If 'Love Is Dead,' How Would CHVRCHES Save It?

May 23, 2018

By Joe Cingrana/Christine

I'm so glad I got to catch up with Lauren Mayberry, Martin Doherty, and Iain Cook from CHVRCHES this past week, when they dropped by the ALT 92.3 studios in NYC before the release of their third album, Love Is Dead coming on May 25th. I love seeing CHVRCHES perform live, and it was great to hear so many new songs at their sold-out show at Elsewhere in Brooklyn - including "Miracle," as seen on the Tonight Show!

With four tracks off of the new album already released ("Get Out," "My Enemy" featuring Matt Berninger of The National, "Never Say Die," and "Miracle") and a North American tour set for this summer, the band is feeling some relief as they now get to hit the road and perform their latest offerings for fans. 

"I feel like we've talked a lot about this record," says Martin Doherty. "I think we've done more set up for this one than we've ever done and it was all really leading up to that in a way and we didn't know it -- you can become disconnected from the live show if you don't do it for long enough. So, I've just felt incredible, the last two shows have been so good and to watch the new songs connect so quickly has been very encouraging."

Taking time off from touring can also expose some of the spatial issues that would never arise when working in the studio. At the band's Elsewhere show in Brooklyn, the band came close to a major calamity when Doherty and Mayberry almost collided on stage.

"I got a small fright, yes," says singer Lauren Mayberry. "I think the mic was away from my mouth nobody could hear me go 'wuuuh!' -- you were right there!"

"We haven't actually discussed this in person," Doherty explains. "I just misjudged how small the stage was -- I would usually go next to the drummer if I'm playing the bass -- and kind of swung the headstock of my bass just as Lauren came careering towards me!" 

"It was close," laughs Mayberry. 

It's not just relearning where to stand that will take some getting used to now that the band is back from a year-and-a-half break; seeing their fans and the incredible support they give at every show can also be jarring. "When you're away for long enough your mind travels in every direction -- you think every single thought, all the negative ones," admits Doherty. "It's hard to take a year-and-a-half off, and coming back and seeing this much emotion and this much interest -- the levels of excitement we've seen is incredibly energizing."

"There was a guy last night who knew the words to 'Graffiti,'" says Mayberry, "a song that's on the record but we only played it on Saturday for the first time. And I was like, 'Dude, you have been ON YouTube!' I don't know how he picked the lyrics up! But if there's one person in the room that feels that strongly about it I feel like that's a really good sign." 

If Love Is Dead, it's fair to ask how can it be saved. "I think communication, but communication with empathy is how we get through it," says Iain Cook. "Rather than drawing attention to the massive philosophical and political divide and to try and find common things that we as humans share and understand each other and have patience with each other."

CHVRCHES (Joe Cingrana/WBMP)

CHVRCHES, and Mayberry's lyrics specifically, can be interpreted in many ways but for Christine, the feeling of turning anger into something hopeful is everpresent in their work. 

"Writing always feels cathartic to me," says Mayberry. "It feels like that now and it felt like that when I was 15 writing really terrible lyrics. I don't think we're conscious of trying to make it hopeful which I guess is a good sign. It must mean there's still an optimist inside me somewhere."

Mayberry understands how at times people can see the band's point of view as "wishy-washy and hippie," but explains that there are some things that are important to be angry about. "There's a difference between constructive anger and anger for the sake of it. I think its funny people have kind of dubbed us angry in some ways -- I don't really feel like that but if that's what you have to be perceived as in order to be able to say what you think is right and wrong, then fine. But I don't think that's how you change people's minds in the long run, screaming in their face about something, I don't think people will listen that way.

"But also, I kind of feel like you only get to do this once -- like this band thing and this life thing -- might as well try and do what you think is the 'right' thing."

CHVRCHES with Christine (Joe Cingrana/WBMP)

I've been a CHVRCHES fan since the first album, and it's always a pleasure to chat with them - such lovely, thoughtful people. New York is a better place now that they're full-time residents.

Check out the video above to hear Lauren and Iain's thoughts about relocating and living in the Big Apple, including Martin's mastery of the MetroCard swipe!


Check out the list of Love Is Dead tour dates below!