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editors EBM2022 byRahiRezvani 01Interview with

Ed Lay (drums) from Editors

EDITORS released their seventh studio album ‘EBM’ on 23rd September. It is the first album with their new band member Benjamin John Power, aka BLANCK MASS. The album title is an acronym of EDITORS and BLANCK MASS, but of course also refers to Electronic Body Music. This genre hugely influenced the album ‘EBM’. Now EDITORS present their new album on a big European tour. Two days before it started, I talked to Ed Lay via Zoom about the album and the new sound which came with the new member.

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: Hi Ed, good to see you! The tour is just about to start - where are you at the moment?
Ed: I am at my home, preparing to pack my suitcase for the tour which starts in Spain. But the tour is going all over Europe and so I have to think about how the weather will be everywhere and what I need to pack! I haven’t thought about those things for about three years, so I wonder if I still got it! (laughs). But I am so keen to go on tour again, especially now with our new band member.

RoD: When I listened to the new album ‘EBM’, I was surprised! With the new band member BLANCK MASS aka Benjamin John Power, the sound has changed. How did the permanent collaboration with BLANCK MASS and the decision to go even more in the direction of electronic music than before come about? And how did the album come about?
Ed: We already worked with Benjamin on our album ‘Violence’ and at that time we listened to his music as well. We thought that it sounds incredible. It has this aggression but also these beautiful lifts and rises and it sounds a kind of claustrophobic and spacious at the same time. That’s what we aimed for. The feeling we got from it was exactly what we wanted. It was great that he agreed to work with us and we became friends. We did some quite interesting projects with him. So, the sail was set and ideas started to happen. At the end of 2020 there was a full record ready to go on production. So, we went to the studio and worked on it together as a proper unit. It was absolutely brilliant from the moment on we stepped into the studio! The tracks turned out to be real EDITORS’ tunes. That was really exciting.

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RoD: Will EDITORS in the new band line-up go further to the electronic direction in the future, rather away from Rock Music?
Ed: To be honest I don’t think that there is anything on this record that isn’t Rock! Yes, there is some hard technology on it but it’s also hard Rock Music like maybe a NINE INCH NAILS album for example or THE PRODIGY. Yeah, I think we are a Rock band. We have these guitars on every single track. Even if they weren’t, I wouldn’t even say it’s not a Rock record! We have always been experimenting. For example, the song ‘Papillon’ is a crossover with a lot of synthesizers and electronic drums. Some people may find us a quite confusing band because we never stood still and froze the time. Of course, when you hear ‘Smokers outside the hospital door’ and compare it to what we do now, it is different. But despite that there is always a link together.

RoD: Yes, but to mention for example ‘Oceans of Night’ or ‘No Harm’ - these songs sound completely different to the new tracks.
Ed: Sure! But what they all have in common is a certain intensity. ‘No Harm’ is one of the most intense tracks we have ever written. But I think you always see a kind of imagery and intensity in the new album. So, people can recognise that we mean what we say.

RoD: On the one hand, the album title ‘EBM’ means the combination of EDITORS and BLANK MASS, on the other hand, of course, it also refers to the music genre EBM - Electronic Body Music which has its roots in the 80s and 90s. How much did this music influence and inspire you before?
Ed: The scene and the style has definitely influenced because we worked together with people from it, we always had a connection to Electronic Music. And of course, we used EDITORS and BLANCK MASS for this acronym as well as Electronic Body Music. If we wouldn’t have named the album like this, we really would have regretted it!

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RoD: How are the fans’ reactions to the new album?
Ed: It is always still a kind of a surprise for everyone. Even if people knew what we were achieving, it’s surprising. The energy behind it is super-positive, that’s what I hear. People are really excited about it; the reactions have been great so far. Of course, there will always be people who think we should do the same music as we did before. But you cannot define us only on one kind of music.

RoD: Do you think the album ‘EBM’ will also appeal to a new fanbase?
Ed: Yes, I do! I don’t think it will be fifteen-year-old teenagers who just develop their taste of music and their opinion about what they like or form their future of music-listening. I mean we are a band in our forties. Maybe I am hoping, but I don’t think so. (laughs). But I think there is such a great energy about the record, I think we will reach new fans, yeah, it could include a big Goth-Rock community. We did some real exciting festivals, and yeah, we have links to a new type of fans now.

