Indie Mixtape 20: Chastity Belt Embrace The Cringe On ‘Live Laugh Love’

If you weren’t living under a rock in the 2010s, you’re probably familiar with the phrase “live, laugh, love.” The motivational slogan was pervasive in everything from home decor to clothing, and even became a popular tattoo. It eventually became so ubiquitous that it became “cringe,” but with Chastity Belt’s upcoming fifth studio album Live Laugh Love, the Pacific Northwest-based rock band is embracing the cringe. They’re reclaiming the phrase and using it to describe how grateful they feel to still be making music together after over a decade as a band.

On the upcoming album, which drops Friday, Chastity Belt approached making music with vigor, levity, and compassion. But as a whole, the record is about celebrating their friendship and their time making music in the studio together. And that sense of playfulness can be heard in the grunge-inspired melodies throughout the album. On catchy tracks like “Hallow,” “Funny,” and “Blue,” they inject both wisdom and humor into topics like isolation, growth, and change; “Don’t get upset about it / It’s gonna pass / Tell all your friends about it / They’re gonna laugh.”

Ahead of the release of Live Laugh Love, the band sits down with Uproxx to talk Angel Olsen, medieval harmonies, and Boggle in our latest Q&A.

What are four words you would use to describe your music?

Julia: Spacious, introspective, subtle, intuitive.

It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?

Lydia: In 2050 we will all have just turned 60 and we will still be playing music together so no one will have to remember us – I do hope that they are impressed by our lasting friendship.

Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?

Annie: Dang one person?! Impossible to pick one person. I have always been very inspired by the Fleetwood Mac. We got to see them together as a band in 2015 and it was inspiring and magical to share that experience together.

Where did you eat the best meal of your life and what was it?

Annie: I recently started eating meat after being vegetarian/vegan for nearly 20 years and the hand-torn noodle chicken soup from 101 Noodle Express in Alhambra is the most delicious and comforting food I have ever tasted.

Tell us about the best concert you’ve ever attended.

Lydia: Angel Olsen played a series of solo shows at the Tote in Melbourne. I went to two of them and it was really fascinating how different the vibe of each night was in spite of her performing almost the same set. This was one of my favorite concert experiences not just because of the beautiful music, but also because it confirmed for me how much a concert can be a collective experience.

What song never fails to make you emotional?

Gretchen: “This Woman’s Work” by Kate Bush.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

Julia: “Ab implant woman.” Just curious what they would look like.

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?

Julia: We stayed at this really nice ranch once and got to ride four-wheelers around their acres upon acres of property.

What’s your favorite city in the world to perform and what’s the city you hope to perform in for the first time?

Gretchen: We always have really fun shows in San Francisco. I’d love to play any city in Japan!

What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?

Gretchen: Spend less time playing sports and start playing music instead.

What’s one of your hidden talents?

Julia: I’m EXTREMELY good at Boggle. No one has ever beaten me.

If you had a million dollars to donate to charity, what cause would you support and why?

Annie: If I had a million dollars, I would divide it up and donate – directly to people seeking gender-affirming care, Palestinian families struggling to survive during an active genocide, Shout Your Abortion… It is so dark and twisted that people have to turn to raising money for themselves to have their basic needs met. Abolish billionaires forever.

What are your thoughts about AI and the future of music?

Julia: I’d love to hear an AI-generated Chastity Belt song.

You are throwing a music festival. Give us the dream lineup of 5 artists that will perform with you and the location it would be held.

Lydia: Kurt Vile, Courtney Barnett, Darren Hanlon, Radiohead, and Jay Som at Gundlach Bundschu Winery in Sonoma.

Who’s your favorite person to follow on social media?

Julia: @crisis.acting. There’s some wild videos on that account, highly recommend.

What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?

Annie: During senior year of college, we had our first show in Seattle and decided to get tattoos from the Lesbian Mayor of Seattle – Lisa Orth (amazing artist). I wanted an outline of a pentagon and she thought I said pentagram so I showed up and she had printed out a pentagram and I was ALMOST too shy and nervous to correct her.

What is your pre-show ritual?

Gretchen: We all sing/wail together in a chorus of medieval harmonies.

Who was your first celebrity crush?

Lydia: Viggo Mortensen.

You have a month off and the resources to take a dream vacation. Where are you going and who is coming with you?

Lydia: Annie, Gretchen, Julia and I hire our friend Darren Hanlon to take us on a three week tour of all his favorite places across Australia, then all five of us fly over to Bali for a week of snorkeling and recovering from our wild time in the outback.

What is your biggest fear?

Gretchen: Falling through that little gap between the tarmac and the plane when I’m boarding an airplane.

Live Laugh Love is out 3/29 via Suicide Squeeze. Find more information here.