Successful U.K. act Editors take a crack at North America
“Some things should be simple. Even an end has a start.” Tom Smith, front man for U.K. band Editors, delivers these words with urbane articulation on the band’s sophomore album, An End Has A Start.
But little is simple about the ’80s-era riffs, powerful percussive rounds and almost theatrical backing orchestration that pervade the band’s songs. And according to bassist Russell Leetch, they are far from their end.
“We don’t think we’ve made our best work at all yet,” insists Leetch.
It’s hard to believe, considering the band’s documented success. In 2006, Editors were shortlisted for the Mercury Prize (the equivalent to Canada’s Polaris Music Prize) for debut album The Back Room. It also reached second place on the U.K. music charts while An End Has A Start made it to No. 1. On Monday, the band received a nomination for Best British Group at this year’s Brit Awards. Still, Leetch says the best is yet to come.
“We like making records. We’ve only done two and like to think we’ve got a few more left in us.”
And they better if they hope to make a splash across the Atlantic. Despite enjoying considerable homeland success, the band has caught the ears of critics and British indie fans but still remain relatively unknown throughout North America.
“It’s a different place for a band like us,” says Leetch. “In the U.K., all of our singles are being played. People have latched on and heard our music.”
He believes one inhibitor to their westward exposure lies in unending, inaccurate critical comparisons. One is to popular U.S. indie-circuit outfit, Interpol. “With our first record we got ridiculously compared to them,” he says. “It was a stumbling block for us because people were hesitant to even listen to us.”
Another is to their English post-punk predecessors, Joy Division. Leetch says their similarity ends with the fronting baritone voices present in each of the bands. “Music critics should realize that but they don’t.”
To quash these comparisons, Leetch says Editors remain committed to their top goals as a band: longevity and originality. “We’ve always said we wanted to release more than one record and not be a flash in the pan. We don’t just want to be a hit band because of a sound that we have.”