Frontwoman Clementine Creevy on the band’s riotous new album and how solidarity with other women is a daily practice.
When Cherry Glazerr released their debut album, Haxel Princess, in 2014, their lo-fi garage-rock sound sparked comparisons to The Breeders and Siouxsie And The Banshees. Frontwoman Clementine Creevy was just 16, but the band she’d formed with her friends was already brimming with a fire that was beyond its years.
Five years later, the group is showing no sign of cooling down. Comprised of Creevy, drummer Tabor Allen, and bassist Debin O’Brien, Cherry Glazerr has a more polished sound, and a whole lot more to say. Their fierce sophomore release, Apocalipstick (2017), railed against the male-dominated and consumer society while calling for female empowerment and individuality. Back in July 2018, Creevy also wrote a viral Facebook post where she slammed sexism in the music industry.” “It feels so awful when the stage manager looks at us and scoffs, looks the other way when we come in through the door,” she wrote of the treatment she and women in the band’s team sometimes receive at venues. “They ask us what we’re doing here, why are we here? Who are we?” She also added that she doesn’t “blame men, of course. [She blames] the patriarchy, of which we are all victims.”
Cherry Glazerr have big plans for the new year. Their third studio album, Stuffed and Ready, is due for release on February 1, with an American and European tour in the works to celebrate it. The new album sees Creevy looking inward. On “Daddi,” a single from November 2018, Creevy criticizes the patriarchy’s dominion over all the aspects of her life: “Where should I go Daddi / What should I say / Where should I go / Is it okay with you?” “Juicy Socks,” another catchy taste of the record, urges listeners to transform their voice into a powerful weapon against oppression. “Don’t be nervous,” Creevy sings on the refrain.
AdHoc caught up with Creevy about the funny story behind the band’s name, its upcoming release, and navigating a chauvinist world. Catch Cherry Glazerr at El Club on February 21 in Detroit, and pre-order your own copy of Stuffed and Ready here.
AdHoc: What’s the story behind the name Cherry Glazerr?
Clementine Creevy: So, I took the name from a radio host on KCRW; her name is Chery Glaser. She does a lot of general news and stuff like the traffic sometimes and I thought, “This is kinda funny,” and we named her band after her. That’s it.
How has living in LA influenced your music?
That’s an interesting question. I’ve been thinking about this a lot: How I feel very grounded in LA because I grew up here. I just feel like it’s a very creatively open place, and I feel like it influences my music a lot by emboldening me to create as much as I can. Whenever I want, I can create what I want here. I definitely feel like there is a supportive scene here that we are part of. But I also feel like we are doing our own thing and trying to do whatever feels right to us and not be tied to any one genre.
What about in terms of the issues you sing about?
I don’t know if it’s LA specifically that influences my lyrics. I think that my lyrics just come from a place of a lot of introspection–they come from me and my thoughts and feelings. But because I am a product of LA, I think that LA definitely shows up in my attitude.
What will fans hear in Stuffed & Ready that perhaps they haven’t come across before in Cherry Glazerr’s music?
I think I’m probably being more honest about my thoughts and feelings on this album. What I tried to do with this record is be as honest with myself as I could—a lot of self-consciousness and immaturity was getting in the way of that before. The sound and instrumentation is gonna be quite similar, but I think the guitar playing is a lot more sophisticated this time around. The drumming is tighter and the melodies are better… I think the whole thing is a little bit better, and simpler, but more confident.
A lot of your music revolves around female empowerment. Do you consider women to be your target audience? Is there anyone you’re trying to reach out to specifically?
Well, I’ve been a feminist ever since I was 17 or 18, and I took Women’s Studies at school. It changed my life; it taught me to see the world in a different way, and I started to read a lot of feminist literature and a lot of feminist writers. I believe solidarity to be the same as practicing music—you try to do it every day. Seeing other women as capable beings and treating them as such should be done daily. So, yeah, I think I sing to and for a lot of women, even though I don’t try to; it’s just natural.
What are some simple ways men and women can work to counteract the patriarchy in their everyday lives?
I don’t know where to start! There is so much. I think changing your mindframe and seeing femmes and all women as capable beings and treating them that way is huge step forward in carving a path of power for women. Although what does happen sometimes is that I end sort of ignoring men and treating women purposely better.
I do know that both men and women suffer the effects of patriarchy. Men deal with the extremely serious issue of toxic masculinity, which can sometimes lead to their own death or the death of others because of suicide. It’s an issue that really needs to be tackled, and there are men who are currently tackling it by working on themselves, which I think is a very beautiful thing.
Back in July, you posted a statement on Facebook about sexism in the music industry, where you wrote about how patriarchy was responsible for the unfair and disparaging treatment you and your team experience on tour. How would you describe the response?
I know, it was crazy! It was really funny, because I didn’t know I was making a statement; I was just ranting on social media! I didn’t think anybody would pay attention to it and end up posting it on publications. But I guess it did get noticed, and I had lots of people come up to me and be like, “Hey, I saw what you wrote!” And I was like, “Did you?! Wow!” I wasn’t expecting anybody to care, and I just thought it was really, really cool that people did. It was awesome.
Have you noticed any differences in the way people in the music industry treat you and your team since you posted it?
I guess so. I hope so. I mean, a lot of the places where we go and gig are clubs that have been open for a long time and run by the same people—and they don’t really care, you know? They don’t really know who we are and they don’t really know or care about the issue of sexism. So I don’t know—I think they probably do still treat us the same, but there definitely are some others that are more sensible and that do treat us like capable beings. I run into some really awesome people running shows, so that’s a good thing.
From your experiences playing abroad, do you think women are seen and treated differently in other Western countries?
Hmm… no, not really [Laughs]. I think people are really similar, pretty much everywhere. There’s minor cultural differences between places, but, at the end of the day, they’re all a bit more similar than they like to admit. It’s not like I think it’s worse in the other places I’ve been to; I just think that there’s really cool people here, but there are also really shitty people here, and I think that’s true of the places abroad.
Feb. 13th – Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
Feb. 14th – Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church
Feb. 15th – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
Feb. 16th – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
Feb. 19th – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
Feb. 20th – Toronto, ON – Velvet Underground
Feb. 21st – Detroit, MI – El Club
Feb 22nd – Cleveland Heights, OH – Grog Shop
Feb. 23rd – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
Feb. 24th – Columbus, OH – Melted Music Festival
Feb. 26th – Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line Music Café
Feb. 27th – Kansas City, MO – The Record Bar
Mar. 1st – Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre
Mar. 2nd – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
Mar. 4th – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst
Mar. 6th – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
Mar. 7th – Seattle, WA – Neumo’s
Mar. 8th – Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre
Mar. 10th – San Francisco, CA – The Independent
Mar. 11th – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour