Make us your home page
Instagram

Dress up for Chvrches show Saturday if you want to catch lead singer's eye

 Chvrches, the Scottish trio that shot through the ranks of the indie-pop world, will perform with Mansionair in St. Petersburg on Halloween.

Getty Images

Chvrches, the Scottish trio that shot through the ranks of the indie-pop world, will perform with Mansionair in St. Petersburg on Halloween.

If you want to catch Lauren Mayberry's eye this Halloween, come to Jannus Live dressed as Lauren Mayberry. Or Taylor Swift. Or Elvis Presley. Or Gene Simmons. Or any of your favorite musicians, actually.

"Creative costumes, where you can learn something about the person from the costume they've chosen, are always good," the singer for the indie-pop band Chvrches said by phone during a recent tour stop in Kansas City. "If someone's dressed as their favorite musician, that probably tells you a lot about them. That would be my goal."

To the best of Mayberry's knowledge, though, she's never met a full-on Chvrches cosplayer. "Maybe one day," she said.

It might happen sooner than anyone thinks, considering how fast the Scottish trio has shot through the ranks of the indie-pop world.

First came electro-peppy singles like The Mother We Share and Recover, which turned Chvrches (pronounced "churches") into darlings at giant festivals like Glastonbury and Bonnaroo. In September, they dropped their empowering sophomore album Every Open Eye, which dials the driving energy of Chvrches' signature '80s-inspired synthesizers — think Erasure and early Depeche Mode — up to 11.

"At this point, we're really excited to have more than one album to play," she said. "By the time we finished touring album one, there's only so many ways you can reorganize a setlist of 12 to 14 songs. This time we've been able to focus more on the ebb and flow."

The big synths and mad-dash energy of Every Other Eye call to mind another big pop album: Taylor Swift's 1989. Mayberry said she didn't know Swift was playing Tampa's Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, the same night Chvrches is playing in St. Petersburg, but she isn't sweating it. While the two have never met, she called Swift a smart and talented artist, and said she even went to one of her concerts this summer in Glasgow.

Mayberry seems a little wary talking about the current queen of pop — "I feel like you just want me to say something bad about Taylor Swift," she says with a little laugh — but then again, she has long applied a very keen eye for how Chvrches is perceived, both as artists and personalities.

She owns a law degree and master's in journalism, and over the past two years has become an outspoken opponent of online troll culture, partly in response to negative comments lobbed her way on the band's social media platforms. It's a stance she doesn't back down from, but does tend to downplay.

"We never really set out to be — and I don't know that we are — the figureheads in an anti-trolling movement," she said. "We've done a couple of entries about it, and people tend to write more about what we've said than we actually talk about it. For me, it's interesting when people say that Chvrches took a stand on online misogyny, because we have a problem with all misogyny, not just the stuff that's online."

Intentional or not, the inspirational lyrics of Every Open Eye meshes well with Mayberry's Digital Age feminism. "Here's to taking what you came for, and here's to running off the pain," she chirps on Never Ending Circles. And on Playing Dead: "No more distractions and no more staying still / I am chasing the skyline much more than you ever will."

"It's nice when people come and talk to us at signings or shows or whatever, and say that the music means something to them, or how we conduct ourselves has resonated with them," Mayberry said. "That, to me, is more positive feedback than a review or criticism or something like that. Actually meeting people that listen to our music and go to shows, and getting feedback that way, is a lot more genuine."

Mayberry doesn't preach gender politics during Chvrches' live shows, instead letting the atmosphere of each night shape how she interacts with the crowd.

"That's the great thing about touring," she said. "Yes, you tour the world, you play a lot of shows, but every show is different. Every night, the front row is different."

That will be the case at Jannus Live, particularly if the front row shows up in costume. For her part, Mayberry is cagey about Chvrches' own Halloween plans. She'd like to dress up in costume, she said, but her band mates aren't yet on board.

"Negotiations," she said, "are ongoing."

Contact Jay Cridlin at cridlin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8336. Follow @JayCridlin.

Chvrches

The band performs with Mansionair at 7 p.m. Saturday at Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. The venue is promising prizes for the best Halloween costumes. Tickets start at $23. (727) 565-0550, jannuslive.com.

Dress up for Chvrches show Saturday if you want to catch lead singer's eye 10/26/15 [Last modified: Monday, October 26, 2015 5:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Aug. 21-27

    Events

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Watch the team practice for free at Bucs Training Camp on Tuesday-Thursday at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, where you'll also find the crew from HBO's Hard Knocks, the reality show featuring our team. Saturday, the team takes on the Cleveland Browns in a preseason game at …

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) participates in practice during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017.
  2. Comedy legend Jerry Lewis dead at 91

    Obituaries

    LOS ANGELES — Jerry Lewis, the manic, rubber-faced showman who jumped and hollered to fame in a lucrative partnership with Dean Martin, settled down to become a self-conscious screen auteur and found an even greater following as the tireless, teary host of the annual muscular dystrophy telethons, has died. He was …

    In this Sept. 2, 1990, file photo, entertainer Jerry Lewis makes his opening remarks at the 25th Anniversary of the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon fundraiser in Los Angeles. Lewis, the comedian whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, has died according to his publicist. [Associated Press]
  3. If you miss out on Retro Futura tour, you'll be needing a little 'Tenderness'

    Blogs

    Closing out Retro Futura Week is a little bit of a cheat. We started the week with the English Beat and we end it with an offshoot of the Beat, the band General Public and their hit …

  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Aug. 20

    Events

    The Art of the Brick: An elaborate display of more than 100 pieces of Lego artwork including the life sized sculpture of a man ripping open his chest, a 20-foot-long T. rex skeleton, a giant skull and replicas of famous works including Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night and Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona …

    Eliana Goldberg, 5, of Wesley Chapel looks at a Lego sculpture called "Everlasting" at The Art of the Brick exhibit, which opened Friday in Tampa and runs through Sept. 4. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  5. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]