Ahead of their set at BottleRock Napa 2022, Audacy host Dallas Osborn caught up with CHVRCHES to learn more about what they remember from their very first shows, as well as the hot topic of artists being pressured to use TikTok.
LISTEN NOW: CHVRCHES backstage at BottleRock Napa 2022
This June will mark ten years since the band played their very first show, which they did under the name Shark Week at Electric Circus in Edinburgh, Scotland. "Word had got out about CHVRCHES, we had never played live and we were so scared to be rubbish," producer Martin Doherty says, "We created a fake name and got on a couple of bills so we could get a dry run of performing before anyone would know it was us. It was kind of cool because there were 20 people there and we started playing the song that was blowing up and they were like, 'wait a minute!'"
Many years later, the band was set to open Halsey's 2020 tour before it was delayed -- and while they aren't on the 2022 edition of that tour, CHVRCHES are well aware of the recent story of Halsey saying her label won't let her release a new song until it goes viral on TikTok.
"Honestly, that whole conversation got very exhausting for me. I could do without the hot takes on takes on takes about it," says singer Lauren Mayberry. "It's just another marketing tool for music and I don't know the specifics of her conversation, and I don't think that people needed to pile on. If you want to use it, use it. If you don't want to use it, don't. I would rather talk about the content, like 'what is the music about?' I saw massive artists and indie artists all slagging her off for it. It's her prerogative and she can talk about what she wants to talk about it. I don't really buy into the argument that TikTok is killing the music industry, because the music industry is already full of s***." Lauren also touched on how the reaction to Halsey's openness about the situation was similar to the reaction Taylor Swift received when talking about streaming service revenues.
"There's no difference between what people are doing to be successful on TikTok versus what people were doing to write a three-and-a-half minute song. Or when people were putting on hairspray and leather pants to be a hair metal act. These are the tools of the time and you can do, or do not, it is what it is," adds Doherty.
"I don't know why we live in a culture where everyone needs to have an opinion on everything. Halsey spoke her truth and has always been transparent with her fanbase, she came from the space of Tumblr and that's how she communicates with people," Mayberry says. "I don't know that it needed to be turned into this massive think piece. People were quite cynical saying she did it for marketing, or maybe she was just being honest and that was her experience. To me, it's like just let people do what they want to do."
"Would that conversation have been different if it were a male artist?" -- Mayberry asks.
CHVRCHES are set to play more festivals this year, including appearances at Bonnaroo, Mad Cool, and Float Fest, as well as a run of North American tour dates through the fall. Grab your tickets right HERE.
Listen to more of your favorite music on Audacy's all-new Alt Now, Alt New Arrivals, Drivin' Alt, New Wave Mix Tape, '90s and Chill, Alterna 00s, and ALT Roots stations -- plus check out our talent-hosted Kevan Kenney's Music Discovery, Megan Holiday's My So Called '90s Playlist, and Scott Lowe on the Go's Post Modern Music Box!
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