Interviews

Chvrches' Iain Cook: 'We don't just write music for people to dance'

By Zaki JufriEvents - 06 November 2014 10:40 AM | Updated 10:52 AM

Chvrches' Iain Cook: 'We don't just write music for people to dance'

They were what most of the 10,000-strong crowd was waiting for all day at Laneway Festival in February early this year.

The unmistakable chords of ‘We Sink’ fills Gardens By The Bay with loud cheers from the throngs. 

“We are / I've come apart, and you made me / Float like a pretty box of your evil,” sang Lauren Mayberry, lead singer of Scottish band Chvrches – the crowd didn’t hold back. 

Thousands sang along with gusto, all mesmerised by Mayberry’s saccharine sweet and delicate voice, which is distinctively Chvrches. 

Come 21 November, they will play again in Singapore on 21 November at The Coliseum in Resorts World Singapore, then moving on to the cruise-ship music festival, It’s the Ship, on 23 November.

EYE-OPENING EXPERIENCE

Chvrches at Laneway Festival Singapore 2014. Photo: Zaki Jufri

Believe it or not, the band took a shine to the positive response for their debut performance in Singapore and cannot wait to relive the experience.

“We had no idea that there are so many people that like our music in that part of the world. We’ve been talking about it ever since and cannot wait to get back there,” Cook enthused.

“It can get a bit overwhelming, but I find the support very heartwarming,” Cook said about the band’s meteoric rise from near-obscurity. 

“This makes us want to keep doing it, carry on and take this momentum into our second album and beyond.” 

MUSIC FOR JOGGERS AND COMMUTERS

Cook said the experience of playing to hundreds of people night after night has given them a new perspective of what they need to do for their sophomore effort.

“We don’t just write music to play live or for people to dance. That is the one important factor for us to think about. We also want to make music for people who just listen to them on headphones at night or when they’re walking or running.”

“But ultimately, we want to make music for ourselves. My gut feeling is that the new album will be more dance-y than the first album,” Cook added.

AN ACCIDENTAL BEGINNING

If not for a serendipitous encounter between Iain Cook and Mayberry in 2011, their legion of fans will not have the band’s brand of infectious synth-pop.

MORE: Interview with Chvrches' Lauren Mayberry

“We stumbled upon her by accident. Martin (Doherty) and I were playing in another band in the past and had been talking about doing something new,” Cook told inSing in a phone interview from Memphis, Tennessee, US.

Prior to making music together, Cook played with Scottish bands Aerogramme and The Unwinding Hours, and wrote music for film and TV projects. 

Longtime friend and producing partner Doherty was a touring member of The Twilight Sad.

Mayberry played in various bands, but her full-time career was writing about music as a journalist.

Cook was producing an EP for Mayberry’s other band Blue Sky Archives. Impressed with what he heard, he passed their material to Doherty.

“We just asked her to come listen to what we have and maybe to work on some backing vocals. We didn’t have any aspiration to be a proper band and play live until we heard Lauren sing in an impromptu audition. We then ditched all the demos that Martin and I had been working on and started writing with her voice in mind,” Cook recalled. 

ONLINE BUZZ

Chvrches' Lauren Mayberry. Photo: Zaki Jufri

The trio rode on a wave of online buzz before translating social media hype into bona fide chart success. 

Since premiering ‘Lies’ as a free download on the Neon Gold music blog in mid-2012, Cook, Doherty and Mayberry have gone on to release the critically acclaimed debut record ‘The Bones of What You Believe’ in September last year.

The band is in the closing chapters of their US tour now and after this leg of the tour, they will be heading back to the studio to work on their second album.

'Dead Air' - Chvrches

Before fans can have their hands on the second album, they have to contend with new single ‘Dead Air’, their contribution to the Lorde-curated soundtrack of ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1’.

An uplifting call to arms of sorts to complement the theme of the first part of the movie franchise’s finale, the song finds the band in familiar territory, serving as an apt prologue. 

“Our brief for the next album is “kind of the same but 50 per cent better”. We want to make an album that is happier than the first one,” Cook beamed. 

The Gathering with Chvrches | Date: 21 November 2014 | Time: 8pm | Venue: The Coliseum, Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway | Tickets: S$88, S$100 from eventclique


Zaki Jufri writes about the arts, entertainment, film and other stuff for inSing.com

The Gathering with CHVRCHES - Live in Singapore

The Gathering with CHVRCHES - Live in Singapore

Date Nov 21, 2014

VenueThe Coliseum, Resorts World Sentosa

Ticket PriceS$88.00 - S$100.00
 (excludes booking fee)