Some bands start to crack under the pressure of coming up with a solid follow up if they’ve had huge success with their first record, but that doesn’t seem to be the problem with Chvrches. The Scottish group had a huge success with 2013’s “The Bones of What You Believe,” but singer Lauren Mayberry says they weren’t getting too wrapped up in the hype while they worked on the upcoming “Every Open Eye,” which comes out Sept. 25.
“I don’t think you can really let that stuff can’t get into your head too much because if you sit and focus on all those outside elements, you’re not going to be able to write anything,” she explains. “We started this band to write songs together and we hadn’t really gotten to do that for a very long time so it was actually very refreshing and nice to be able to go back and focus on writing.”
The trio was also focused on trying to make something that felt like a Chvrches album, rather than getting wrapped up in trying to outdo themselves on their sophomore effort. “We were quite conscious of being strict with ourselves in terms of being our own editors and not just putting layers and layers into a song in an effort to make it feel epic,” Mayberry says.
That effort involved replicating as much as of their earlier process as possible. “We self record and self produce everything, which has so many benefits,” says Mayberry.
The result will be familiar to everybody who fell in love with the band the first time around, which Mayberry says is one of the things she’s most proud of about the new record. “It sounds like our band. I don’t think we’ve gone in and completely changed the kind of band we are, or the kind of music we make, but it sounds to me like a natural evolution.”
In other words, don’t go in expecting them to have brought in famous producers or celebrity guest vocalists. “At this point, I don’t really think it’s something that would benefit us,” says Mayberry. “I don’t really think anybody has a better sense of what the band is than the people who have lived in it day in and day out for all that time.”
Mayberry says a combination of things have led to their confidence in their sound, whether it’s their own growth as people and creators or the work done by touring so much, but fans should expect a Chvrches album that’s “a little bit more assertive and a little bit more sure of itself.”
In between her rock star duties, Mayberry has also become known for talking about the various forms of abuse that get sent her way as a woman in music. Here’s what she had to say about the matter:
On what the response has been like from other people:
“We’ve had a really good response from people that we know in other bands, or people that we meet at shows, or meet and greets, and I think that that’s a very positive thing, hearing people say that they think that discussion is important and relevant to them. As much as we talk about the online aspect of it, it’s not as if sexism and misogyny directed at women, and in this case women in bands, exists only on the internet. It happens on a sliding scale in every aspect of the industry, it’s just that that one aspect I guess has been picked up more by the media. From our point of view, we think it’s important to promote conversation and discussion about it, but the best revenge on any of the people who are coming into the world with that backwards mentality is just doing exactly what you’re doing and not changing anything about it.”
On why she spoke up in the first place:
“I think it’s just constantly being beaten over the head with a mentality that I don’t agree with. We’re incredibly lucky to get to do the job we do and there are so many amazing elements of that, but I wouldn’t accept that kind of treatment or behavior in any other kind of profession, so I don’t really see why you’re supposed to accept it in this line of work. There’s a difference between criticism and somebody not enjoying your band and some of the blatant misogyny and hateful speech that are directed towards women in bands. It’s not people saying I don’t like Chvrches that I can’t deal with. If people don’t like the band, that’s totally fine. Everybody likes different things. That’s completely fine. My issue is that that isn’t what we receive a lot of the time. What we receive is threats of physical and sexual violence, because people don’t like your band, and I don’t think that that’s acceptable, to be honest.”
On the role the Internet has played for Chvrches:
“By and large, the Internet has been incredibly positive for our band. It’s a way that we communicate with the community around the band. A lot of the fans are so passionate and so dedicated that it’s really great for us to be able to communicate with them on a person to person level and not have it coming through a kind of Chvrches HQ filter and we’re not going to change the way we do that because of the behavior of a minority of people, because in my mind, that’s letting people win and it’s ruining a fan community that we’ve worked really hard to build and be a part of.”
On what advice she’d give to other young women in her situation:
“Everybody has an opinion. Not everybody’s opinion is relevant. If I had a dollar for every time somebody told me what I should or shouldn’t be doing when I hadn’t asked them for their opinion, I could probably take a nice long holiday. I guess part of that is growing up and growing into what you’re doing in any profession and figuring out how you want to do it. Nobody else is going to be able to tell you that other than you, so you just have to give yourself the time to figure that out and then stick to those convictions once you find them.”