Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry says touring, and life on the road, has helped her adjust to lockdown.

The Scottish synth pop singer has been speaking to BBC Scotland’s Unlocked podcast from her current base in Los Angeles.

In the interview she talks about being on lockdown in LA, the ups and downs of social media and abusive relationships.

“I was feeling very strange about being so far away from family and stuff, but then at this point…even if you are near your family you can’t really visit,” she says.

Last month, she and the rest of the band performed – remotely – on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

She says being in lockdown isolation has been softened by having her rescue cats for company, and that touring life may have also prepared her for these times.

“When we are on the road, I don’t really go out much during the day, so I feel like I spend a lot of time in hotel rooms and venue dressing rooms.

“You have to find out how to make every green room your home office, home gym…whatever.”

‘Sense of community’

However, with more time to create music during lockdown, Mayberry admits that it can be hard to maintain productivity.

“It comes in bursts. I can be super productive on one day and the next day I am quite worried about everything and I can’t get anything done.”

And the pressure to be productive from social media can weigh heavily.

“They always say ‘there is nothing as sure as death and taxes’… and the fact that social media will make you feel bad,” Mayberry jokes.

The singer, who has spoken openly about the misogynistic abuse she has faced online, admits that social media is a more positive influence on her life just now.

“I think, in a way, I find social media nice because, for once, it feels…as if people want to connect and have a sense of community which I don’t know exists at other times.

“But even when I am looking at things [online], I am like ‘aww, that person’s doing this, this person has written half a book and what have I done?’ I’ve not done anything.”

Image caption

Mayberry says she had to choose between a toxic relationship or her band Chvrches

This week, BBC The Social released a digital drama depicting an abusive relationship called Control.

Having previously spoken openly about a toxic relationship she has experienced, Mayberry reflected on that time in her life and how difficult it would be during lockdown.

“I can’t imagine how difficult it is right now to be dealing with something like that. It is very easy for people to say at the best of times, ‘just leave this person’,” Mayberry says.

“Right now, there are practical things that are in the way of that, as well as the emotional things.”

‘Leave marks’

Mayberry says that she might still be in that relationship if it wasn’t for her band.

Speaking about her own experience, she says: “For me it was a kind of drip by drip thing. It’s not like the first time you meet this person they behave that way. It’s a subtle coercive thing that happens over a course of time, as is your realisation of it as well, I think.”

“I really don’t know if I would’ve exited that situation at the time I did, if we hadn’t had the band, because ultimately it was sort of an ultimatum situation.”

Mayberry was given a choice between the relationship and the band. She says it was a very bizarre and scary decision to make but she is glad she chose Chvrches.

“I think [coercive relationships are] a lot more common than people think. I think there are ways to leave marks on a partner without physically doing it. I learned a lot. I got a lot of tunes out of it, I guess.”

To hear the full interview with Lauren Mayberry, go to Unlocked on BBC Sounds.

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