Since forming in 2012, L.A. band Cherry Glazerr has attracted international attention thanks to their teen spirited lyrics and inimitable yet slightly puzzling genre (it's dream pop AND punk rock). This month, the trio (singer/guitarist Clementine Creevy, drummer Hannah Uribe, and bassist Sean Redman) head to Austin to play their first SXSW. We sat down with the band at Creevy's parents' house in Silverlake to talk about their creative process, balancing homework with sold-out shows, and their hard-to-pinpoint sound.
Interview by Madeline Giles | Photographs by Eva Michon
I love your lyrics – songs like "Grilled Cheese" and "Pizza Monster" have this magical childhood nostalgia to them. What influences them?
Clementine: I'm definitely drawn to nostalgic childhood naiveté, and I think a lot of my inspiration comes from hearing so many singer-songwriters and not really enjoying songs about the deep, vast ocean and the love of their lives. I thought it might be cool to sing about something more relatable to me.
How did you all meet?
Hannah: I met Clementine in eighth grade at school, which was three-and-a-half years ago. Then she met Sean.
C: Yeah, I met Sean at Musicians Institute in Hollywood two-and-a-half years ago. I put out a few demos and then Sean said he really liked my music and asked if I needed a bass player. So we started jamming with Sean, and then he joined.
What are you looking forward to about playing at SXSW for the first time?
Sean: We're so excited. Personally, I know a lot of other bands and musicians from L.A. that are going to be there, so it's probably going to feel like Echo Park in Austin for a good chunk of it.
H: I can't wait! It's going to be a big party.
C: I've never been to Austin, but I feel like it's the New Orleans of Texas. It's this one little cool pocket of amazing history and amazing music, and I'm so psyched to experience it.
Clementine and Hannah, since you're both still in high school, how do you balance homework and exams with making music?
H: It's really, really difficult. I'm pretty good at balancing both, but we've been so busy with the band my grades are just going down.
C: Yeah, it's pretty difficult! The other day when I was sitting in history class I almost had a panic attack because I realized how much I have going on. I was like "Oh my God, we have this test in five days and I have to finish this song and mix it and master it and I have to respond to, like, 20 emails, we've got a photo shoot, then we've got a show, we have to practice, and I need to send out merch!" But it's doable, and I think we're able to find a balance. If I didn't have a busy schedule, I'd probably watch too much "Keeping Up With The Kardashians."
What's your favorite thing about being in a band?
S: When people show me respect for doing what I love, it's so nice.
H: I love meeting a lot of really cool people and being inspired by amazing musicians.
C: Watching anyone in the crowd sing along and relating to the lyrics I wrote. That's probably the highlight of the band experience–it's so cool.
What inspires your sound and the way you create?
C: I think some of the music we listen to, and also just getting more of a trained ear and hearing what we really like. We're definitely drawn to certain production elements.
S: Part of it is seeing what's working for other bands and what really makes the crowd go crazy. That's why it's fun to write fast songs with quick changes. We realize we have a sound that's special to us, so we like to see what kinds of sounds we can make while still being true to ourselves.
That's what I like about your album. There are so many different genres song-to-song, yet it all somehow blends together perfectly.
C: It's funny because I think a lot of critics have a really hard time pinpointing our genre. Spin called us a metal band, and we're like, "That's so misleading!" We're not a metal band, but the song "Haxel Princess" is kind of a punkier song–so I don't know. I think it's cool that you can't pinpoint it because whatever, who cares. Fuck genres! We don't want to be put in a box.
So how would you describe your sound to someone who's never heard it before?
S: We can't describe it [laughs]–we're running out of adjectives.
H: Our sound is like a rainbow wheel... there's many different colors [laughs].
C: I would probably say what I've read: We're dream-pop punk-rock, but then people are like, "Wait! Those are two totally different genres," and I'm like, "I know, you just have to listen to the album."