During the One Night in Cape Town event, on 7 August 2014, we did an interview with Tom Smith and Russell Leetch from Editors. They had landed in South Africa the day before and were heading to play at Oppikoppi on the 8th of August.
CULTURESHOCK: You guys landed in South Africa yesterday, so what are your expectations of the country?
Russell: This is our first time here, so we just want to see the country and eat some good food. It is a very beautiful place. We have been hearing the most about Oppikoppi. It’s always nice to gig in a city, but we hear the festival is going to be fantastic.
Tom: You never quite know what to expect when you get to a place for the first time. You get this feeling; not nerves, more like an expectation. We will just be doing our thing and hoping that people will be into it. But yeah, the festival will be great.
CS: Fairly recently you have released a new album, Weight of Your Love. What was the biggest inspiration behind the album?
Tom: We took ourselves to America to make it, which was a big thing. We started making it with our old line-up, which included Chris who used to be our guitarist, but that didn’t work out. Then we got some new people in to replace him and we then continued to make it with the new band. So the process took very long and we went through two producers. Some of the songs we re-recorded three or four times. After a lot of struggle, we were happy with the songs and felt they had a good directness.
CS: How did the departure of your guitarist, Chris Urbanowicz, influence the dynamics within the band?
Russell: Unfortunately, things with Chris had run their course, but hopefully people can see that we are now a different band. We did not want to be a carbon copy of the band we were with Chris. Justin (new guitarist) is entering Editors as an existing thing and will try to play towards our existing sound, but will also add his own individuality.
Tom: Wat is interesting to me as well, is that the existing members changed the roll the play in the studio since Chris has left, since he use to fill a lot of the producing space. So I would definitely say that our dynamic has changed internally as well.
CS: Critics have been divided about the sound of the new album. Do you feel this has influenced your audience and you as a band?
Russell: Well we have had this before. For the first album you release, people are always very nice to you, but when you start with a second album, you hear of people that want to kill you for doing anything new! So we have gotten used to it.
CS: Are you happy with the direction the music is heading?
Russell: Yes, definitely. When the record was released, it was quite different from everything else that was out there. We wanted it to sound organic and not get influenced by EDM or get Calvin Harris to feature on a song.
Tom: We are definitely proud of all of our records.
CS: On a lighter note, if you could be any superhero, who would you be?
Russell: Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy. It was a really good film.
Tom: I would be superman since he was always a favourite of mine.
CS: Since you are going to Oppikoppi, if you could set the lineup of the festival, which five bands would you want to see there?
Russel: I’d start with Depeche Mode and take it a bit darker with The Cure, followed by Talking Heads and R.E.M.
CS: Wolfmother has been known to be quite a wild bunch of guys, so since you are performing with them, can you tell us of any anecdotes of the band?
Tom: We haven’t seen them much, but they seem to just be high a lot and not necessarily that wild.
Russel: Yeah they seem like easy going guys, really.
CS: Thank you for the interview and we hope you have a blast for your first show in Cape Town.