Since the release of No Regrets in 2013, Seattle’s Chastity Belt have emerged as post-punk party rock staples. Melancholy but never maudlin, the four women of Chastity Belt create satisfying songs for when everything around you feels like a bummer but you still want to go out and have a good time.
Recent signees to the label Hardly Art, with their second full length, “Time To Go Home” expected in March, Chastity Belt grooves together while radiating positive energy. I recently sat down with lead guitar player, Lydia Lund, to talk about the songwriting process, Chastity Belt’s future, and Lund’s plan to eventually retire in a forested mystical paradise.
She Shreds: When did you first start playing guitar?
Lydia Lund: I started in middle school because my best friend played guitar. I had just moved from Texas to Hawaii and I didn’t have any friends yet. I had just stopped playing flute, which I absolutely hated, and we’d play together. Since finding people to play music with, it’s made playing guitar so much more fun.
SS: How did you meet your bandmates at Whitman College?
LL: At Whitman, I was just “party friends” with Julia– we would go to parties, and then came up with this idea where we’d be in a band together called Chastity Belt. It was much more about the idea at that moment. Getting together, getting wasted, and just causing a ruckus. And then I think she was like, “let’s actually try to do this.”
What’s the songwriting process like as a full band?
Julia‘s really good at just churning out song after song and all the basics of it, so we just jam on stuff at practice and keep jamming on it for a few weeks, and if something sticks, then we’ll go with it. The way we put the songs together is a lot more organic and not presumptuous. Some of our best songs we write when we’re on retreat together.
What’s the retreat all about?
My family has a cabin in the Key Peninsula, so we all go there when we get a chance. It’s so fun because we set up all our gear in one room, and play music and then hang out in the other room, and go back and forth. We usually come up with something good.
Do you think that your style of guitar playing has changed since being in Chastity Belt?
I think I’m a better guitarist. I feel in a way limited, like I can only play in this way that fits Chastity Belt because we all learned our instruments together. It’s so easy for me to come up with Chastity Belt lead lines; it’s very second nature. But when I’m writing music for myself it’s a lot harder.
If you were in another band that wasn’t Chastity Belt, what kind of music would you want to write?
Lately I’ve been getting really into looping. I’ve been writing some songs that are kind of relaxation songs, layering with vocal and guitar. It’s just for fun right now, and it’s a very relaxing process. I really like what Briana Marela is doing, and I just saw Deradoorian play at the Neptune and that was awesome.
Do you play any other instruments?
I got a harp a little while ago, so I’ve been experimenting with that, but it turns out that it’s really difficult and different from guitar. I guess I always had this dream of going and living in the woods and becoming, like, an elf-loving harp player, and just like reading Lord of the Rings over and over again. Filling my house with crystals…I just want to leave room for that to happen. Open that door.
What kind of gear do you use for Chastity Belt?
I have the same amp and guitar from 7th grade, and I love my guitar. It’s a Strat. I love the way it looks and I love the pick-ups on it. I don’t use pedals for Chastity Belt, but I’m personally all about looping pedals. They’re SO GREAT. Everyone should get a loop pedal, because then they can play music by themselves, which is really important. Sometimes it’s hard to play music when you’re not with a group.
Does Chastity Belt have any New Years Resolutions for 2015?
We want to go to SXSW and do a European tour, and open for Sleater-Kinney. We already have so many more songs that we also just want to record another album.