Interview: Upbringing: Chastity Belt

Upbringing: Chastity Belt

We grill the Seattle-based band on their early musical obsessions, as they ready a new album.

Considering Chastity Belt first formed as a joke - for a college battle of the bands, to be exact - they’ve certainly grown into a seriously great prospect. With their second album ‘Time To Go Home’ making waves last year with its ghostly interplay, and chiming pulse, the Seattle-based four-piece are already hard at work on the follow-up, and have been holed up in Portland at work with producer Matthew Simms (y’know, Wire’s guitarist).

With album number three apparently due in early 2017, we caught up with the band’s Julia Shapiro to go in on her earliest musical obsessions, and biggest influences. Just like Girls Aloud, Chastity Belt don’t need no good advice, apparently, and it turns out they’re big Britney fans, too. 

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What was the first gig you ever went to?

My parents dragged me to a Jimmy Buffett concert when I was nine or something. I did not have very much fun.

Were there a good supply of venues in your hometown?

No not at all. I grew up in Palo Alto and there wasn’t any kind of music scene there. I had to go into San Francisco whenever I wanted to see a show. I moved to Walla Walla for college and there wasn’t really much of a music scene there either. I didn’t really start going to shows that regularly until we all moved to Seattle. At that point we were playing a lot of shows and going to a lot of shows, but it was all really new for me.

What was the first song you developed an obsession for?

I can’t really remember. Probably something by Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera.

First song you ever bought with your own money, and why?

I remember buying a Linkin Park CD when I was in 6th grade and feeling so proud of myself. I thought I was so much cooler than everyone else who was still listening to pop music.

What’s the story behind your first instrument?

My mom got me a Fender Squier after I’d taken guitar lessons for a few months in 7th grade. I was really excited to have an electric guitar, because before that I’d been learning how to play on her old classical acoustic guitar.

What’s your worst musical habit?

Hmm I don’t know. I’m probably doing everything wrong.

What inspirations outside of music have an impact on your songwriting?

Feelings, memories, the people I’m close to, drugs.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given as a musician?

Don’t always take other people’s advice.

If you could be in a band from the last two decades, which one would you choose?

Not really a band, but I would have liked to have the chance to play music with Elliott Smith. He’s my favourite songwriter. It would also been cool to be in the Cure. I’d love to have the chance to be that goth.

Chastity Belt are currently working on their third album. It’s expected in 2017.