Rolling Stone held its first Morning Sessions during ACL Fest 2018 on Saturday, October 6th, at Wanderlust Yoga in Austin. Glasgow synth-pop trio Chvrches stopped by to chat with Rolling Stone’s Suzy Exposito about the making of their latest album, Love Is Dead, with acclaimed producer Greg Kurstin. The band also discussed their favorite rock stars, living in Donald Trump’s America and the resulting culture shocks.
“Clearly we caught loads of sunshine,” quips Lauren Mayberry of recording Love Is Dead, which took place in Kurstin’s basement studio in Los Angeles. “No light and no windows [is] what we wanted,” said Martin Doherty. Inspired by such Eighties staples as Prince’s Purple Rain, the band notes that Kurstin lent them the same Yamaha CS-80 synth previously owned by Steely Dan’s Walter Becker. “My dad was very impressed,” said Mayberry.
“You how when you were a kid and you listened to what your parents listened to?” Mayberry continued. “I used to think that Steely Dan was a woman. Their greatest hits had a surfer chick on the [cover] with sunglasses on. I was like, ‘Cool, she doesn’t sing on this song but I guess she must be playing everything!'”
“Steely Danielle?” said Iain Cook with a chuckle. “Little did she know what ‘steely dan’ meant.”
“It’s very rude,” Mayberry said.
The band engaged in a heated discussion of American politics, as well as whether Morrissey or The Cure’s Robert Smith is the better British singer. They also took turns doing their best impressions of Metallica’s James Hetfield, who would perform later Saturday night. (“Temp-tay-shunnnn,” growled Mayberry at 7:35.)
Mayberry would later bring her signature riot grrrl furor to the stage on Saturday October 13th, calling Senator Ted Cruz a “cock popsicle” for helping advance Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court the previous week. She would dedicate the song, “Leave a Trace,” to survivors of sexual violence.
Love Is Dead is out now via Virgin EMI Records.