» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

February 6, 2006
"Could you twizzle your sticks then?" Sitting in their publicist's office, Chris Urbanowicz chides his band mate Ed Lay after he admits his drumming career began at 10 in the Brit version of the Boy Scouts. Neo post-punk quartet, the Editors, might as well be sitting in a pub, downing pints and having a good laugh, as they discuss their upcoming American debut record. Four misfit characters brought together by fate, the Editors might be mistaken for a John Hughes gang. Lay - bullied schoolboy, Urbanowicz - the rebel, outspoken and misunderstood. Russell Leetch is the responsible one, tidying up now and again, while frontman Tom Smith plays the modest, unofficial leader.

Four music technology majors, the Editors met at the University of Stafford. In 2003, after graduating, they officially formed the band and followed their management to Birmingham. The Editors quickly gained a following in the local circuit and signed with UK indie label Kitchenware the following year.

Kitchenware's 2005 release of The Editors' dark, aggressive debut album, The Back Room, has brought them considerable success in the UK. The first limited-release single "Bullets" sold out in two days; the second single, "Munich", quickly rose to the top twenty. Spinning off the success of these two singles, the Editors joined the ranks of Bloc Party and Kasabian as one of MTV's Spankin' New Music bands. MTV got on board early, even promoting the Editors' first video, which Urbanowicz describes as "really,really shit", full of canned emotion and wire fences. Breathing a sigh of relief, the band is quick to note that the video has since been updated and re-released with the looks of a "Gap advert". Umm, a Gap ad? The first one must have been really, really, really shit.

The quartet's immediate chemistry with The Back Room producer Jim Abbiss - whose credentials include work for DJ Shadow, Björk and Kasabian - fueled the surly, epic sound of the album, a sound which Urbanowicz says would make a good soundtrack for Spielberg's latest film, Munich. The album title is derived from a line in the track "Camera"; Smith says the track set a new standard for the band, making it the logical centerpiece for the album.

Discussing the band's humble beginnings, nostalgia brings on stories of the Editors living together in college. Instead of recalling tales of reeking orgies, drugs, and partying 'til dawn, the boys shudder as they recount their sociopathic next-door neighbor, Simon. As the stories unfold, Simon grows fangs and eats band boys and their girlfriends for breakfast. Urbanowicz's description of meeting Simon for the first time was chilling and amusing. "Tom was playing guitar in his room, trying to write. His room was next door to Simon's. It was about 10 o'clock in the morning, and Simon came round and knocked on the door.

"I'm like, Fuck - who the fuck is this? I didn't know who he was. So I opened the door and he was like, Is Eric Clapton in? and I'm like, Who's this fucker? I'm not in the mood.

"You don't know who I am, do you? I'm Simon from next door, he said. And I was like Ooohhh God, Eric!" At retelling this story, laughter erupts from around the table, everyone joining in on comic mimicry of Urbanowicz's cry for Clapton.

With their album The Back Room recently going gold in the UK, the band has come a long way since that awkward confrontation with a menacing neighbor in that small apartment. The Editors are now making their way across the pond, and they have been compared to Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen. Trying to not make the mistake of other buzz bands from the UK, the Editors are trying to avoid the hype by choosing Indie grassroots label Fader. Around the same time as the US April release of The Back Room, the band will play South by Southwest then begin their US tour in support of their album.

The times of living in various shitholes and surviving psychotic neighbors seem far removed from the Editors' current state of affairs. Though they say good music and books sustain their road life, the real excitement seems to come from Smith and Urbanowicz's discussions about the electric curtains in their hotel room. So much for simple pleasures.

SEE ALSO: www.editorsofficial.com
SEE ALSO: www.kitchenwarerecords.com

Amber Cartwright
A contributor of feature articles and the occasional review, Amber Cartwright calls New York City home. Find Amber on the Lower East Side at Motor City with a whiskey in hand, chatting it up with the leather clad bartenders.

See other articles by Amber Cartwright.



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