After a summer in which they toured the globe, playing festivals and promoting latest album The Weight of Your Love, Editors return to the UK for a tour that rocks up at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom on November 26th. Qmunicate spoke to the groups’ newest member, ex-Yourcodenameis:Milo guitarist, Justin Massey about Top Gear, massive choruses and being big in Belgium.
Hi Justin, Where in the world are Editors right now?
(Sleepily) We’re in Amsterdam at the moment. We’re playing at a big arena called the Ziggo Dome tonight. Europe has always been good to this band. We’ve been coming here since the beginning and it really seems to pay off. Editors have even had a couple of number 1’s Belgium. This tour we’ve taken in Sweden, Italy, Spain, Germany, Lithuania… Russia was very strange. A very…Russian culture but the audiences were very enthusiastic. I think some bands get caught in the same cycle going round the UK so it’s great to be able to travel and play in different places.
Your latest album The Weight of Your Love was the band’s fourth top ten album. Would you tell us a bit about the making of the record?
Well, this record was originally begun in a real period of turmoil after Chris [Urbanowicz – original Editors guitarist] left. [Previous album] In This Light and On This Evening was a really dark synthy record but when the rest of the band started to work on the new album nothing was really working. I guess they needed a new changed dynamic, which is what new synth player Elliott Williams and I brought: two new personalities and two new creative streams. After six months writing and rehearsal we went out to Nashville to record with Jacquire King (Modest Mouse, Kings of Leon) and it all fell into place.
The first record had lots of fast 16th note guitar parts, the second had anthems like ‘Smokers’ on it and the third was much darker so I think the band have kept moving forward with each new album. What ties it all together is Tom’s voice. Bands rarely get a fourth album so it’s great to be able to try new things.
What’s the difference between making a Yourcodenameis:Milo album and an Editors album? Were you nervous stepping into such a well-established band?
Well with Milo songwriting involved playing extremely loudly in different time signatures until it all worked out whereas Editors are just unashamedly big. I was a hardcore kid in the past but I always tried to be melodic in my playing. Editors played an early show with Milo and we have a mutual friend in [producer] Flood so we knew one another. I wasn’t too nervous when the band came calling because I said to them “I didn’t want to be another Chris” and they said “We don’t want you to”.
Is there a song on the new record which particularly encapsulates what you were trying to achieve?
I think ‘Sugar’ captures it pretty well. That was the first track I worked on with the group and it’s just a massive tune, massive chorus, massive intro. We’re using it to open the live show now as a way to settle people in. I turned over to Top Gear the other day and the producer had whacked two of our songs on the soundtrack, which was pretty cool.
You’ve headlined a lot of festivals this year. Do you have any favourites?
Well we headlined Lowlands in Netherlands, which was a totally ridiculous experience. Aside from that it was great to be invited back to headline Rock Werchter in Belgium and of course, Glastonbury is always special.
What excites you about music in 2013?
Definitely touring around the world and seeing different cities. Just being able to do whatever you want to do. Also, music streaming sites such as Spotify and Grooveshark have allowed people to reach out to a huge audience so there’s always that too.