Chvrches is out with its sophomore album Every Open Eye, and while the band has turned heads for its dark electropop style, frontwoman Lauren Mayberry has also attracted attention as an outspoken musician and role model for women's issues. In a conversation for Interview Magazine with Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker, the two talk about sexism in the music industry and feminism among many other topics.
Tucker is another outspoken feminist and highly admired by Mayberry herself, so the two hit off right away talking about the pressure of releasing an album, especially your second record.
The interview went in many directions talking about Mayberry's Scottish heritage and touring in different countries, but the question that has garnered the most attention is one she's never been asked before - "who are your favorite writers or poets?"
"At the moment, I'm reading a lot of non-fiction," Mayberry said. "I'm not sure if it's because I've been traveling a lot - it's easier to pick up and put down non-fiction stuff. I've been re-reading the Jessica Valenti book, Full Frontal Feminism. I've been reading Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates; I saw him on The Daily Show talking about it and immediately after that I had to order that book. Then The Daily Show ended, and I was very sad. I felt like I was weeping for a week."
She also mentioned Anne Carson and Angela Carter as influences before describing her frustrations with the writing process.
"I remember at the start, there was a two-week period where I couldn't get anything done," she said. "I would start writing something and then I'd be like, 'I don't like this.' It was two steps forward and one step back. I must have pushed to the ceiling at a certain point. Then, finally, the writing came really quickly, the record came thematically together, I hope. It just took ages to get started. I think I was over-thinking it."
Tucker couldn't have agreed more.
The two also discussed an interview Mayberry had earlier that day in which a British journalist asked "Do you think you'd like to take some time out of music in the next few years to focus on your personal life? I don't know if you have a partner but have you considered how you would juggle children with touring?"
As a small example of the sexism they see in the music industry everyday, they both seemed to think a male musician wouldn't be asked the same question.