IN CONVERSATION WITH CLEMENTINE CREEVY
Cherry Glazerr is a band that’s been on our radar for a little while.
They released their first album on Burger Records in 2014, and after checking it out we knew we had to keep a close eye on the band and its guitarist/lead singer Clementine Creevy.
A few months ago, I met Clementine in Berlin via my friend Sadie Bailey. They happen to be childhood friends and were spending a few days in the German Capital. Together we drifted through Mitte and Kreuzberg, drank Gin & Tonics in very dark bars, grabbed a really shitty pizza at a really shitty American restaurant, missed the last U-Bahn and ran after a bus to get home… as you do in Berlin.
Sadie then followed Clem on her tour through Europe, standing first row and getting swollen knee caps documenting her shows in Paris and London. She caught up with her and talked about her experience of touring with the band, being an activist, and learning how to grow up under the attention. And here you have it, a snapshot in black and white.
Sadie Bailey: Who are you?
Clementine Creevy: Oh woah. If only I knew.
S: Is there a meaning behind the name Cherry Glazerr?
C: Well… meaning… I’m not so sure about meaning. But I did take it from a NPR KCRW News host. And I though it would be kind of funny, I suppose, to have the name as News reporter on NPR. I pretty much just took her name.
S: Was her name spelt with the two “R”s at the end as well or was that just you?
C: No her name is spelt differently. The only reason why I changed the spelling is so that it was just a little bit different so it wasn’t confusing if you were to like look us up on the internet.
S: I mean - I’m pretty sure if we were to look you up on the internet you’re most probably first in search results.
C: Hahaha… but like at the time… at the time it wouldn’t have been.
S: What was the name of your first guitar?
C: Aw. My first guitar was like a little Fender half size with nylon strings and I never gave it a name. I suppose if I were to name it now… I’d name it Fabio.
S: Ok. I’m worried about the answer to this question because I’m British and this is something I feel very strongly about. Tea or Coffee?
S: Oh no, fuck you.
C: I know, I know. This is where out worlds are separate.
S: What is the most important meal of the day?
C: BREAKFAST! Or like 3am burrito hour.
S: Perfect. It must have been like 2/3am the other night and me and Yentl completely devoured a kebab.
S: Like a really shitty, greasy, disgusting kebab.
C: You gotta do what you gotta do.
S: With this spicy cheesy sauce.
C: If you don’t have grease like running through your veins at like 4am - you’re not living.
S: Grease and alcohol. That’s what the nights are for.
S: What is your favourite European gig that you’ve played?
C: Oh… maybe that one Paris show at Mécanique Ondulatoire. That was our first time playing in Paris and it was totally bananas. That was really fun. Our shows get really rowdy and I don’t know why, but they really do. I’m surprised by how rowdy they get. I guess we’re a much more energetic band than I think we are because it’s hard to see that from my perspective. I’m just on stage like, doing me, I don’t really know how we look until I see like videos afterwards and people are like going insane and the crowd is like thrashing around and stuff. I never really think about it beforehand. It just kind of happens.
S: What’s your favourite European gig that you’ve seen?
C: One time I was in London a few years ago and I saw No Age play at this gross basement and it was really, really cool because I’d seen them so many times in LA. Like, you know, this quintessential, like, art punk, alt, noise rock band that I definitely came up with and was influenced by. So to see them in London playing to nobody but still grinding it out. That made me see touring from a different angle where I’m like, this is going to be hard for a minute. You’re not just going to pop in and get famous and everything is going to be fun. You’re not going to have the same crowds overseas that you do at home. It takes a second to spread yourself out and it takes a lot of hard work. I had seen them play to hundreds and hundreds of kids and then I saw them in London playing to 12 people. And I was like, that’s because only 12 people here know about them. You’ve got to really, really work so hard in order to make it worth it, and to make it profitable. And it takes a second, you know, but It’s worth it. That’s why we tour so much. We can’t not be on the road. It’s so crazy because, I want to say, we’ve only been home for like 20 days over the course of the whole year. We’ve spent like 3 months collectively on the road. It’s crazy, it’s really crazy. It’s awesome, you know, but it’s hard. It’s a really volatile place to be.
S: When you’re on tour- how much free time do you usually get in the city?
S: None? Literally none?
C: Literally none. Maybe 45 minutes to an hour in between sound-checks and show time.
S: Are there any places you wish you could have stayed longer?
C: Oh yeah… Oh my god. Pretty much all of them. I love travelling, even surprisingly I wouldn’t say the big cities. One time we drove through Georgia and it was such a cool place. I wish I had been able to spend more time in Georgia. It’s like a very cool, old state. We once stayed in Savannah. It was a really cool spot.
S: What do you like / dislike about LA?
