Photo courtesy of Jill Furmanosky


Editors play the Commodore with Hot Hot Heat and Louis XIV on Tuesday.

Listening to Editors’ latest, The End Has A Start, one word immediately comes to mind: epic.

This is a group stuffed with drama. Vocalist Tom Smith’s aching baritone fronts equally impassioned instrumental arrangements. According to bassist Russell Leech, when songwriting the band aims to hit listeners’ emotions through music, lyrics and even album structure.

“When you pick a chord, you’re always thinking of how to make a song that will strike something in you and the people listening to it,” he said. “We made the album as a whole … The positioning of the songs is integral to that (effect). We see it as one big piece of music.”

Built around a heavy Joy Division influence, the group, which was nominated for a Brit Award in mid-January and a 2006 Mercury Prize, formed around a shared love of drama. Their esthetic is seen in song titles from their new album: The Weight Of The World, Bones and the lead single, Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors.

“Tom will write the lyrics and basic chord structure, and then we take it and work with it,” said Leech. “We like to counter stuff … (For example) if the bass and drums are downbeat, we’ll make the lyrics more of an upbeat tempo.”

Though they met in a music technology program at Stafford University, and some of the members are classically trained musicians, Leech said no one had much interest in the technical aspects of songwriting. However, the program got them connected, and they all moved to Birmingham after graduation.

“We’re not really (technical, but) more an emotive guitar band,” he said. “(The university program) didn’t teach us a great deal. We learned a lot more when we went into the studio. We took the program more to go and meet like-minded people; that’s why we did the course.”

Rob McMahon is a freelance writer. A graduate of UBC’s Journalism program, he contributes to Metro and other publications. Top music memories include a road trip to Coachella and catching Lollapalooza ‘95.

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