Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry on sexist trolls: ‘It’s about whether we choose to be beaten’

The singer says she has a duty to young fans to stand up to misogynistic abuse

Chvrches‘ Lauren Mayberry has said she refuses to accept the behaviour of online trolls.

The band’s video for new single ‘Leave A Trace’ was met with misogynistic comments from internet trolls, prompting Mayberry to respond via Twitter. “Dear anyone who thinks misogyny isn’t real. It is and this is what it looks like,” she posted, alongside a link to a 4chan thread.

Now, in an exclusive interview inside the new, free NME magazine, Mayberry has explained why she will continue to fight against the abusive behaviour.


“It’s not about winning – it’s about whether we choose to let ourselves be beaten,” she said. “You see stories on the news about teenage girls who kill themselves because they were slut-shamed on the internet, then people turn around and say it’s not real, that we should just ignore it. Is this not what riot grrrl was talking about in 1992? That they could wear whatever they wanted, because it was about their expression and their lives?”

GettyAndy Hughes

Mayberry added that many of the band’s fans were young enough to still be forming “opinions about how they’re going to behave in the world”.

“Someone asked me, ‘Do you regret opening this can of worms?'” she said. “Well, it was opened for me. It was opened at me.”

Keyboardist Martin Doherty went on to explain that as a group, the band had decided the best way to respond to the abuse faced by Mayberry would be to stay professional and not change who they were. “The only thing we can do to keep winning is not change a single thing,” he concluded.

Last month, Mayberry appeared on Channel 4 News to discuss the abuse she had faced online.

Mayberry acknowledged that Chvrches attract more abuse because they’re in the public eye, but asserted that “this happens to women all the time anyway, and I hate the idea that young girls who follow our band deal with stuff like that. I don’t want them to feel isolated, I don’t want them to feel like it is just happening to them, because it happens everywhere”.


She also revealed one specific incident that left her horrified. “Somebody tweeted me the other day, ‘If you can’t learn to deal with this sort of shit, stick a gun in your mouth before the record even comes out. I have one and I’ll give it to you.’ Personally, that’s horrifying, if somebody put that through your door, you would go to the police with that.

“To me it is not necessarily you responding that trolls want, they want to scare, they want to intimidate and they want to silence people,” she added.

Chvrches release their new album ‘Every Open Eye’ on September 25. The Glaswegian trio follow-up their 2013 debut ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’. Last night (September 17) the band played tracks from the new album at the launch party for the new, free NME magazine. Read the full report here.

Read a full interview in with Chvrches in the all-new free NME, available nationwide today (September 18) and on Find out where you can get your copy of NME magazine from the full list of pick-up points.

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