Live4ever caught up with Editors’ lead guitarist and synthesizer man Chris Urbanowicz before the lads from Birmingham England hit the stage at Terminal 5 in front of a packed house on New York City’s West Side this Friday night. The band is about to return to the UK and Europe as the US tour leg has just two more nights in Philadelphia and Washington DC. Chris gave us his insight on Editors’ new album (In this Light and on this Evening) direction, thoughts on the music biz, touring , life in the big Apple and much more. We were also in the photo pit to catch all the gig’s action for you – so read on and check out the live shots in our gallery following the interview!
L4E: Hi Chris , has every one started the new decade on a good note?
Chris: I would say that, we spent new year doing some shows in Australia and New Zealand and I managed to take a weeks break in Tokyo. It’s going to be a very busy year though as usual.
L4E: Would you agree that you’re current album seems to be less personal and more character driven than previous releases and if so, did this different approach help your songwriting and is the trend likely to continue?
Chris: I think that’s fair to say. Lyrically, Tom has set out to be more observational and fictitious.
L4E: We read that your deliciously nasty track : ‘Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool’ almost did not make it onto your latest album “In this Light…”
How did it make the final cut and what were the band’s debating points in order for this to happen?
Chris: Well, the demo that Tom sent to us had this god-awful drum beat on it and I dismissed it straight away instead of actually listening to the song. Flood was the one who listened to the song and thought it was good. I asked Tom to re-record it just with keyboards and vocals and it suddenly made more sense.
L4E: “I don’t want to be left out or get fucked / But there’s a talent in your lies / If you’re chewing with an open mouth / Raw meat / Your blood drool that attracts the flies.”
– Your song’s lyrics might of unwillingly converted a few carnivores to vegetarians?
Chris: I hope not, we’re all devout meat eaters. The image comes from “Fat Cat” executives looking down on the minions from their high horse chomping on meat and making decisions. It’s a quirky image.
L4E: With the current trend in the music market being, electro based (xx, hot chip etc). Do you think guitar music is losing out?
Chris: I have no idea about trends to be honest but we started using electronic elements as we felt that our writing process was becoming formulaic and hence led to us being lackadaisical in our approach to writing. Writing music for us is supposed to be liberating and fun so we changed our techniques to keep it that way.
L4E: You contributed a song to the recent New Moon soundtrack, are you happy with the list of collaborators that were chosen to be on it with you?
Chris: I think so. I might have to just peruse the list again but at the time I remember thinking that we were in good company.
L4E: It seems you are quite fond of film soundtracks in general? Do you have a particular favourite?
Chris: Anything by Brad Fiedel.
L4E: Considering your on album #3, are you pleased with the growth of the band. compared to say, Oasis, Coldplay & Arctic Monkeys, who were the “bands to see” by there 3rd albums?
Chris: I’m very happy with the way things are going. We’ve worked very hard not to only achieve the level of success we have but to go about things in the right way, being old school, touring hard, no gimmicks.
L4E: What in your opinion (excluding your own) was the best album of the last decade?
Chris: LCD Soundsystem – Sound Of Silver. I don’t know if it’s the best but it’s certainly my favourite.
L4E: If approached would you take on the task of doing England’s world cup song?
Chris: I doubt it. Themed songs aren’t really our speciality.
L4E: With Jonathan Ross’ show coming to an end soon in the UK, his willingness to showcase new bands is going to be missed. How important do you feel it is that new bands have a vehicle to promote their music on national television?
Chris: I don’t think it’s as important as radio or doing live shows. I remember reading an interview with Chris Evans where he said that the lowest rated segments of TFI Friday were when the bands were on.
L4E: Ignoring the Internet factor, do you think it is harder for new bands to get exposure now than it was when you first started?
Chris: I think it’s difficult to ignore the Internet when asking that question but i’ll try my best. When we broke at the start of 2005, indie/guitar music (call it what you will) was somewhat in vogue. Now, it doesn’t seem to be so much. The world hasn’t changed that dramatically in the last five years but trends have.
L4E: Have you become used to the long traveling hours when touring the states and how do you spend the time while doing so? Any favorite cities or venues you always look forward to playing?
Chris: I don’t think you ever get used to it but it definitely becomes easier over the years. New York was always my favourite city in the world so I ended up moving there last year. When I’m on the road I try and do things that remind me of home, watching certain shows or eating certain food helps. I’m obsessed with Dokebi in Williamsburg which is a Korean restaurant so I try and search out korean food. I always try and find the best ramen in the city for lunch. Outside of Japan, Ippudo in the East Village is the best. I’ve learned that it helps your mental state to try and live normally when you’re doing something very abnormal.
L4E: With two members spending a lot of time in New York do you think your new surroundings will affect the sound of the band on future recordings?
Chris: Maybe it had something to do with the change on the last record. Our lives change from year to year which I think is good for inspiration.
L4E: Did any of you get a chance to catch the Who’s Super Bowl half time show? A lot of twitter banter seemed to complain about the choice of band for such an ‘Americana event’, any thoughts?
Chris: I couldn’t wait for the second half to start. I prefer going to sporting events than gigs.
L4E: Here’s our hot seat question for you: Can you recall the last 4 songs you guys pressed skip on your iPod for when the tune started playing?
Chris: I literally can’t remember. There’s a band called Studio that Russell likes that is always met with disapproval. Los Campesinos didn’t go down very well last week either.
L4E: Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts with our readers , looking forward to your upcoming show at Terminal 5 in New York, good luck on your UK tour!
Photo Gallery : Editors Live at Terminal 5 New York City , Feb. 19th 2010
To view Slide Show full screen click here
(photos © live4ever / Paul Bachmann)
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