UK band Editors has just released a new album called In Dream and headed out for a tour to present the new material. We have been very excited by this at AMBY and went to have a chat with band member Elliott Williams as they visited Netherlands for three impressive sold-out shows in a row at same music hall in Amsterdam. AMBY asked him about developing a sound through the years, highlights on tour, how to celebrate Halloween the right way, and of course we had to talk a bit about weird dreams. I got some new insight to their work and don’t believe I have ever laughed as much as this during an interview. Enjoy:
AMBY: Hi Elliott. Thank you for meeting us at AMBY.
Elliott: No problem.
AMBY: I have followed your music through the years and I am very happy to have a chat with you today.
Elliott: Cool, thanks very much. Appreciate that.
AMBY: So you recently released a new album called In Dream. I have watched a short documentary video you posted on YouTube where you explain your process and thoughts to the album. I would also recommend our readers to watch the video as it’s really cool.
Elliott: Yea, it is a good thing. I think it is nice to do things like that and give people a sort of insight onto the record, the way you made it and stuff like that. It is great thing about YouTube now, you can just tell people that straight away without making a really expensive film or, you know.
AMBY: And you get to present things the way you want to.
AMBY: Let’s start with a chat about the sound on the new album. In the video you mention that the sound is now different from before. I wondered in which way have you wished it to change?
Elliott: I think it is 100% different from the last album. The last album sounded far more like a rock record and there was definitely reasons behind that. The fact that the band had been through a hard time with Chris (Urbanowicz) leaving and then when me and Justin (Lockey) joined the band it definitely felt like we needed to be a band again and kind of make a more traditional rock record in the sense of like where we could go out and play it live and kind of just be five guys in a room where everyone had their role settled. So in that form I was very much a keyboardist and Justin was the guitarist, Ed (Lay) would be the drummer. With this record it has been a bit more like, “Let’s get in a room, and see what happens” and not have those kind of roles and such. It was more about creating sounds where any one of us could play anything and we didn’t really think about the live aspect of it at all, like ever playing any of these tracks live… It is more like “Let’s push the boundaries” is all we wanna do.
AMBY: Okay, yea. So you experiment more with the sound now…
Elliott: Yea, it is experimental.
AMBY: Alright. When it comes to the lyrics, I also think that the band have made some absolute great lyrics through the years that I just love. They have some relevant thought on life which I like. Now, in the YouTube clip, it is told that there is no specific concept for the new album but as the songs get around dreams it therefor seemed quite suitable to call the album In Dream. How have dreams been an inspiration for the lyrics on the album?
Elliott: For lyrics I can’t speak much as it is Tom’s field, but as far as I know he likes to write very visually and a lot of things were inspired by dreams that he was having at the time. A lot of the songs then mention dreams or things like that. When we started talking about titles and concept for the album it fitted well. Also when we made the album we were in Scotland in a very isolated place and the weather there used to change a lot, and because there was total isolation we didn’t have anything else to do and we would worked on things for hours and hours and hours, and everything kind of ended up in like this, I guess a dream-like state, how weird it really sounds. You know, you look out the window, and it was really foggy or snowing or birds were up and shine, and we lost track of time in a lot of ways. So I think that matched a lot of the things Tom was doing lyrically and then we tried to like feature that into the music I guess.. and when he came up with the idea of “In Dream” and we really liked it. We liked having it as “in dream” as instead of “in dreams”. It has this kind of, I don’t know… I always see it as this kind of “Bladerunner-ish” quality like when you watch the films you would see he was kind of in dream.
AMBY: That makes more sense as you tell it now. “In Dream” is also like a state of mind.
Elliott: Yea, it is a state of mind.
AMBY: I would like to turn the talk to a bit about Halloween. I know that you guys are on tour now and I noticed that you visited Brussels in Belgium on October 31st.
Elliott: Halloween Night.
AMBY: Nowadays both bands and music fans just love –
AMBY and Elliott: To dress up.
