Tom Smith names some of his most important records...

Editors needed to find themselves - so they took off to the Scottish Highlands.

Secluding themselves away from distractions, the band found new material tumbling forth. Allowing their fifth album to take shape, the group found themselves re-visiting old ground - and breaching new avenues.

New album 'In Dreams' is definitely an Editors album, but it contains a number of firsts - it's the first record to be mixed by Alan Moulder, and it's the first to feature a duet.

Slowdive vocalist Rachel Goswell is a continual presence, allowing the band to be pushed further by a talent who helped inspire them to form a band in the first place.

Intrigued, Clash tracked down Editors' Tom Smith for a fresh instalment of Foundations.

- - -

Oasis - 'Definitely Maybe'

I think the first record that kind of introduced me to guitar music - or alternative music, really - was 'Definitely Maybe'. I was born in 1981, so around the time that it came out I'm 14 years old, hearing that for the first time and hearing those songs exploding across the media... I think 'Definitely Maybe' was a big record for me – probably not a record I would listen to so much any more but it's certainly one that made me pick up the guitar and made me start buying the NME, it made me interested in alternative culture. It made me a music fan. I stopped just listening to records that my mum and dad would put on, or the regular pop music that I listened to as a child.

Obviously the Gallagher brothers were the coolest looking oiks that I'd ever seen! But they were on the news, they were on Top Of The Pops, they were everywhere. So it was like an invasion. It was very exciting. I did like Blur as well but I think at the time it was Oasis that I listened to more.

- - -

Radiohead - 'OK Computer'

I remember when they headlined Glastonbury... I think in '97. And I was stood in the rain there, as well. It was like listening to the future. It was kind of futuristic. It's astonishing. It doesn't sound dated whereas something like 'The Bends' does a little bit. It still stands up. The way they embraced technology, cutting up beats. You'd see them onstage and there'd be a laptop onstage, they made a rock band seem like a much more interesting place. A bit more daring place to be. And I still listen to that record.

They're a constant source of inspiration in many ways, not specific to that record but mainly their career as a whole. I think they are for a lot of musicians – they're probably a musicians' favourite band, aren't they? They've managed to do that thing of seeming to be critically adored for everything they do but also be incredibly successful at the same time. Doing those two things, I don't think any other band does that – one normally sacrifices the other, generally.

- - -

R.E.M. - 'Murmur'

Again, it's a guitar record but it's blurry, there's a real oddity in the production and the sound. It's very dream-like, really. It's really from another world. It seems to be something completely different although they're just a guitar band. Obviously, getting to know that band through their hugely successful, wonderful songs, that had taken over the world but to hear that, such a curious, bewitching, pretty little record... it's a wonder, really. I love that album.

It's sung through a haze, it's a bit out of focus and I think it's even more intriguing because of that. I've heard stories about Michael (Stipe) and his lyrics – especially on that record. They're a wonderful band.

- - -

Depeche Mode - 'Violator'

It's a seedy place. The production is so crisp, so clear, it's such an astonishing sounding record. It's interesting. A band that I knew that hits, obviously, and I think it must have been about the time that we made our second record when I got this - going back and discovering what is a seminal album. When you listen to that album it's kind of a dirty place but it's so crisp and so clear. The production is just astonishing. Even though they're making these big rock star shapes the world in which those songs inhabit... on that record it really feels like you're in the front door on the first song and you're there until the end. It's a real world that you inhabit for those nine songs.

Being a music fan, reading the music press, every other month there's a piece on the greatest records of all time. That kind of stuff is just ongoing. Sometimes you'd check it out. To go back to a record from before my time and to really be floored by it just opened up a new world for me, really.

- - -

Peter Gabriel - 'So'

I've always listened to Peter Gabriel's 'So'. Again, it's crisp but it's just joyous. I think it's pop perfection for me, actually. It's always nice when across his earlier work there are moments... his experimental nature is kind of brushed up against something poppy and he's had success but this record, leaving all those more exploratory records behind, this was a shining beacon of pop perfection. It really is.

There are lots of things about 80s pop records which are saccharine and hard to digest but when it's done right like this it's just a wonderful place to be. There are such good songs on that album.

- - -

Editors will release 'In Dream' on October 2nd. Catch the band at the following shows:

9 Belfast Limelight
10 Dublin Olympia Theatre
12 Bristol Colston Hall
13 London Hammersmith Apollo
15 Portsmouth Pyramid Centre
16 Birmingham O2 Academy
17 Leeds O2 Academy
18 Glasgow O2 ABC
20 Newcastle O2 Academy
21 Cambridge Junction
22 Manchester Academy

Buy Clash Magazine


Follow Clash: