Interview: Chvrches – 'You can play loads of places, but there's something special about playing your hometown.'
Lauren Mayberry and Martin Doherty talk Glasgow, Every Open Eye and the mighty Justin Bieber
In 2013, when Chvrches released their debut album, The Bones of What You Believe, Justin Bieber was still hot in the charts after his third studio album, Believe, went platinum. Back then, the two artists couldn't seem further apart: Beebs with his brand of boyish pop, Chvrches being all about electro. Fast forward three years, and Chvrches' Martin Doherty muses about how things aren't so clear cut anymore.
'I think the internet's changed a lot', he says, when I ask him whether he feels like his band has become more mainstream of late. 'I think that those preconceived ideas about what audience we're in is very different now. I don't really look at it in terms of mainstream and alternative culture. It's perfectly acceptable for someone to be at a Bieber show and then see Chvrches, because people don't find music in the way that they used to. As a result, it's broken down a lot of barriers, and people just gravitate towards what they like.'
Lauren Mayberry, the band's singer and much-admired frontwoman, is also aware of the internet's influence on their career. She tells me how releasing their song online helped it to launch in Europe and America simultaneously, which goes someway to explaining their sudden international popularity.
'We're really lucky that we didn't necessarily have to run things in the old school model of "break the band in the UK, then try mainland Europe, then try America", and that's mainly because of the internet … we've been lucky that we can quietly build support in many places.'
The band's international support is enormous. Their second album Every Open Eye was released to great critical acclaim last year, and though it was created in much the same way as Bones (in a converted flat in Glasgow), there was much more anticipation about its release.
'This time we were aware that there was an audience for the band in a way that there wasn't when we were making the first album', Lauren says. 'This time, we were a lot more focused and would forward plan what we were doing a little bit more.'
Whatever they did has worked. They're currently on a worldwide tour, with dates in all over the US and Europe. Notably, they're only playing two UK cities, London and Glasgow, which is perhaps a testament to how they have taken off. That said, they're excited to come play their home city on Sat 2 Apr.
'There's always something really special for us about Glasgow shows. You can play loads of different places, but there's always something special about playing your hometown', Lauren tells me, while Martin has a more practical approach.
'The best bit about playing in Glasgow is you get to go to your own bed after the show', he says. Well, let's hope they're well rested: Chvrches have got a world to conquer.