I meet with LA three-piece Cherry Glazerr at Hackney vintage clothing store Paper Dress ahead of their Oslo set for Mirrors 2016. I was a little apprehensive about turning up empty-handed to the interview having just watched their youtube-documented encounter with cult-sensation Nardwuar (known for his habit of giving out presents during interviews) so I apologise and half-jokingly rifle through my bag for something that I wouldn’t miss. I manage to produce an unused plaster from the depths of my Rough Trade tote which thankfully they graciously accept and the interview begins.
Having recently traded in two of their members for Tabor Allen (drums) and Sasami Ashworth (synth), it seemed natural to begin by asking if they had thought at all about changing their name as the only constant since the band’s genesis back in 2012 has been Clementine Creevy (frontwoman and guitarist). Tabor seems to have thought about this before and replies “I think we should have renamed the band Donald” at which Sasami raises an eyebrow, reminding him of the current political situation back home in the States.
We talk about college (or ‘university’ to you and me) and the age-old dilemma of to go, or not to go. Tabor and Clem tell me they opted out and preach the values of ‘self-teaching’ whilst Sasami relays how she studied french horn to the tune of around $100,000. “I’ll tell you what’s wrong with education these days – how expensive it is!” Sasami says, sipping on the Brooklyn lager in front of her. “Also it can be kind of unproductive… I’m currently trying to unlearn everything I was taught for the sake of the band” she continues “But you shouldn’t apologise for wanting to be educated either, fuck! Just don’t be forced to do anything you don’t want.” In between all the jokes, I notice, Cherry Glazerr do dole out good advice.
The trio seem in good spirits, and for good reason having just announced the release of their amazingly christened new album ‘Apocalipstick’. I ask if recent release ‘Told You I’d be with The Guys’ and its resounding message of female solidarity was something we could expect more of in the album, marking a conscious move away from tracks exclusively about grilled cheese, for example. But Clem denies that the band have a specific agenda for their song content, shrugging “I don’t know man, we make music”. Conversation then briefly turns to fashion (the band were championed a while back by YSL’s then creative director Hedi Slimane) and they all laugh at Clem’s perpetual problem of designers giving her things to wear on stage when all she wants to do is take clothes off.
Whether or not Cherry Glazerr are primed for tackling more social issues by way of the music they put out, they are definitely not averse to telling me their thoughts re nipples. “Desexualise female bodies,” says Clem, “neutralise the nip,” quips Sasami. “When was the last time you saw Iggy Pop play a show it his shirt on?” – Tabor raises a very valid point. I suggest they start a precedent as of the gig that night but Clem points out “I’d like to but it’s just hard because ultimately I am of the traditional female Western beauty standard in that I’m white and I’m skinny so for me to go topless… it’s not much of a statement. Like what would I really be saying, you know?”. Tabor agrees: “You don’t wanna end up accidentally contributing to the pornographic male gaze – that shit doesn’t need reinforcing”. In the end, we resolve they should pen a song about it.
Like this? You should join our club.
Words by Tilda Bywater