Riding a wave of enormous buzz, the band is taking over America one show at a time.The buzz surrounding Editors' U.S. debut is deafening.
When the U.K. indie rock band performed in the States for the very first time a few months ago, hipsters everywhere were sent atwitter. Now, after building a big fanbase at home over the past year, Editors are hoping their music will soon take off in the States.
So far so good.
Last week, the band's album, "The Back Room" (Kitchenware/Fader), entered Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart at No. 14.
"It is kind of strange," says vocalist Tom Smith about the ensuing buzz factor. "In the U.K. it built gradually and we kind of reached our level of popularity by word of mouth and it took over a year. But we come here and there's more buzz here than there's ever been for us back home. It's kind of intimidating and exciting at the same time."
However, Smith and his bandmates -- Chris Urbanowicz (guitar), Russell Leetch (bass) and Ed Lay (drums) -- are ignoring all the pressure to live up to the hype.
"We try not to worry about that kind of stuff," says Smith. "We played [New York club] Webster Hall and it sold out in two days. If you stop to think about it before you go onstage you'd feel nervous. Obviously in New York there's a buzz, but we've also been playing places like Cleveland and Burlington [Vt.], and there are a lot of people there who don't know who we are. We have to just get on stage and try to win over the audience."
Currently on tour with Stellastarr*, Editors plan to spend the majority of this year focusing on the U.S. release of their album, which has been out for almost a year in the United Kingdom. It's going to be a real balancing act appeasing both old fans and new.
"It's hard," says Smith. "We've toured the ass off our record in the U.K., and I think people there are now waiting for new material. We go back for a very short tour in May, and then some festivals. I think that's enough. You don't want people to get sick of you."
The band then plans to head back into the studio at the end of the year.
"I want the next record to be bigger, with more instruments on it," he says. "I think we need to push ourselves creatively with the next album."
Before that, though, the guys have to prove to naysayers that they're not just trying to ride the retro rock wave.
"Yes, we have similarities with a number of bands," admits Smith about comparisons between Editors and bands like Joy Division and Interpol. "I'm fully open to people not liking our music, but when people question our integrity they can get f***ed, to be honest. The only band from the '80s that's been an influence on me is R.E.M.
"We're very, very passionate about our music, we take it probably too seriously," he continues. "People assume we're a bunch of moody bastards, but we're not."
He also admits that there's another obstacle that the band has to overcome: the recent influx of British indie rockers like Arctic Monkeys and the Subways invading the States.
"We never felt part of that," he says. "We've never been championed. When we first came out bands like Bloc Party were the darlings, and we were kind of a side note. As we got more popular, bands like Hard-Fi were getting more press. Now, we've never been more popular in the U.K., but Arctic Monkeys are stealing all of the headlines, which is fine because it suits us to exist in the shadows and take people by surprise."