Interview & Show Preview: Ed Lay of Editors (Editors @ Showbox, Friday Feb. 5th)

Editors return to Seattle Friday, February 5th. This band puts on a fabulous live show and the Showbox Market will be an excellent and dark venue to highlight their moody pop. Editors recently released their third LP, In This Light and on This Evening, a CD of beauty and impetus. I talked with drummer Ed Lay before their Chop Suey show over a year ago. I apologize that this interview did not go up sooner as I waited for an optimal time to post it. I sadly missed their most recent Seattle appearance and wanted to preview their very welcome Seattle show tomorrow!

D: Are American fans more subdued live audiences, in general?

Ed Lay: I think, across the world, audiences are there to have a good time. In England we’ve got the advantage that we’ve played there so many more times than anywhere else. Every time we’ve sort of stepped up a venue level. They’ve got used to us and know what to expect. The atmosphere can get a little bit more wild on occasions. We’re more successful over there, that’s just the plain fact of the matter. Over here we’ve had a good time.

D: Reading about Editors I kept coming across the band Elbow as an influence.

EL: They’re probably the only band that all of us totally agree on – they come up top 5 of all of our top favorites.

D: Where would you recommend starting with them?

EL: Their debut, Asleep in the Back, was around when we all met at University. Also Is This It by the Strokes. I think that there’s a lot of both those two albums in our music. We always try to extract the melody that Elbow produced but we’ve also got a pop sensibility, I suppose and that’s where those Strokes songs come in. They’re vibrant, they’re exciting – they’re poppy and I think we wanted to get both of those feelings. The emotion of Elbow and the energy of the Strokes. We were really lucky – on our second single, Blood, we recorded a B-side with two of the guys from Elbow – a song called Let Your Good Heart Lead You Home. It was so early on in our career to work with people we really admired. It was a blessing.

D: Are you also a fan of Richard Hawley?

EL: Yeah I love him – what a voice. At SXSW he was playing in an old theater and he came in just with his guitar and his voice just fills the room.

Editors – from left to right: Tom Smith, Chris Urbanowicz, Russell Leetch and Ed Lay
photo by Timothy Norris

D: What’s it like visiting Seattle?

Ed Lay: Seattle is a big place for me. When I was a kid I was well into the grunge movement. I was thirteen. It was certainly a place I wanted to check out and it’s pretty much what I expected.

D: Fairly casual?

EL: It is and it’s a really nice feeling.

D: You used to sell shoes – what are the best shoes for men and women?

EL: I spend all of my time in a pair of Converse. They’re good for work, they look good with jeans and I play in them. For girls there’s so much choice. My girlfriend gets a new pair of pumps every couple of weeks. They look exactly the same, but that’s cool.

D: I relate to her.

EL: Are you a shoe girl?

D: Yes. Have there been any live injuries?

EL: Not recently. Russell’s [Leetch, bassist] dancing a lot more. I’ve been spending a part of our gigs just watching his moves. They’re quite remarkable. Nobody’s got injured – yet. But you gotta watch out. Tom [Smith, singer/guitarist] cuts himself a lot. The usual things, cut fingers from the guitar strings. The only thing I’ve done is hit myself in the face with the sticks. It happens every couple of gigs. It hurts, but you get over it. I’ve hit my ear quite a few times. But they’re not long-term injuries.

D: Do you get recognized a lot now?

EL: No. Tom, and possibly Chris [Urbanowicz, guitarist] get recognized. I can walk around our gigs and no one will recognize me. It’s cool. We did three nights at Brixton Academy last year – they were all sold out – that’s like 15,000 people. I walked around the venue to watch the support bands every night – or to meet up with friends – and absolutely no one stopped me. If it’s an ideal world I wouldn’t want any lights on me, I’d just want a back light. Silhouettes are great. I never really liked photo shoots or anything like that.

D: But you take really good pictures.

EL: I don’t know. I think our press shots have been pretty good but I look rubbish in the most recent ones.

D: Actually one of my questions was who do you think is the prettiest Editor?

EL: Tom’s really grown into his looks. He’s a real front man now. He’s quite shy but he’s got boisterous now. He’s very strong. Chris dresses well. He wears nice shoes. He’s got some pointy brogue leather lace-ups.

D: Were your parents really into music?

EL: Not amazingly so. I kind of got into music just from wanting something to do with my mates on a weekend – and make a fucking racket. I think our parents realized it was fine, as long as we didn’t do it too much – in their garage. We could have been doing something a lot worse. We made some money – we got our own gigs. We were entrepreneurs.

Editors play Showbox Market tomorrow – Friday, February 5th. Opening for Editors are Princeton and Black Nite Crash.
Get your tix here.


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