing in order to appease the masses:

“We’ve always split opinions – it feels like tossing a coin when I pick up a review of our records. There’s an element to the band that can’t please everyone and that’s fine, I don’t want to.

“We would find it boring making the same record over again as though there’s some formula to adhere to,” Tom said, “The bands I loved growing up changed, evolved and challenged their audience. I respect that. I bought the first two Oasis records, I don’t need to buy anymore.”

The Editors have come a long way since their days at Staffordshire University dabbling in the hopes of making it big, and they are now set to work with top producer Mark ‘Flood’ Ellis for a second time. Tom summed up that for upcoming artists the best advice he can give is: “Don’t worry about being cool and don’t listen to anyone else.”

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