RoD: How do you perform the new songs live? Especially you as a drummer?
Ed: We don’t hide that there is a lot of electronic technology on it, but the most important thing is the huge driving of live drums and bass. That is very important for us. It is a new experience, it is really energetic, and hopefully I will be up to it (laughs) - no, the thing is to give it a human move, it is not static, you are not just pressing ´play´. You are actually moving with your human energy and you give a song the space that it deserves.

RoD: Now with the new band formation - how will the older songs sound like? Do you change them into new versions?
Ed: Of course, there will be more electronic aspects now. And I think we have some great results, the tracks sound really good with those tunes.

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RoD: Does the spirit in the band change with a new member?
Ed: We hadn’t been on tour together so far, we just played together in the rehearsal studio. But the feeling is good. Ben is a friend, we talk about music and other things in life, we are quite familiar with him as a person. You always get new ideas in the band with a new person. That process can’t be a bad thing about the spirit of a band.

RoD: Now you have a big tour coming up. You already had some festival gigs in the summer. How does it feel to be back on stage regularly after the pandemic? Is there a greater appreciation now?
Ed: Yes, it is just incredible! We had a taste of it when we played the festivals over the summer. It’s a strange situation, there a really awful things happening in the world now. But our job is to write music for escapism and to play gigs for this escapism. It is a kind of a cathartic feeling to play on stage. People lose themselves in our music for a couple of hours and connect with other people around them. That’s what live-music is about. We hope to bring joy to the fans and make it possible for them to be themselves and forget the problems that everyone is facing for a couple of hours.

RoD: Before the pandemic it was normal to see concerts. Now we know that we cannot take it for granted.
Ed: Exactly. We have to realize how blessed we are to have that opportunity. Embrace it! Life is pretty short! Hang out and do what you enjoy!

RoD: As a long-time band member, how would you describe your development, musically and personally, from the first album to today?
Ed: It is difficult to say, really - because it is a natural progression when you are involved. It is like when children grow up, they don’t realize that there are changing, but then someone from the extended family comes around and says “oh, how you have grown up…” (laughs). I think it is probably up to other people to describe it. Concerning our music, we have improved playing live of course, we improved our stage-presence and we learned how to play our music in the right way. But that’s up to other people to judge. Concerning our relationship within the band that hasn’t changed much, I think. We always had a very strong relationship which is of course focussed on the band. As we got older and our families got bigger and we all live far away from each other, we don’t live in the same cities, there is a distance between us as long as we are not doing records. But that makes it inspiring. If you are always in the same situation there can’t be so much inspiration. I think. It’s good to have that influences from outside.

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RoD: Is there a place during the tour that you are particularly looking forward to?
Ed: I think Berlin should be great, and Copenhagen actually. We once played a show there in a really beautiful place called Vega. A kind of Art-Deco, a really awesome building with a really great atmosphere. But generally touring is like a big chocolate-box. You don’t know exactly what you get, there are still surprises. And every city has a unique sense, a unique atmosphere. I am really looking forward to explore new places. I always try to get out and walk around the city where we play. I love it!

RoD: So, I wish you safe travels and all the best for the tour! Thank you very much for the interview!

Tour Dates
Oct 01 / Spain, Valencia, Repvblicca
Oct 02 / Spain, Bilbao, Santana 27
Oct 05 / Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette, Rockhal
Oct 06 / Netherlands, RTM Stage, Rotterdam Ahoy
Oct 07 / Denmark, Copenhagen Vega
Oct 09 / Germany, Hamburg, Edel-Optics Arena
Oct 10 / Germany, Leipzig, Haus Auensee
Oct 12 / Poland, Krakow, Club Studio
Oct 13 / Germany, Berlin, Max-Schmeling-Halle
Oct 15 / France, Paris, Olympia
Oct 16 / Switzerland, Lausanne, Les Docks
Oct 17 / Austria, Vienna, Gasometer
Oct 19 / Switzerland, Zurich, Volkshaus
Oct 20 / Italy, Milan Fabrique
Oct 21 / Italy, Bologna Unipol
Oct 23 / Germany, Munich, Zenith
Oct 24 / Germany, Dusseldorf, Mitsubishi Electric Halle
Jan 25 / Nottingham, Rock City
Jan 27 / Manchester, Academy
Jan 29 / Glasgow, Barrowland Ballroom
Jan 30 / Dublin, National Stadium
Feb 01 / London, Troxy
Feb 02 / Bristol, Marble Factory

All pictures by Rahi Rezvani

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