How Chvrches Builds an Unusual Connection to Fans Using Pizza

Scotland's Chvrches will perform at the Fillmore Auditorium on Thursday, October 22. The pop group got off the ground in 2011, when Iain Cook and Martin Doherty decided to go int the studio and see what would come about. At that time, Cook had been producing an EP by the band Blue Sky Archives. When Cook and Doherty listened to the demos, they recognized the clear talent of vocalist Lauren Mayberry. Shortly after that, the three got together to work on some songs and officially formed Chvrches.

In 2011, synth pop was enjoying a new wave of popularity, and Chrvches benefited from that spotlight, getting a boost into the public consciousness through an association with groups like M83, Paramore and Phoenix, to name but a few. 

Chvurches quickly outgrew that early connection, even as it remained friends with artists the group met while touring the world. These include Haim and Lorde, who asked Chvrches to contribute to the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1.

The latest Chvrches record, 2015's Every Eye Open, could be described as ebullient, expansive pop infused with thoughtful lyrics and correspondingly complex emotional colorings. It is reminiscent of some of the music Madonna did as the '80s crossed into the '90s. Although the group's growth in popularity over the last two years has been dramatic, Chvrches has kept as close a relationship with its fans as possible through its social media presence, which the band maintains directly, often interacting with fans individually.

“The connection with our fans has really grown, and our social media interaction [has become] much bigger and more significant,” says Iain Cook. “Particularly on this album. On the first record, we would go out after a show and we'd sign a bunch of stuff and get pictures with our fans. Now we're being more organized about it, and we've got a dedicated site set up where people can sign up to it and we randomly pick a bunch of people every day before every show to come hang out with us. And we'll get pizza or doughnuts and just chat. And that's something that we're really seeing the benefits of, because I think when you engage fans like that, people feel ownership of the band. People feel connected in a way that's more profound than something on their iPod. I think those are the people who will come back when the critics or whatever have given up on you, and they hold you to their hearts.

"The bands we grew up loving still have a devoted fan base," says Cook. "I'm thinking of bands like Depeche Mode, Paramore and Tegan and Sara. They have an amazing connection with their fans. It's something that's really important, because the fans are the reason we're here. We wouldn't be here if it weren't for people buying tickets and buying our records and giving us so much support and spreading the music to their friends. It started off with us responding to people directly, and it has grown into something a lot more significant, I think.”

Chvrches will be doing a meet-and-greet and album signing at Twist & Shout Records on Thursday, October 22, from 1 to 1:45 p.m. For more information, please visit the Twist & Shout website.

Catch Chvrches this Thursday, October 22, at the Fillmore Auditorium, with Mansionair. Door time is 6:30 p.m., and the show is at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are $30.50; this show is 16+. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Live Nation website.
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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.