Chastity Belt’s Julia Shapiro steps out on her own on Perfect Version

Last April, shortly after a show at The Pilot Light in Knoxville, Tennessee, beloved indie rock band Chastity Belt cancelled the remainder of their US tour, citing “health concerns.” Lead singer Julia Shapiro was in the midst of a crisis. She’d recently had half of her thyroid removed — doctors suspected that it might be cancerous. She’d also broken up with her long-term partner, who’d moved out of her apartment in Seattle before the tour started. Shapiro held things together, on stage at least, for the first month of the tour. But halfway through the south, Shapiro’s bandmates realized how hard she was struggling. Collectively, they called it off.

One of Shapiro’s closest friends lived in Asheville, where the band were due to play the next night, so they drove the two hours east. Shapiro spent some time with her friend, and she started to pick apart the past eight years of her life. She doubted everything. “I had a lot of questions going through my mind: ‘Should I be doing something else with my life? What else could I do?’” she says now over the phone from her home in Seattle. “I felt really confused about what I even liked about music to begin with. I think touring had lost its luster.”

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