Sure, palling about in the twilight of an Australian summer with an ace indie lineup sounds appealing, especially to three young Glaswegians no doubt acclimatised to cold, grey days, but some interesting new comments CHVRCHES made in a recent interview suggest that being a musician these days is about working hard more than it is partying hard.
But before you cry foul, understand where CHVRCHES member Martin Doherty is coming from, referring to the fact that the glory days of ‘sex, drugs, and rock n roll’ are well and truly in the past and with the dwindling revenue streams through the onset of the digital era of music, musicians have to work at earning a crust rather than blowing all their dough on the high life – or have others do it for them.
Speaking to Consequence Of Sound ahead of the release of their debut album, The Bones Of What You Believe (which our Tone Deaf reviewer calls a “brilliant, mind-blowing debut”), Doherty reflects on the state of the industry.
“Musicians are not rock stars anymore,” says Doherty. “Musicians work as hard as possible. If you want to talk to rock stars, talk to poker players and software developers. They’re the new rock stars. They’re the ones having parties all the time.” “Musicians work as hard as possible. If you want to talk to rock stars, talk to poker players and software developers.”
Doherty’s appraisal was triggered by a discussion of Metallica’s 2004 rockumentary, Some Kind Of Monster, which CHVRCHES vocalist Lauren Mayberry found a sobering viewing experience as a form of rock and roll education.
“I found it really depressing,” remarks Mayberry. “It’s a very good thing to watch on tour. Never has it been so obvious that people really hate each other but don’t know what else to do with their lives other than be in a band.”
At risk of steering the interview into “[making] this whole thing ‘They Hate Lars Ulrich’,” Mayberry adds: “If you’re not enjoying it anymore, and you don’t enjoy being with these people, and you don’t enjoy writing, and you don’t necessarily need money, why the fuck are you doing it?” Likening the metal masters to outlasting the decadence of the 80s but not necessarily overcoming it.
So where have all the hard-partying, groupie-groping rock stars gone in an age where musicians have to work harder to be heard (let alone paid)? Well, Kanye West might have the answer.
The Scots’ comments arrive closely after Kanye West declared himself the world’s biggest rock star, telling BBC Radio 1 presenter Zane Lowe in his high profile interview that: “Rap is the new rock n roll… We the new rock stars and I’m the biggest of all of them!”
In related news, the band also recently took a public stand against some more lewd ‘fans’ recently, combating some sexist comments online by taking to their Facebook page over some harassing messages directed towards their 25-year-old female vocalist.
“Please stop sending us emails like this,” write the trio, providing evidence of “one of the more polite” messages, in which a ‘fan’ asks to take Mayberry to dinner before suggesting they’d “make superior love together.” The band note that other crude notes have included “‘I’m going to give her anal’ and ‘I’d fuck the accent right out of her and she’d love it’. (No you wouldn’t; no, she really wouldn’t).”
The post has triggered a swell of support from the band’s fanbase against the creepy, misogynistic soliciations. “I hate that women in any kind of public facing role are automatically judged and objectified in such a gross manner,” writes one commenter, while another writes: “It’s never okay to glamorize rape and sexist culture. Pretty or not, being famous or not, sending messages on the Internet like this is wrong.”
So in summary, in the words of Donna Summer, CHVRCHES work hard for the money, so hard for the money – so you better treat them right.