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Music interview: Editors

Editors. Picture: Rahi Rezvani
Editors. Picture: Rahi Rezvani
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One of the bands of the noughties with real staying power, Editors are on tour with their new album and heading to Leeds next week. James Nuttall reports.

Few British bands that emerged from the Noughties have fared better than Editors. Since 2005, when they released their first album, The Back Room, they have gone on to have four Top 10 albums, two of which went straight to the No 1 slot. They also remain a very definite favourite on the live scene, packing audiences into full-to-capacity gigs all over the world.

Last week saw the release of their fifth studio effort, In Dream, which has been released to general critical acclaim. This latest recording from the dark indie rockers was recorded up in the secluded highlands of Scotland. Speaking to founding member, bassist Russell Leetch, he says that this unusual and unlikely setting for a recording session was seen as a wise move on the band’s part.

“We wanted to have no distractions, really; the internet was pretty poor, there was no TV. It was like, we were all in a room just listening to music and then we’d drink whisky in the evenings, basically, and then keep on working. Obviously, the room we were in was in a mountain, and that made the background for our writing.”

In Dream is the band’s fifth studio record, but the first of their albums to be entirely produced by Editors themselves. In the past, the band has worked with revered producers such as Flood and Jim Abbiss, who helped them to craft their products into commercial hits, but this time Leetch says the band felt comfortable stepping up to the bat and taking sole responsibility for the production duties. “It kind of wasn’t an initial decision, so I guess that kind of made it less daunting. We went up to Scotland, intending just to kind of rehearse and write, rather than it being an actual recording session. We brought a good bit of gear with us then we were going to demo the songs, and then after we got to a point we thought ‘this is going to make the record. So, we went back in February this year and finished the remaining songs off.”

Editors’ previous studio album, 2013’s The Weight of Your Love, was the first record to feature the band’s newest members, Justin Lockey and Elliott Williams. Russell suggests that the new members took much more of a lead on this project than the previous one. “Justin contributed to a few of the songs where he actually started writing the actual music before Tom, which is a different way of working. It was very collaborative and we wanted every member to have a good say in what was going on.”

As our conversation takes place almost two months before the release of In Dream, one could be forgiven for thinking that Leetch and his bandmates are a little anxious about how the public and the critics will react to this new, self-produced effort. Is there anything about the record he would change, looking back? “I think there’s always little bits and bobs you’d like to rework or maybe take a song off and put a different one on, but it’s always good just to let it be. We’re all pretty happy with it, to be honest, and looking forward to people hearing it. I think it’s a record that will take a few listens, and I think that’s always the best thing about some records.”

Editors appear at the O2 Academy, Leeds on October 17. www.o2academyleeds.co.uk