“Be as honest and authentic as you can be. People can see through it if you’re being fake.” Lauren Mayberry, the frontwoman of Glasgow synth-pop band CHVRCHES passed on her motto, honest expression to us and all artists in-the-making out there.
Formed in 2011, CHVRCES consist of Doherty, Lauren Mayberry and Iain Cook. The trio are best known for “The Mother We Share”, “Bury It” and “Leave A Trace”. Their third studio effort Love Is Dead, out May 25, is co-produced by sonic mastermind Greg Kurstin (Adele, Foo Fighters, Sia) which made this album the band’s first dependently produced record.
Currently, the Glasgow synth-pop trio are touring across the globe with their Love Is Dead world tour to promote the band’s third studio album, titled Love Is Dead. So far, the tour has only included two destinations in Asia—Japan and Jakarta. Ahead of their visits, the frontwoman Lauren Mayberry talks to us about stories behind “Love Is Dead”, CHVRCHES philosophy, Jakarta debut and more.
How are you feeling about your first show in Indonesia? Have you been here before?
This is our first show in Indonesia and we are really excited! It was one of the first places that we ever saw a fan page online for the band and we’ve been trying to play there for ages and we can’t wait.
I love your music and the messages you try to convey through it. And as I can see, your new album ‘Love Is Dead’ is relevant to some major political issues. Especially the tragic incidents that are happening in Syria. What triggered you to insert such heart-breaking stories in your music? Whose idea was it?
I always write lyrics from a personal perspective so it’s always just an honest expression of what I’m thinking about, whether that’s personal issues or otherwise. I don’t think you should deliberately NOT write about certain things just because you think people won’t like it, in the same way that you shouldn’t force things into the music if they don’t feel natural. The most important thing for us is that things feel honest and authentic.
What else were you contemplating when you were making this album? What are the ideas or inspirations behind it?
We didn’t really have any rule when going into the studio. We always just want to start writing and then see where the journey takes us, rather than deciding in advance what we want. Like for this album, we knew we wanted to have more live drums but beyond that, all other decisions were made in the studio based on what we were feeling.
Why did you decide to title it as ‘Love Is Dead’?
Each of the previous albums were named after lyrics in songs but this time it felt like the songs were so thematically connected that it made sense to name the collection as a whole. Sometimes I emphatically agree with that title and other times I don’t, but that’s kind of the point – that it’s open to interpretation and that it starts a conversation.
For this album, I heard that you got the multi-Grammy awards winning producer Greg Kurstin and Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart to help you with the music production. What was the experience like working with these two huge artists?
Both Dave and Greg – and Steve Mac, who were wrote Miracle with – are such talented, interested and open people. The songs with Dave sadly didn’t make the album, just because they came around so early in the process and just didn’t feel like they quite fitted the album we ended up with, but he was so supportive and inspirational to us throughout the process. Greg is so diverse and I think you can see that in the work that he’s done. He can make an Adele or Sia record but also Beck records, Foo Fighters, Lily Allen. It’s about figuring out what the artist wants, rather than putting one technique across many different things. It’s important to us that whoever we work with really feels like they get what we’re doing and almost feel like an extra member of the band, and we really felt that with Greg and Steve.
How’s the feedback for this album been so far?
It’s been great! I feel like the best feedback a band can get is from the live shows, and the response to the new music live has been great and we can’t wait to do the show in Indonesia.
I read some of the band interviews. You seem like to have an interesting response to those negative criticism online about the songs. In your opinion, what defines good music?
I think ‘good’ music is very subjective and ultimately, it’s all about what connects with you and communicates with you. I’d rather be the person creating something and expressing something than the person whose job is just to try to pick things apart and decide what it ‘valid’.
Any new single coming out? What’s the next step of the band?
We’ll be touring the album for the next year at least and are excited to get to as many places as we can. We’re so lucky that we get to play so many shows in so many different places, and we never take it for granted as it doesn’t happen to every band.
Any advice or wisdom for artists in-the-making who are trying to overcome their fears and criticism in music industry?
Be as prepared as you can be in terms of the work that you’re putting out into the world, and just be as honest and authentic as you can be. People can see through it if you’re being fake.
CHVRCHES will only make one stop in Southeast Asia for their world tour Love Is Dead. The performance will be held in Jakarta on Wednesday, July 25. This will mark the trio first time in Indonesia.