Editors still living the dream, says drummer Ed Lay

Editors, including drummer Ed Lay, second from left.
Editors, including drummer Ed Lay, second from left.

Alternative rock act Editors are still living the dream 13 years after their formation, according to drummer Ed Lay.

The 34-year-old has been a member of the band since 2003, replacing founder member Geraint Owen, though they were called Snowfield at the time, not adopting their current name until October the following year.

“We were all at Staffordshire University and living in the same house, so when Geraint decided he didn’t want to carry on, they asked me rather than looking for a session musician or whatever as they knew I’d done a bit of drumming before uni,” he recalled.

“They keep telling me how lucky I am that they asked me.”

The band’s latest album, In Dream, was a new entry at No 5 last Friday, giving them their fifth top 10 hit in a row.

Lay is delighted about that, saying: “It’s absolutely brilliant. I couldn’t be happier that, at this stage of our career, people are still caring about what we’re releasing. It’s fantastic.”

He’s also pleased about the album’s reversion to the more electronic sound of 2009’s In This Light and on This Evening, the second of their two chart-toppers, abandoning the guitar-led approach of the LP in between, 2013’s The Weight of Your Love.

“The songs we had on that album demanded that we record them in that fashion, but the songs on this one lend themselves more to an electronic sound,” he said.

“We love guitars, definitely, and they’re all over this record. It’s just that they’re treated a bit differently.”

Besides Lay, the band these days consist of vocalist Tom Smith, bassist Russell Leetch, guitarist Justin Lockey and Elliott Williams on keyboards.

They are currently on tour to promote In Dream, taking in Newcastle’s O2 Academy next Tuesday, October 20.

The band have lots of happy memories of Newcastle, having played at the academy five times previously and also having been signed to the city’s Kitchenware record label, and are looking forward to returning, said Lay.

“It’s a good venue. I like the atmosphere of the place, and our guitarist, Justin, is from Newcastle, so it’s a home-town show for him,” he said.

“I can also remember playing at Newcastle University a number of years ago before anyone knew who we were and thinking that was pretty grand. It was a big stage for us at the time.

“Things are going well on the tour, though we have had sound problems that almost led to disaster. All the gremlins are being ironed out now, though, hopefully.”

Like many people in this part of the world, Lay, originally being from Suffolk though he now lives in the south west, is also a big fan of the late Bobby Robson, manager of Ipswich Town from 1969 to 1982 before moving onto take charge of England and, later, Newcastle United.

“He was a massive hero of mine,” said the father of two, a former Ipswich Town season ticket-holder.

“I also have memories of looking after his dogs when he was away as we used to live nearby, and my mum knew his wife as they used to teach in the same schools around Ipswich.”

Tickets for Editors’ Newcastle show cost £22.50. For details, go to www.o2academynewcastle.co.uk or www.editorsofficial.com

The Twilight Sad will be supporting.

They’re also playing in Birmingham tonight, Leeds tomorrow, Glasgow on Sunday, Cambridge on Wednesday and Manchester next Thursday.