We meet CHVRCHES backstage at Reading 2019, decked out all in black and sheltering from the sun on one of the hottest days of the year so far. We have to ask, how does a trio of goths survive in the height of festival season? “Stay in the shadows where you belong,” replies Martin Doherty.
Watch our full video interview with CHVRCHES above
Luckily for them, their set tonight is in the cool nighttime shade of the Radio One stage before headliners Bastille. “It’s been really cool, we’ve been lucky enough to do it every record,” singer Lauren Mayberry says of R+L. “It’s a festival that you grew up knowing about. And we get to play it after dark, so that’s helpful. We don’t have to go out in the rays.”
Not only do they get to keep their Scottish tans intact, but tonight is the final UK appearance on the victory lap for their acclaimed third album ‘Love Is Dead‘. “This is the end,” Mayberry continues. “I think it’s been a good one though. With this record we feel like, people’s connection to it seems to have developed across the course of the touring. It’s not like there was a big splash at the beginning and then it petered away.”
Aside from a few more special shows to come, CHVRCHES are looking forward to some “well deserved time off” before they decamp to start work on album number four. “I’ve got so much telly to watch,” says Mayberry, excited by the prospect of being back in her own flat. “I haven’t read a book in fucking ages. You get motion sickness on the tour bus and you need silence, so you just end up with this giant file of things you need to read.”
Before she can work through her reading list though, they have the honour of performing at a festival in November at the invitation of Deftones. You may recall the headlines earlier this summer when apropos of nothing, Hatebreed frontman Jamey Jasta took issue with the band’s placing on the line-up above Gojira, questioning who the band even were. In a rare instance in reason across social media, Twitter at large seemed to agree with Mayberry’s common sense approach in calling for us all to remember the inclusivity that rock is supposed to repsent.
“I thought it was really cool because it just showed that kind of thinking in the metal community isn’t stood for any more,” Mayberry tells us. “And Gojira actually sent us a merch package so we got a crap tonne of Gojira t-shirts. That was really nice. It reflects the community and informs the community.
“I just didn’t understand. I was like, ‘That’s not what Deftones has ever been about’.”
Doherty agrees: “Who cares really? I mean, that guy. We’re living in different universes. What’s even the point in taking a swipe like that? I’ve been listening to Deftones since 1998 and they were always an alternative metal band. I wasn’t a huge metal fan but I was a massive Deftones fan. I think that anyone who’s narrow-minded like that totally misses the point of the band, as far as I can see.”
At this point, Mayberry tells us that she once nearly came quite close to getting a ‘White Pony’ tattoo in honour of Deftones’ seminal album. She didn’t, but it could have been so much worse.
“Once I saw a guy with Dave Gahan’s entire face tattooed on his back,” laughs Doherty, looking back to when they once supported synth-pop legends Depeche Mode. “He was looking pretty hot [in the tattoo]. It could have been yesterday, it could have been 20 years ago.”
Mayberry continues: “Depeche Mode fans are hardcore, and I respect that. When we played shows with them we were on a day off and sitting outside a cafe and this guy was like, ‘DO YOU KNOW WHERE DEPECHE MODE SLEEPS’?”
Probably somewhere he can ‘Enjoy The Silence’, eh? Cool. Sorry. Let’s drown the singing crickets by looking to the future. We joke about the potential of the band making their own aerobics DVD, and a “surprise secret” project dropping before the end of the year. But before they get too far ahead of themselves, CHVRCHES are excited to make their third Reading Festival another belter.
“It’s kind of funny with bands like Bastille and The 1975 as we all kind of came through at the same time,” says Doherty. “You become friends with them over the years so it’s cool that we’re all back on the same cycle. Everybody’s still going so it’s quite cool.”
Is there no Oasis vs Blur rivalry with them and Bastille?
“No, but that is a good idea,” laughs Doherty. “When we had that song in the charts with Marshmello I thought about trying to get a feud going with Lewis Capaldi for a laugh. Then I was like, ‘Nah…’ He’s a lovely man but I wouldn’t go up against him, he’s too funny. There are loads of assholes in the world. Why would you pick a fight with a good person?”
Indeed, leave Capaldi alone.
“We save our wrath for those that we think deserve it,” says Mayberry, before Doherty promises, “Plenty of arseholes are going to get it eventually.”
Watch our full video interview at the top of the page where the band also tell us all about bad ‘Bon Jovi’ stage banter, their their secret hidden talents, how they’re hoping to spark up their creativity once again, the skill involved in destroying someone on Twitter, fans getting impressive Chvrches tattoos, and why they’re unlikely to work with Marshmello again…