I admit that despite the tiny size of this site, sometimes you get to breathe deeper on certain moments and situations. When you try to look up the Foos header picture and see the pull-down menu with the eyes of a stranger, sometimes you’re surprised and get to see something actually, beautiful. Something made with love and passion. I’m telling you, with lot of passion. And loads of hours.
It’s not about having one’s feet on the ground. We know what we are. And we don’t know how long this beautiful project will last. That’s why we want to enjoy the thing we enjoy most while it lasts, and share it with you. Please excuse the speech but today, my friends, is one of those days.
It’s a beautiful cold and sunny day in the capital of Spain, and one of the most important bands of the UK over the last 10 years is visiting town. They’ve been hardly criticised not only in the UK but also outside, and despite the problems they’ve had lately, they still throwing a hell of a show each night. And what’s more, they’re pretty alive. This is the 3rd time I’ve seen the Birmingham gentlemen and it’s by far, the best concert they’ve given. The sound is incredibly good in a venue famous for its awful acoustics. The band has 2 new members and you can’t tell the difference. They are presenting their 4th album, The Weight Of Your Love, a truly great comeback for all those suspecting a big fall to the music industry floor, a hard floor from which you don’t get up easily.
As you probably know by now, we’re talking about Editors.
We catched up with Russel Leetch and Justin Lockey, before the show, and this is what they told us.
How are you guys? I saw you were collaborating on a new TV show with some Spanish artists a couple of months ago, for the Spanish television, how was it?
RUSSEL: It was good! We didn’t actually collaborate. There were a lot of collaborations going on. We just… we didn’t feel very comfortable doing that. We got asked quite a few times to do it. There was a lovely girl, Anni B Sweet. She’s very good. I loved it. It hasn’t been aired yet has it? I did an introduction in a very bad Spanish.
You have had an intense summer tour with loads of European festivals. How does it feel? Do you feel more comfortable playing festivals or do you prefer your own gigs?
RUSSEL: It depends. Some festivals are out of this world and you can have great ones, and same with gigs. It’s different. I mean, the shows that we do each night, are pretty much the same.
“We got to a point that we didn’t want to do a certain kind of music”
The Weight Of Your Love sounds slightly different to your previous works, with deeper and darker sounds, more expansive than before. Where do you think your sound is heading to? How do you think you will evolve within the next records?
RUSSELL: In this record, even from the beginning, we wanted to have a shift in what the rhythm section was doing. We were quite bored of the 6 strings…
RUSSELL: Yeah, that type of thing. We should know what is working better. We got to a point that we didn’t want to do a certain kind of music. We tried to record with Chris in the band, and it didn’t work out, so we’ve got Justin and Elliot as well to help us.
Are you bringing the string section with you on tour?
RUSSELL: No, no, no. We’re already spending too much on tour (laughs)
Do you feel this record like the end of something or the beginning of something new?
RUSSELL: Absolutely. There’s a new line-up. A lot of songs are old songs that we had a long time. So for me to rework these songs again was a bit of a weird thing because it was the 3rd or the 4th time that we were doing it. But then it helped when we had something fresh, like the new songs Tom had written, that they became the highlighted songs of the album, like, Honesty, The Phone Book, A Ton Of Love or The Weight.
“If you want a product, you go to the market and you buy it. When you’re in a band, there’s so many ways you can get the product. It’s confusing, and it’s hard”
It’s been 4 years since the last album. Is there a perfect period of time for releasing an album or are we speeding up too fast nowadays?
JUSTIN: Well now there are lots of bands around the world, with a lot of music out there, so is hard for the things to stick.
So what’s your opinion of the music industry?
JUSTIN: There’s no music industry anymore.
RUSSEL: There are still some big major labels out there and they invest in Spotify and streaming services. I like the idea of streaming services, but there are always things behind. I think one thing is as an artist and generally a lot of people, if they want a product … like if you go to a farmers market, you buy it. That’s how you do it. When you’re in a band and someone wants to buy your product, there’s so many ways you can get it. It’s confusing, it’s hard. A lot of bands do need something to show that they’re worth buying. You can’t be a new band and say oh we’re great because no one will pay attention. There are a lot of bands. There’s lot of artists doing their music.
JUSTIN: Even there’s no time for them to release a second record.
“We tried to record with Chris in the band, but it didn’t work out”
I read that you were close to split up. What makes you want to go ahead and put aside your differences?
RUSSELL: Well, myself, Tom and Ed wanted to continue the band. We needed some other musicians to help us. Primarily for what was left of 2012, but also we knew that we were only six hands, and we needed other musicians.
Were you afraid that Chris departure would mean a lost of a distinctive sound?
RUSSELL: We knew it was happening anyway. I think we were quite brave in that decision. We always wanted Chris to push on with his sound anyway. And we pushed him to use synthesizers on the 3rd record which made a different sound.
What does a band need in order to have good vibes going on? Like, are there any essential factors to make the band working as a band?
RUSSEL: Communication is the main thing with a band. It’s quite simple.
JUSTIN: If you work really hard at it, it works out
“Our studio albums could be better”
What do you think Justin Lockey and Elliott Williams have added to the band?
JUSTIN: Yeah! I came up with some parts, made some riffs…. Initially I played a couple of shows and by the time I got into writing and pitching ideas.
Regarding the composition, do you reckon is it possible to write about sad things if you’re not in that mood?
RUSSELL: It generally leans toward a darker and more miserable stuff anyway. It’s the type of personalities we are. If we go to Itunes and we rent a video is not gonna be the romcom section. It would be a dark thriller. I want to go to see Gravity by the way.
If you could play anywhere you wanted, where would it be?
RUSSEL: To be honest there are still a lot of great festivals. But I would like to go and play in South America.
“Capturing imperfect parts of what you are is what makes a really great piece of art.”
8 years since your debut, 4 great albums, tours around the world… But what would you think are your weakness as a band? Is there something you would like to improve or to try?
RUSSELL: I think that our studio albums could be better. It’s hard to capture an energy that the band has. And what’s what we’re always working on. Once you get in the studio you think this piece of music has to be absolutely perfect, but capturing imperfect parts of what you are is what makes a really great piece of art.
And last question. Simple one. Are you happy?
BOTH: Oh yes! Yes we are.