With the new greatest hits album Black Gold out now! Sarah Anderson sat down with Editors drummer Ed Lay to talk about their career, the album and the future.
S: Hi Ed, How are you doing?
Ed: I’m alright, you
know cold, that time of year, all my kids are suffering with colds so just
transferred it to me. Not sure I should be out doing promos, I’m suffering at
home with a cold but there you go. How are you?
S: I’m better now, I’ve just got over a horrible cold myself
Ed: Yea, oh well that’s life, that’s what we get, we get to middle age and start coming down with all kinds of crap ha-ha! But lets go for it.
S: Thanks Ed, So I’ve checked out the black gold archives, and I love the concept its like a time capsule, tell me where the idea came from and how it came about?
Ed: So back in the good old days, sort of when we had our first couple of records out, we had a really lively forum and it was a really community based place and really social, lots of people made long lasting friendships on there who came to all of our shows. It was a huge kind of meeting point for all our fans, and when Sony dropped us, we kind of lost it. We had to give up the site and it was basically one of those really annoying points. So there was a really boring thing where we had to lose our sort of domain and we just lost that forum and that kind of contact with the fans and I think ever since then we’ve missed that bit and we’ve kind of found it a little bit hard to re-engage with those people that were with us right at the very beginning and this idea came to us, when somebody at PR suggested maybe reinvigorating that fan base and we just thought it was a wonderful thing to share everybody’s experience in a nice sort of sociable manner, especially at this time, its the greatest hits, so to come back with memories of past is what its all about.
S: How would you describe what this album release means to you and the band?
Ed: Its all about celebrating what we’ve done and not feeling bad about it, not feeling guilty about it, but actually saying that were still a band, were still going and we’ve got new tracks to go along with it, so lets look back and have some fun with it and its been overwhelmingly positive some of the reactions we’ve got back from it and I think some of the stories we have heard and we’re going to hear, you know its meant to run and run – its meant to be monolithic and hopefully it will just be this huge area that people can dip in and find something that they’ve never discovered before every time they go on it.
S: It is such a satisfying concept, because I love looking back on old pictures or videos and reminiscing on the old days so it must be so much fun to revive these memories. Have you got any favourite posts on the time capsule that have stood out to you so far?
Ed: There’s mostly stuff about Russell that I like, that’s always fun for me to see. I mean most of my memories of the band come from either Russell doing something like putting me in a bin or just being generally massive or drinking heavily and having a good time. They’re always the ones that make me smile, they’re the ones that I sort of hark back to.
S: and how has the response been from the fans, has it been really interactive?
Ed: GREAT! We’ve had loads of people trying to post within the very short time its been put up there, As I say I just hope this is a rolling thing. I think when we’re asked about our memories from our career, if your put on the spot its quite hard just to sort of pin point some thing, because we’ve done so much it almost turns into this sort of mush as your doing it and you don’t really consider each part of your career and then when something sparks off another memory, and then another memory and it kind of all spills out, so to be able to have somewhere to point it, to put it on is really quite overwhelming actually.
S: I agree it’s such a cool and nostalgic concept! So how do you plan to release something like this with the pressure of streaming platforms taking over and kind of killing off record sales?
Ed: I mean its probably mad to be putting out a ‘Best of’ album, because you can stream you can have access to everybody’s archive all of the time and you don’t need to buy a record. But I think the way that we have viewed this one was that we wanted it to be quite a stand-alone record, fairly unique, a bit of an introduction into our previous work but also a platform to show off what we can do at the moment. We’ve got three brand new songs I think they’re quite different to our previous efforts. As we’ve gone along in our career I think that’s been the case anyway. So we wanted to create a statement with it, we’ve given it a name we haven’t just called it ‘the best of’ or ‘greatest hits’, we’ve given it a title, we’ve given it an identity and we wanted it to become its own record that we can use as a point of reference to what we’ve done and what were still going to do in the future. We are still going as a band its not just a retrospective.
