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Interview

Chvrches: “We’ve always felt like a rock band at heart”

Iain talks festivals, live drummers and more ahead of Citadel.
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Published: 2:44 pm, June 27, 2018
Chvrches: “We’ve always felt like a rock band at heart”

They’re back! With a brilliant third album out now, Chvrches are ready to hit the festival circuit again. At Citadel, they’ll appear on a bill that also includes the mighty Tame Impala, quite probably Britain’s most incendiary new band Shame, the always brilliant Horrors and loads, loads more. We caught up with Iain from the band to find out what we should expect.

You’ve got a new album out just in time for festival season. Are you looking forward to getting back out there and playing live?
Absolutely, yes. Getting to share the new songs that we have been brewing up is my favourite part of what we do. Writing in the studio is a lot of fun and very fulfilling too, but the songs really take on a life of their own on stage.

How are you feeling about playing the new songs live? It feels like tracks like ‘Miracle’ and ‘Get Out’ are going to be absolutely massive.
I feel like it’s going to be a pretty different experience. It’s been just the three of us since the beginning, and I always knew it was inevitable that we would get a drummer at some stage and now that time has come, and I can’t wait for people to hear how much energy the new songs have.

Does having a live drummer change things? Your power trio is now a square. 
We are yet to find out! Having just started rehearsals and played a radio session, it’s too early to comment on that definitively, but early signs are very exciting indeed. On stage, we have always felt like a rock band at heart, and now we are taking steps towards that.

Do you feel like there’s more pressure on you at a festival, playing to people who might not know much about you?
It can sometimes feel like that yes, but it’s best to see it as more of a challenge than a pressure. I would say that it makes us come out swinging, but when I think about it, that’s how we tend to approach every show. But there’s no question that the energy and nerves are a bit different to playing one of our own shows.

What do you want people to take from seeing Chvrches live?
I think the best live music can be a very cathartic experience. It can make us think, laugh, cry, or just jump around and feel part of something communal, bigger than ourselves. All of those things feel powerful and specific to a live music experience. I hope that people who come to see us live will take from it what they need.

The best thing about festivals is discovering something new and unexpected, either seeing a different side of a band you love or falling in love with something you’ve never heard before. Did you have any moments like that when you were younger?
I remember the first time I saw The Flaming Lips live. On record, they are exuberant, psychedelic and reflective. But their live show explodes all of those things and seems larger than life. It was quite a shock the first time I saw them and didn’t lose its power after having seen them a few more times.

Chvrches play Citadel in London on 15th July, alongside Tame Impala, Leon bridges, The Horrors, Honne, Shame, Goat Girl, Ten Tonnes and loads more. Visit citadelfestival.com for tickets.

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