"I'm always like, is this a prank? Is someone going to turn around in a minute and say 'it was all made up. Everybody was an actor. You're not actually playing the show'" - Lauren Mayberry
Last Fall CHVRCHES
chose Central Park's Summer Stage in NYC to kick off what is sure to be a multi-year trek around the globe in support of their brilliant, sophomore album Every Open Eye
. The album ups the game on the endearing, indie-electronica of their debut, The Bones of What You Believe
...a collection we called "polished, precise, addictive and clean from start to finish, just about the perfect follow up." when it came out.
Central Park Summer Stage is an iconic location...can you think of a more beautiful and thrilling setting to kick off a world tour? But that evening also represented something so much more in the band's career. Not just a new album and tour, but loftier ambitions as a band, and bigger expectations from fans and critics. So, in many ways, it might have been a show that represented the one of the most important moments in the band's history. And we were beyond humbled to be chosen to capture the band's beautiful performance on that magical night back in September.
In addition to producing a full concert film (which we'll be bringing to you sometime in March), we also set out to go behind the scenes of this magnificent moment for the band. Sitting down with Lauren, Iain, and Martin shortly before their sound check, we chatted about a variety of topics, including what playing such a historical venue feels like, what they hope their fans get out of Every Open Eye
, and probably most interestingly, the extremely close and very deliberate relationship they share with their fans.
"I think we've always been incredibly lucky that people have been very passionate about this band," Lauren explained to us. "Since the very beginning there was a handful of people who found the band on a blog and were passing a link to their friends. There has always been a really engaged community around the band."
To honor that passion the band regularly spend time with members of their fan club in each city they play in, holding sound check parties, sharing conversation, and sending everyone home with loads of personalized CHVRCHES memorabilia, not to mention a whole lot of memories. "I don't think without that [relationship] we would be doing the things that we're doing," Lauren went on to explain. "It's very important to us that we can keep in contact with that community and feel that we're in engaged with it. I think it should be based on a mutual respect. I'm sure a lot of people have a lot of comments about how we do live shows, but I would rather be connecting with people and engaging with them on a [personal] level."
In our unique, behind the scenes look at the band's show in Central Park, we preview clips from the upcoming concert feature that we'll share on the site in the coming months. But more importantly, we dive into the relationship between the band and their fans, talking to a handful of excited concert goers who enthusiastically shared their stories about why CHVRCHES are their favorite band.
What's most interesting is how relationship extends both ways. For the folks we talked to, the band's show in Central Park was more than just the opportunity to see an amazing concert. CHVRCHES write the kind of songs that burrow deep down into the soul, shaping their fans' lives as they navigate the twists and turns and rough roads that sometimes lay ahead, taking direct inspiration from what Lauren, Iain, and Martin do and how they go about doing it.
"I've heard this Bruce Springsteen quote," Lauren told us. "I guess he said that when he plays a show he never wants to look at the audience and not see himself in the audience. And he never wants the audience to look at him and not see themselves in him." Which we think pretty much sums up how this incredible group of musicians approach their career and their relationship with the folks who allow them to do the things they do every day.