Scottish synth-pop band Chvrches played in Malaysia for the first time in November 2014, and was well-received by local music fans. On Sept 2, the band takes the stage on Malaysian soil once more at the Tiger Jams Centrestage event in Kuala Lumpur.
Formed in 2011 as a studio project between long-time friends Iain Cook and Martin Doherty, with Lauren Mayberry joining later on as a lead vocalist, Chvrches (the members replaced the ‘U’ with a ‘V’ to increase their online presence) released its debut album The Bones Of What You Believe in 2013.
Spawning singles like The Mother We Share, Recover and Gun, the album was named one of Billboard’s 15 Best Albums of 2013. The band released its second album, Every Open Eye, last year.
Besides Chvrches, Tiger Jams Centrestage also features performances by the top three Tiger Jams finalists – Rozella, Son Of A Policeman and Donamarie – as well as The Sam Willows (Singapore), ToNick (Hong Kong) and Darren Ashley (Malaysia). There are also art pieces by Tiger Jams’ local visual artist, Donald Abraham, Kenji Chai and Flex.
Chvrches’ involvement in Tiger Jams extends to more than just its performance in KL – the band handpicked Kota Kinabalu electronica artiste Rozella for a special collaboration on her song Home To You.
You last played in KL in 2014. What can we expect from your show this time around?
When we played here last time, we only really had one album worth of songs to choose from. So, now with two albums under our belts, the set can be more dynamic and varied. Also we have played a ton of shows since then so we have probably gotten quite a bit better as a live band.
The band has been pretty relentless in the time since that 2014 show, touring constantly and releasing a new album last year. How do you keep yourselves from ever burning out, or getting sick of one another?
It’s a bit like a close family really. There are highs and lows but ultimately we get through them because we love making music together. You hear horror stories of bands travelling on separate tour buses and flights, but we aren’t like that at all. We still hang out and have fun together on the road.
I guess we are lucky in that regard. We don’t burn out because we learned lessons from the first album and take little breaks more regularly.
Also, it’s good to have hobbies on the road: movies, videogames, books, etc.
Every Open Eye seems more structured and polished than your debut. Was this the intention from the beginning?
No band ever wants to just repeat what they have done before. Every Open Eye is a record that just flew out of the studio. We wrote and recorded and mixed it in five months whereas the first one took a lot longer because we were working other jobs.
Every Open Eye was an intense record to make but we feel now that it was the right thing to do – to get right back out on the road as quickly as possible and make a very immediate sounding album.
Are there any plans for a third album in the near future? If so, what direction do you plan on taking it?
There is a lot of talk at this point in Chvrches HQ about the third album. It’s very exciting to us all but nothing concrete has been decided at this point.
We will finish touring in October in the US and then probably take some time to rest and start writing properly in the spring of 2017. We want to take more time over the third album and explore some new sounds and approaches to songwriting.
The print version of this story states that Chvrches are a Canadian band, when in fact, they are from Scotland. We apologise for the oversight.