Band discuss debut release, tour stress and why 2013 is a good time for music
Michael Baggs

13:12 24th July 2013

As Chvrches gear up to release their debut album, The Bones Of What You Believe, you'd be forgiven for thinking the band were involved in a massive love affair with their first ever full length release right now. But after speaking to band member Martin Doherty at Latitude festival last weekend, it seems that isn't the case.

"I haven't listened to the record for about two months. I got so burned in the mixing and mastering process and the revisions," he told us backstage at the Suffolk festival, blaming the band's exceptionally busy 2013 for his current reaction to the record. "We were on a horrible deadline and on tour in America while trying to finish this record on the road, mix and master it. The guy who mastered it was turning in mixes all the time and we were getting stressed out, trying to be a band on tour at the same time. I haven't listened to it since."

But the break from the album is for the best. After all, Chvrches will be touring the record until at least the end of 2014, and Doherty believes a little downtime before things get even more crazy is exactly what the Scottish electro trio need.

"I think it's important that everyone takes a step back, just at that key moment it got so intense for a while," he adds. "Over the last couple of weeks everyone has been able to breathe and focus on what is quite a heavy touring schedule over the summer. The truth of it is I am really proud of the record, I'm very happy with it. I'll be fine touring it for the next year and a half - just the physical recorded entity, I just needed to leave it alone for a while."

Listen to Chvrches new single 'Gun' below

Chvrches are one of the big success stories of 2013, and since their online debut a little over a year ago, have smashed down genre boundaries to find fans across pop and indie genres with their slick electronica. Following the release of singles 'Gun', 'Recover' and 'The Mother We Share' expectations for the album are high, and despite winning hearts with their dark-edged mainstream sounds, Doherty claims fans have only just begun to get a full taste of what Chvrches are all about. The album, he promises, will come with a number of surprises.

"There's a whole other side to our sound that might not be apparent to people if they've only heard the singles," he says. "While we feel that's an important part of our sound and something that happened naturally, there's a whole other side to the band, which goes into a bit more exploration, some stuff is a bit more dancey, some is a bit weirder.

"We think that's absolutely crucial over the length of a record. You have to satisfy radio to an extent, but then you have to give people a little more. You can't give people an album full of absolute radio-written songs. With the same token, I wouldn't want to make an album that was full of indulgent, weird techno."

He then laughs off our comparison to the second Chvrches album being the Scottish alternative to Yeezus by Kanye West. *shudder*


The Bones Of What You Believe is released on 23 September 2013

Chvrches perform at Reading & Leeds festival next month, and make a seemingly unlikely addition to the line-up alongside the likes of Green Day, System Of A Down, Nine Inch Nails and Eminem, but the band believe they have more in common with more traditional guitar bands than it may at first seem. However, the fate of previous 'pop' acts on the festival line-up hasn't escaped Doherty.

"The funny thing is I still don't feel we're an electronic act," he says of their booking at Reading & Leeds festivals. "We still compose songs in a verse / chorus / verse fashion. Ultimately it is rock structures and rock approach to writing, but the instruments happen to be keyboards and electronic drum kits rather than a live backing, and I think that's a product of where we come from. We all come from guitar-based backgrounds.

"Maybe we'll be OK, or maybe it'll be like Daphne & Celeste and we'll get bottled off," he adds.

Listen to 'Lies', the track that introduced Chvrches to the internet massive

Over the past year, Chvrches have gone from internet newcomers to one of the must-see bands on the 2013 festival circuit. They have toured in the US and their upcoming debut album and tour are two of the most anticipated events of late 2013. Looking back on the band's rapid rise to success (which he claims was never part of the plan), Doherty shrugs off suggestions of a struggling music industry, and instead believes that we are currently experiencing a golden age of new bands and new ways of global exposure.

"I think it's a really positive time for music," he concludes, before naming another Gigwise favourite as a prime example of the industry opportunities for artists at the moment. "The idea of the pirate mentality that any kid in any bedroom can make a tune and get thousands and millions of hits - like a guy like Flume. He's 21-years-old and has gone from his bedroom in Australia to playing arenas in a year.

"Ten years ago it wouldn't have been heard - not as quickly. Maybe it would have got there, maybe it wouldn't. He certainly wouldn't have come to people's attention as immediately as he has done. I think that's immensely positive."

"There's no major music industry problem right now," he says. "Otherwise i'd be thinking about another career."

Chrvces debut album,  The Bones Of What You Believe, is released 23 September 2013. They perform at Reading & Leeds festivals on 23-24 August 2013 before emarking on their own headline tour later in the year. Full dates are below. For more information, visit Gigwise Gig Tickets.

23 August - Reading Festival, Berkshire
24 August - Leeds Festival, West Yorkshire
10 October - ABC, Glasgow
12 October - Leadmill, Sheffield
14 October - Ritz, Manchester
15 October - Anson Rooms, Bristol
17 October - Shepherds Bush Empire, London

Below: Chvrches and our 23 favourite photos from Latitude 2013

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