C: Hmm… man I really like everything about it. What do I dislike about it? I mean, honestly nothing. There’s cool things and shitty things about every place and I don’t like to compare them. I just love certain things about certain places and I just love to think about those things when I think about those places. I’m never like: “Oh man, I wish this was better”. There’s no point in doing that when it comes to a place. Like “Oh man, I wish transportation was better” or “the food was better” or, you know, “the people were friendlier”. I like to focus on the good parts of every place and LA is one of those places that has like good fucking food, good weather, sweet people, Art & Music and shit happening all the time. It’s like just a fucking awesome place. I’m like such a repper of our home time.
S: I remember I came to one of your show in Echoplex and some guy jumped up on the stage and you pushed him off and took his shoe.
C: I know. I try to make sure people don’t take that shit too seriously. It’s all in good fun. It’s all for the show. I’ll hurt peoples’ feelings sometimes because I’ll be really mean to the audience members but I’m always just fucking around. Sometimes I’ll get a little harsh and tell them to “fuck off’ or something and they’ll look at me like so sad and scared that I had like said that to them so I have to look at them and be like “Aw baby, it’s okay I was just fucking around with you”. It’s just the show. I always go up to them afterwards like “Hey. It’s all good.”
S: Your crowds can be fucking brutal. I remember in Paris we arrived a bit late. We arrived just as you were heading down to the stage and we bumped into you on the way and you told us you were starting right now. So we ran down. But you know, it’s Mecanique Ondulatoire so it’s not the biggest venue- especially in relation to how many people you had there. Me and Yentl got to the bottom of the stairs, and we saw this crowd, and we just looked at each other and grabbed eachother and pushed straight to the front because we weren’t going to stand in the back for this one.
C: No! Fuck no!
S: and everyone was yelling “Ah, Putain!” at me until you gave me a shout out and I turned around told them all to go fuck themselves. The first show I saw you do was in London a few years back, like 2015 maybe. I love that venue. I’ve seen a few gigs there but… it was weird. Everyone was moshing and not really appreciating your performance for what it was.
C: Yeah, I know. Those crowds, as fun as they are and as good as they are for morale and energy, I’m just like: “Come on guys…” like I’m ripping a really good solo and no one is even paying attention. Hahaha.
S: What’s your favourite European city you’ve visited?
C: Berlin. Berlin is the best place ever.
S: Is there any place in Europe that you want to visit but haven’t been able to yet?
C: Yeah! Oh my god. So many places. We haven’t even done like, Scandinavia or Sweden or Dublin. We’re going to Dublin for the first time this tour. There’s all these countries that we haven’t been to that we need to go to.
S: This Europe tour is quite big though…
C: Yeah. I’m so excited that we're going to different parts of Germany. I’m so excited to go to Frankfurt.
S: What’s the most fucked up story from your Euro travels?
C: Hahaha! Oh man… I one time had a very strange experience when I was in Paris with Gaspar Noé. He’s a director. He’s like a creepy old guy. He was at this club that I was at and I ended up in like a cab with him and a few other friends. And he was very creepy, and I didn’t like his vibe so I left. I walked the streets of Paris, like drunkenly running away from Gaspar Noé. Hahaha. It was a long time ago. This was when we went for one Saint Laurent thing.
S: Oh- shit! You were young as well.
C: Yeah. I was so young, and it was not cool. He was like 50 years old. I was not feeling it.
S: Do you notice a difference between the audiences at your gigs in both the USA and Europe?
C: Hmm... Yeah! Europeans, for the most part, especially in The Netherlands, are usually a little bit older and usually a little bit more civil. They’re more keen on not being so openly aggressive and flamboyant. Americans are just loud and boisterous and I don’t think that a lot of Europeans really have that same attitude at our shows. I think they’re more keen on actually watching the performance. Not in London.
S: Yeah. Not in London.
C: But everywhere else…
S: Yeah it’s a weird one. I was discussing this the other day. When I’m in a different city I’m much more willing to go to the front and really get into the performance. But theres something about London. Everyone is really stand-offish. The crowd doesn’t really come together to appreciate the music.
C: It’s true! I think thats the vibe of it. It’s more traditional and pushes a lot of individualism which has to do with that stand-offish vibe.
S: It might just be because us Londoners don’t really like people…
S: Do you rock out to your own music?
C: Hahaha! Yeah. I can’t listen to the recordings but I lose my self in the performance. I’m not really good about listening to our recordings after we finish them. I’m not really like a huge audiophile when it comes to recording quality so I don’t really give a fuck. Once it’s done, it’s done. The mixing and the mastering isn’t my forte. It’s not something I know how to do. Like I have a really trained ear but I don’t know how to mix and master our own music. And I don’t have any interest in it really. I just want play, you know.
