Those Glaswegian synth-pop punks, CHVRCHES, are back with the third studio LP Love Is Dead (out now via Liberator Music/Goodbye Records). So to celebrate they will be winging their way down to join the stellar line-up at Splendour in the Grass with a couple of sideshows in Melbourne and Sydney thrown in for good measure.
We had the pleasure of chatting with the exceptionally talented muti-instrumentalist and vocalist (and all-round awesome bloke) Martin ‘Dok’ Doherty about their favourite ever gig, what makes a true music legend, kissing a few frogs while making Love Is Dead and their continued dedication to support diversity in the music industry.
“Last time we played at Splendour was one of the best shows that we’ve ever played in our lives,” he smiles. “So I can’t wait to get back down. I love your country, every time we’ve come there it’s been really worth our while and a really special time. I’m just so excited to share what we’ve written and created over the last year of our lives.
“For myself, Lauren [Mayberry, lead vocals] and Iain [Cook, guitars and backing vocalist] this has been the most amount of anticipation that we’ve ever felt for the release of an album,” he adds. “Because we generally just bang out the record and get back on the road as soon as possible, but there’s been a lot of build up to this one and I’m really excited to get back out on the road and start playing for people again.
“I am very proud of this record, we’ve spent a long time really exploring different aspects of what we could do,” he says. Form the beginning the three-piece have been known to be very protective of their creative direction, preferring to produce every piece of music themselves including their 2013 debut The Bones of What You Believe and their hugely successful follow-up in 2015, Open Every Eye. But this time around they got a little help from some well known friends. “We were open to anyone who could come in and embrace what we were already doing rather than trying to change it in any way.
“We kissed a few frogs along the way looking for a co-producer,” Dok jokes, “but we eventually found Greg [Kurstin] and his energy was incredible. In many ways it felt like the energy we had at the very beginning of the band and as a result we all got very excited about the prospect of making an album with him, so we did it, and it was cool.”
In addition to Kurstin, Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics was on board as kind of mentor to the band. “I love that man, he’s a true legend and someone who’s been very influential to me musically for years,” he says. “He’s a proper artist, and I think that term gets bantered around too much, but in his case it really feels right. His insight and his ideas, even talking to him about the business and how he sees artistry in this day and age was so valuable in itself.”
There’s little doubt that CHVRCHES are on their way to becoming music legends in their own right but if you needed more proof, along with their on-going support of Girls Rock Glasgow, they’ve now teamed up with PLUS1 and Girls Rock! Melbourne and Sydney to ensure that $1 from every ticket at their upcoming solo shows will go to support their work empowering girls, trans and gender-diverse young people through music education and mentorship.
“We don’t need any encouragement to support something like that. We all know that girls are under-represented especially in rock and indie music and behind the scenes of the business. We have a singer that has faced disrespect and fought on her way to join bands. I think it’s important that people of every gender get access to do what they love.”
When & Where: Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne – July 23
Release: Love Is Dead out now through Liberator Music/Goodbye Records
Written by Natalie Rogers