So can you tell me about the upcoming tour and the three new songs you’ve written?
Ed: So yeah we’ve got a big tour coming out that’s already been announced a few dates have sold out already and that’s coming up in February/ March. We’re going all across the UK and Europe with that.
S: Awesome, Will you be hitting up any festivals as I know you’re a pretty popular festival band?
Ed: Erm Nothing that I can speak about now, its difficult because we’re in that period now that people are booking in, so I would expect that we are trying to get as many festivals as we possibly can next year. We were fairly controlled with our festival season this year, we didn’t do too many, But I think we will try and hit them pretty hard next year.
S: Hopefully Glastonbury?
Ed: Along with every other band in the history of music ha-ha! So I think we’ve got quite a lot of competition to fight through. We’ve got a real history with Glastonbury
S: Yes you’ve played there 6 times, which is incredible and must be great to look back on. But this is the Big 50th anniversary!
Ed: Yea so everybody wants to play it, it’s going to be huge in terms of people’s media coverage and stuff like that. But we want to play it because it’s the festival that’s meant the most to us as a band probably and individually as we were growing up. So its important to try and get on the bill, we won’t be too downhearted if we don’t make it because we understand the amount of bands and quality, and caliber of bands that are trying to get on it. All the big bands are going to be trying to get on that bill. So if we can get it we will obviously be made up!
S: Yea my friend was there at Glastonbury, 2010 for The Editors gig and told me how it went off when you guys, played the track Papillon!
Ed: OH Man, We have had some incredible experiences there! I mean we’ve mostly played on the other stage, we have kind of had a third top, second top stage as kind of our place and with the sun going down at that time of night and the views across the crowd and we’re looking at that sunset, its moments like that we will take away with us forever.
S: Pretty Momentous, I think its every musicians dream to play there! what kind of music do you listen to yourself, or are there any new artists that your interested in at the moment?
Ed: I’m really, really liking Georgia; I saw a little bit of her Glastonbury coverage last summer. It was kind of intriguing, just her, an electronic drum kit and a keyboard. I like the fact its only about her. They’re just really melancholic, but upbeat pop songs, similar to the likes of Robyn. So I’m super keen on her and I’m going to try and go and see her next year if I can!
S: I’m definitely going to check her music out. Do you think any of the music that your parents listened to had an influence on you in any way?
Ed: I think so, my dad used to be in little folk bands when he was a kid. He listened to stuff like Steeleye Span, Jethro Tull and Mike Oldfield. I mean we listened to tubular bells in the car on holiday, that was the tape haha so that really brings back memories. I think I’ve probably had a bit of an aversion to folk; I was really into American rock music when I was a kid, and Nirvana sound garden, Smashing Pumpkins, that sort of stuff as a sort of anti-folk trip, but I’ve definitely gone back to listening to folk. I’ve been listening to ‘Mark Radcliffe’s’ folk show on Radio 2 pretty much every week. I just love hearing new interpretations of songs that are 200 years old. It’s a pretty cool thing to do, so I’m sort of delving into that a little bit.
S: Okay, So My boyfriend is also a drummer like yourself and currently touring with a band and finding it extremely challenging, so do you have any advice for any budding artists out there preparing for a tour? How do you prepare yourself?
Ed: Aw Man, its really difficult I think the first few days before going on tour and the few days coming back, its really difficult to adjust. I’m sure he feels the same in terms of relationships, just because your way of life is so different. Your not necessarily going to be up at the same times you are when your at home and you don’t conform to the same little house rules. Everyone’s advice is different, just try and get on with everybody on the tour if you don’t it can be pretty testy. You’ll get pretty lonely.
S: Well its been a pleasure chatting with you, thankyou for answering my questions while your under the weather and I wish you the bes t of luckewith your upcoming tour! Hopefully see you playing at Glastonbury 2020 !
Ed: You are very welcome, Yeah Thankyou! Really looking forward to it. Enjoy your winter!
By Sarah Anderson