S: If the new album could consist of only 3 songs- which songs would they be?
C: Okay… I think it would be Nuclear Bomb, Lucid Dreams and Apocalipstick. The last song. The instrumental.
S: By the time this interview gets printed you’ll be at the end of your European tour… what’s next for the band?
C: We’re recording a new record. That’s going to be really fun. We are going to do that in like August, or July, and then we’re going to keep doing another month-long tour and we’re touring until the end of the year pretty much… and then we’re going to put our album out.
S: Wow. So it’s really ‘Recording, Touring. Recording, Touring’.
C: Yeah. Pretty much.
S: Typical question. Dinner party. 3 people. Dead or Alive. Who would you invite?
C: Oooh. Good question. Good question. Okay. Fran Lebowitz. Some crazy motherfucker like Fran Lebowitz would be my Number 1. Okay no. You know what? I’d have a bunch of old feminists. It would be Fran Lebowitz, Ursula Le Guin and Margaret Atwood. And we would all just hang around and shoot the shit... about like art.
S: What dish would you serve?
C: I would do a 3 course meal. Some type of Arugula salad and then I would do some sort of stew. Actually, no. I would try to get somebody to make this Brazilian dish called Feijoada. It’s like a stew with like rice and beans. It’s the best thing I’ve ever had in my life.
S: What would the liquor be?
C: Vodka or gin…
S: Oh gin…
S: We got these gin and tonics the other night, and I shit you fucking not - they were fluorescent blue.
C: Oh god! Why? How?
S: I don’t know. It’s Paris.
C: That’s weird. That’s not right. There’s something about that that’s not right.
S: No… Look, it was my birthday...
C: Haha! I’m not asking questions.
S: I’m gonna drink it regardless.
C: I’ll drink 10 of them I don’t care how blue they are. As long as they get me drunk.
S: Ok. Thoughts on Trump?
C: Oh god. That’s loaded, you know? That’s complicated. He’s a maniac… he’s an ego-maniac who has a lot of serious mental health issues. He’s a baby-child that is representative of the worst parts of American history. He represents the white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy at its dumbest and at its worst. He represents a country that doesn’t value critical thought or human life and he’s a war monger.
S: Did they 2016 election results influence, change or inspire you as a musician?
C: Definitely. But at the same time I will always be making music and that will never change. I’m affected by the things around me, and I’m affected by my society. That contributes to my mind and the things that I write… You know, if you’re an activist you’re an activist for life. You’ve felt that your whole life. I hate when people just come out of the woodworks and become an activist just because Trump is President now. Don’t crusade around as something just because it’s popular. Believe in your heart that revolution is necessary and you have to always feel that way. And you have to do that now and forever.
S: You did basically just describe the whole of the creative industry in London… they’re all new-age Instagram activists.
C: Yeah fuck that!
S: It’s trendy now, you know? It’s trendy.
C: It’s trendy and it’s horrible. You don’t ever do that. If it’s affecting you… if the disenfranchise is affecting you… If you aren’t scared or affected by Trumps presidency, you’re living under a rock and you got to wake the fuck up. You should be scared and you should do something about it but I’m not gonna try to make anyone else do anything. I’m gonna make decisions and be an activist in the ways I’m going to be. I’m not gonna be like “Hey, everybody do this! Everybody do that!”. I can just take action and everybody counts. You can’t just talk the talk; you need to walk the walk.
S: I wanted to ask you about your record art.
C: Yeah! Our buddy Malachi did it. He’s this cool Sci-fi illustrator, graphic designer dude. I came up with the concept and he built it around that.
S: You’ve become somewhat of a figurehead for feminism in your industry- how do you feel about the fetishisation of female musicians and do you feel any pressure from your fans?
C: I try not pay attention to what the fans want. I just try to say what I’m saying and believe what I believe. You know, I’m going to say things that are stupid and I’m gonna say something I think I believe in… and next year, my views will change and I’ll grow and I’ll learn more and I’ll say something completely different. It’s hard to publicly grow and figure yourself out because everybody changes and everybody is learning new things all the time and realizing new things all the time. It’s hard because I’ll say something publicly and then I’ll look back on it and think like “Oh my god, I can’t believe I said that. I can’t believe I thought that. That was so naive. I wouldn’t say the same thing today”. I just try not to pay attention to the fact that I may say things that are wrong or ignorant or naive… I try to forgive myself for that. That’s just a part of growing and learning.
S: You have kind of grown up in the “public eye”. You’re only 20. I personally have no idea what the fuck I’m doing with my life so god knows what I’d do if people idolized me the way they idolize you.
C: I’ve learned how to deal with it better. I definitely learned how to deal with the pressure better. It’s easier to tune out then one would think. You just have to train yourself to.