CHVRCHES: about their Asian tour, ships and Mocking Jay!

CHVRCHESLauren Mayberry, Iain Cook, and Martin Doherty — were back in Singapore on the 21st of November for a full-fledged concert following their appearance at Laneway Festival earlier this year. The Scottish synth-pop band embarked on their Asian tour this November and has since performed in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Manila and are set to perform at their upcoming Seoul concert tomorrow.

The Fifth Parlour got the opportunity to sit down for a quick light-hearted interview with the band before their concert to chat about their Asian tour, cruise-festival gig “It’s The Ship” and their latest release – “Dead Air” for The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay soundtrack.

Take a listen to CHVRCHES’ latest release, “Dead Air” here:

How has the Asian tour been so far?

Lauren: Yeah it’s been good! We’ve been here a few times but I guess this has been the most extensive one we’ve done so far. It’s really good to be able to come back to Singapore to play for a non-festival gig and to go to places we’ve never been before as well. Yeah, it’s really cool to go to new places you’ve never been and you don’t know if people really heard of the band that much, and to see actual people coming to the show, it’s exciting.

Do you think the Asian audience here is different from the one back home in any way?

Martin: Yeah, yeah! Every audience varies, not actually country by country, it’s like a site by site basis and it also depends on what night you are there. But I would say that the Asian audience are pretty different across the board. We had an amazing time at Laneway, you guys sang back at every song, like tracks that we don’t expect people to sing back! It’s cool.

After the concert in Singapore you’re going to do the “It’s The Ship” (a cruise-liner festival gig). Is it first time you’re doing it?

Iain: Yeah it’s our first time,we have no idea what to expect but I’m looking forward to the idea. It’s gonna be cool.

Do any of you guys get sea-sick though?

Martin: Yeah, me and Lauren are pretty bad at that.

Lauren: Yeah on the ferry it’s pretty bad. But if its on a bigger boat you won’t notice it as much?

Martin: You don’t. It will stabalise. Just imagine you’re on a giant island and not on a cruise ship.

Lauren: Otherwise I’m going to throw up on the gig.

Martin: Oh no you’re not.

I’m sure they have medicine for that, motion pills.

Martin: Yeah, buy them and take them on the ship. Better than… having to react y’know. It’s good.

So The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay just premiered here yesterday in Singapore! Huge responses from the audience. How does it feel to be contributing to the soundtrack of such a huge motion film?

Iain: We were just really honoured to be asked by Ella (Lorde) to create the soundtrack for Mocking Jay. We’re massive fans of the movie franchise. I didn’t read the book but we’re all up-to-date with the films and we’re excited to see the new one. But yeah, just to be on the soundtrack is amazing, it’s a huge honour! It’s great and I think the whole soundtrack holds together really well. Sometimes when you do these things they are kinda all over the place, it doesn’t sound conceptually coherent. But this really doesn’t and we’re really excited to be a part of it.

How was the writing process like for the song?

Lauren: I guess it was kinda like so much of what we normally do, and I guess she kinda just gave us a small brief, which was to write a CHVRCHES song for this movie, in which I think it’s really good for her to be that broad and trusting of people so yeah! I guess we’ve been on tour a lot like Martin, especially when he has ideas or little samples or sounds along the way. So that’s kinda different from when we wrote the album because we were all in the same room at the same time for the first record, but with that we kinda took one of the ideas we had already and wrote off the back of that and that’s how this song was made.

Have you guys made plans to catch the Mocking Jay yet?

Martin: No, but it turns out that we were supposed to go for the premier last night which makes way more sense. Why did no one say that it was the premiere? I would have been like, “Yeah, I’d go!”

Lauren: Hopefully over the course of this tour we’ll be able to see it but I guess we’d have to play a show tonight so yup.

Martin: No spoilers okay?

2014 has been a generally busy year for you guys, kicking off with their massive UK and Europe tour, festivals such as PitchFork, Laneway and back-to-back gigs. How do you guys keep your energy up? It’s really admiring.

Lauren: You have to pick your moments. Train, exercise, try to do all the stuff you would do when you’re home but on the road, just try and don’t eat crap all the time. Try and fit in exercise. 10 minutes, just try to do 10 minutes. But it’s hard to get those pockets of time.

Iain: I think what drives us in terms of energy level is the fact that things have been going really well and the fans are amazing, tickets are sold really well and the responses live have been great– I can’t imagine doing this if things were going really badly – like oh my God, God save us.

Martin: That’s true, if things were going badly we wouldn’t be on tour this long. People wouldn’t be bothered. What Ian says is really right. Like before it was 2AM and I was really jet-lagged and really wanted to sleep, but as soon as you go out and you see people react, like last night, and how they do generally, you forget about all that, you forget about everything that you got and then you go and collapse in a heap afterwards.

So you guys actually exercise on the site together or individually?

All at once: Individually. (Laughs)

The Fifth Parlour would like to extend a huge thank you to FeedbackAsia and Universal Music Singapore for the opportunity to conduct the interview and our friend, Mars, for helping out with the interview.

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