AMBY: And go for concerts on that night, like kids waiting for candy [laughs]. I know from Instagram that you celebrated the dark festivities with a rain of skulls!
[In case you wonder readers, the band released skull-shaped confetti during their concert]
Elliott: It was our reign of skulls.. that was it. We really not the ones to dress up, or well I am really not much for it. Russell and Ed have done it ones. They did it a long time ago in Netherlands, where they came on stage as Batman and Robin.
AMBY: Oh that’s cool…
Elliott: But not the rest of us. We did talk about doing it to surprice Tom as he was playing an accoustic song on his own, and when we would come back on stage we should come back on in outfits, but we decided against it, because we thought he might walk off thinking I am not having this.
AMBY: Oh no, no.. That wouldn’t be for the good [laughs].
Elliott: So yea, our best effort was to cover the audience in skulls.
AMBY and Elliott: [laughs]
AMBY: Well, that was pretty epic though. It looked brilliant!
Elliott: It was really cool. Really, really cool. It was not just for that Saturday. It just happened that the stars were align and it was somehow Halloween and then everyone was like “Oh, this stuff is for Halloween!” and we were like “Yea it is, of course it is” – but no, it is not. We have had a reign of skulls for a long time.
AMBY and Elliott: [laughs]
AMBY: You have been in a dark, dark mood.
Elliott: That is us all the time. Our whole year is Halloween.
AMBY: What have been some highlights on this tour so far both in concert and off stage?
Elliott: Off stage, let me think of off stage.. We are just kind of getting into our flow really so there haven’t been that many. We have been to some nice meals and things like that. We haven’t done any real activity as per se. But I know that in Hamburg which is in a few days time, then we will go see a miniature model railway.
AMBY: That’s cool.
Elliott: It is the biggest one in the world apparently and it really is huge. It is like the size of an arena build with miniature towns and like that.
AMBY: You are going to feel like giants there then.
Elliott: Exactly. We are going to feel that and have an awesome activity day there.
AMBY: You are also very popular in Netherlands. You have three shows in a row here in Amsterdam now!
Elliott: Yea, which is really cool. That means you don’t have to travel anywhere while being here. We can stay in one place for at least three days, which is unheard of when you are touring. It is great.
AMBY: It is a luxury.
Elliott: And obviously really cool to sell out three shows in one country!
AMBY: It is and it’s nice that you can just leave all the instruments on stage for days.
Elliott: We don’t have to do anything.
AMBY and Elliott: [laughs]
AMBY: Will you change a bit around on the form?
Elliott: We are talking a bit about it. We see how tonight goes and we might change a bit.. We feel like we should.
AMBY: Maybe, so it doesn’t get to be the same.
Elliott: It might be some of the same people who come every night. Some people do that every night anyway. They see the same stuff all the time though and they don’t mind. So we are discussing that.
AMBY: Now, I want to round up the interview with dreams again. I was wondering what dream have you had that made a special impact on you for, being either a big puzzle, beautiful, or inspiring?
Elliott: I have a weirdo dream that happens about 4 times a year maybe and it is where I only have eye vision from about here [holding his hands up towards the top of his eyes] and I can only look down. I can never look up and bad stuff are always happening, but I can’t see it. So I am always trying to run from things or… It is horrible. It is like I am in a situation or room and I can never see above that part of my body and it is really annoying.
AMBY: Do you know what it means?
Elliott: I have no idea what it means!
AMBY: [laughs] It is especially weird as it comes back.
Elliott: I always wake up and am like “fuck I had that dream again!” That is annoying.
AMBY: Do you think it is a clip from a movie or something like that which could have influenced you?
Elliott: No, I don’t think so. I really don’t know what it is. I might see someone, go through some theraphy.
AMBY and Elliott: [laughs]
AMBY: Oh well, I don’t hope so. I don’t think it is too serious.
Elliott: Yea, fair enough.
AMBY: Well, thank you for sharing this here and thank you very much for the chat.
Thank you Editors, for giving us your answers!
Interview and Photo by Jules Faurschou | @rockonpoets