A homage to their latest album...

As tourists and Londoners alike may freely admit, the panorama viewed from London's Waterloo Bridge can provoke feelings of unabashed pride in the most cynical of city dweller.

On the bank of this epic skyline sits the National Theatre: a stark piece of contemporary architecture which is at night illuminated in all its neon glory. Coupled with the surrounding industrial backdrop, this setting seemed just right for an Editors shoot, which was inspired by the work of American artist Ed Ruscha and was at the same time a visual homage to the band's latest album, 'In This Light and On This Evening'.

And further validation for the shoot was provided by the record's overriding theme, which, according to front man Tom Smith, was predominantly the Big Smoke itself. “Throughout the writing process London was definitely a returning thought in my head,” says honorary Londoner Smith. “As the songs started to develop, we all felt they had a strong sci-fi element to them, reminiscent of things like Blade Runner or the Terminator soundtrack. It was fun to create sounds with these types of images running through our heads.”

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This is an excerpt from an article that appears in the April issue of Clash Magazine. Pick it up in stores from March 4th. You can read the full issue online HERE and subscribe to Clash Magazine HERE.

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“Records by artists like Depeche Mode, LCD Soundsystem and Cabaret Voltaire were talked about at the time,” he continues. “And lyrically I found myself writing more as an observer than I ever had before: observing people and events in London.”

This latest LP has taken the four-piece to new electronic heights. “We wanted to do something we've never done before. There had been synths in our previous records, especially the first, but not to this extent,” says Smith. “This time we wanted to use less guitars, find another way of presenting the songs. We felt as if a formula had entered our songwriting process. That really scared us, so we made a definite effort to take the sound to somewhere new. Electronic elements and synthesisers crept in as a result. We've put the guitars in the background and pushed the other stuff to the front. So it feels like a much more atmospheric record as a result.”

These brooding Brummies are rarely celebrated for their cheery, light-hearted outlook on life: their dark, post-punk led sound is suggestive of a overarching sombre mentality, that's for sure. Photographing the foursome in a cold, night-time environment gave the shoot its desired austerity and Berlin-esque feel. “It was mind numbing, bone crunching cold,” exclaims Tom.

And what did he make of the outfits?“ The clothes were not at all far from what we would normally wear, as we definitely feel most comfortable dressed all in black and darker colours, maybe with a bit of white thrown in, but simple stuff nonetheless. How we dress on and off stage are pretty much the same. I think we're a bit scared of colour to be honest with you!”

So military jackets and heavy duty boots were the order of the day, a nod to the band's typically minimal style and a useful tool to keep them wrapped up against the winter chill.

But the icy rooftop scene of the Clash shoot was a far cry from the band's recent touring adventures, where they have been soaking up the sun in both Australia and the US. Aside from his family, Tom tells Clash that he misses both the freedom and the space of being able to write when he is on the road, and marmite.

So love 'em or hate them, Editors have flourished where others have floundered: they have a monopoly on current British indie bands but at the same time, they are not afraid of trying something new, as this latest album demonstrates.

Long may they continue their reign into that dark and moody night...

Words by April Welsh
Photography: Chad Pickard and Paul Maclean
Concept and styling: Rose Forde
Assistant: Camilla Felici
Grooming: Mark Hampton


Read a previous interview with Editors on ClashMusic HERE and a review of their latest album, 'In This Light And On This Evening', HERE.

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