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Cherry Glazerr on hard love, chef dreams and tequila Gummy Bears

Clementine Creevy of Cherry Glazerr may have “the most quiet little voice” (according to her), but that little voice cuts through the heavy, bass-laden guitars of her brand of rock ‘n’ roll with ease, maxing the emotional headrush (and headbanging opportunities) without altering the beauty of her music.

The guitarist and singer has been making music since her teens and, now in her 20s, can claim four albums and two EPs in the 10-ish years she’s been making music under the moniker. Her latest effort, 2023’s I Don’t Want You Anymore, sees Creevy stepping away from writing politically charged music that also deals with mental health, instead swapping in tones of love (in its full spectrum).

That’s not to say her latest album is soft. It hits hard, in fact, even on songs with titles like “Soft Like a Flower,” in which Creevy sings: “Soft like a flower, like me / I’m high on your something / Fortune, it turns like a wheel / I like you killing me.”

Guitars and drums collide, and even though Creevy goes all out on the choruses, she reins things back in knowingly, exploring effective dynamic shifts to convey the tumble of emotions she naturally produces.

Creevy turned to producer Yves Rothman (notable for working with Yves Tumor) for her latest project, which seemed to invite her on an extended, exciting adventure to explore the reaches of music for herself, on her own terms. What she describes as “freako-noir,” I Don’t Want You Anymore is Creevy’s take on living life to its fullest, from studio to tour van.

I caught up with her before Cherry Glazerr embarked on their “Everything Is Chaos” tour, heading to Chicago’s Lincoln Hall on Saturday, March 9 (the closest the band comes to Milwaukee).


The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.

I know you're getting ready to go on tour, so I'm sure you're super busy. You said you were packing?

Yeah, we're in crazy mode, trying to get everything together right before we leave. But, yeah, we're gonna have it ready to go. We're finally sounding tight, and now we're just getting the visuals together. Honestly, I'm so excited for this tour. We’re about to bring a good show together, I think.

I Don't Want You Anymore came out in September, and now that the release is in the rearview, technically, what's something you wish you had more time to savor? Because there's so much buildup to releasing albums …

I was in the studio, just really in my own head so much, and I wish I had documented some more of me being in the studio, because I wish I could remember what it was like to write songs. But I'm not good at that. I never record or take photos of anything; I just live my life. So, I'm trying to be more online, I guess?

You need to enlist a friend to be with you in the studio, just to take footage.

I could do that. Yeah, Sam, he would do that for sure. He’s my bass player.

’Cause you want to capture all those moments, like how everything comes together, but you also want to focus on recording, of course.

Yeah!

You've been making music since you're a teen, and you're still in your 20s right now. If you weren't writing, producing, and playing guitar and singing, what would you want to be doing with your life?

I would love to be a chef. I just think it would be so awesome. I love to cook for my parents. I cook for them a lot, and I love to cook for my friends and for my boyfriend. I’d go to culinary school and try to learn how to become a chef.

I just think it's the coolest thing to be able to feed your community and also to just get into that. I love food. So I would definitely want to be a chef. Like if I could do a crab boil, you know? Or like a seafood boil? Oh my god, that would be so insanely cool.

Have you only cooked at home for your family or have you worked in restaurants before?

I've actually never worked in a restaurant as a chef, but I have heard that if I wanted to get into it instead of going to culinary school, I could just start working in a restaurant because then you're just getting paid and you're learning. Yeah. So maybe that's how I would go about it. I don't know …

Learning by doing, right?

Exactly. That's how everything really starts, I think.

Totally, like playing guitar when you're 15.

Yeah, I definitely didn't go to school for what I do!

You stated that this new album of yours is based on very intense personal experiences. Do the emotions contained in the songs ever dissipate a little bit with repeated plays, particularly when you're working on the songs in the studio? Or do you need to take little breaks to clear the air because they're so intense?

It is intense. I think more so that, over time, songs take on new meaning depending on where you are in your life. I feel like a lot of the same sentiments will ring true for me throughout my life, but in accordance to different situations that I'm in in my life. So, as my experiences change, the framework for the song kind of changes, but I feel like the emotion always still feels really true to me — not even the lyrics, but just kind of the emotion behind the music.

I'm bringing back an old song that I haven't played in a really long time on this next tour, and when I was playing it, I was just like, “This brings me back to these kind of like … I don't know … carefree moments that I felt while recording this when I was like 16 and 17.” It makes me feel more rooted in who I am as a person through playing them.

It's kind of like looking at old videos of you when you're a little kid or something, and you're like, “Oh, cool! That’s who I am. I forgot.” That's kind of how I feel with playing old songs and stuff. It's not that the meaning dissipates; it's just that things change and shift over time.

That makes sense. Like, these songs, 10 years from now, what kind of an effect will they have on you when you're in your 30s looking back?

I think that I'll feel the same way I do playing some of the old, old stuff. Something about it kind of feels like I was sort of naive, but in a way that I appreciate. Like I love that I was so “cute.”

It’s good to feel that way when you're older, looking back at your younger self, like, “”Oh, all the things I didn't know back then.”

Exactly. Yeah, it's beautiful. It is! I love seeing growth. I have to stop learning things. I'm trying to go backwards.

I love that you play loud rock ‘n’ roll, yet your vocals remain so chill and pretty in most spots on this record. How do you handle those dynamics when transitioning songs from the recording studio to a live show?

Well, sound engineers hate me because of that. When I'm performing and I'm soundchecking and I have the most quiet little voice and the loudest guitar ever, they're just like, “Cool. Great. This is my worst nightmare.” Just, like, from a mixing standpoint.

But I don't know. I think I've just learned to harness it. That's just kind of my style. I don't know how I'm able to harness that, but I think my voice cuts through because I have a specific singing style that even though it feels very soft and floaty, it also kind of cuts through.

And then my guitars kind of have a bass-y low growl to them, so my voice is actually kind of high and cut-y where the guitars are a little bit more bass-y. I think that that juxtaposition and those two tonalities end up working together, even though you think they might not? I don't freaking know how it works. It just does!

I think “cut-y” is a good way to describe it. There's different pitches and tones. You know, they say that dogs can hear certain pitches that the human ear can't hear, and that tones and pitches have vibrations. So maybe the vibration of your voice just cuts through and slices through that low-end bass stuff real easy, like you're saying.

I'm just trying to sing at that dog frequency. I got that dog in me!

I mean, what better audience to have than a bunch of dogs?

That would be so cool. I would love that if I had an audience of dogs!

Animals love music. Have you ever seen videos of people playing music for cows in fields and how they just come running over? 

Oh my god, I haven't seen that specifically. I’ve definitely seen people with dogs that are sort of little disgruntled ***holes, but then, put on their favorite song, and they start wagging their tail.

Yeah, it's magic!

It's so good. I want to watch the cow video, though. I'll have to find that.

There’s probably multiple videos, but you'll find a good one, I'm sure. It’s very cute. 

So tell me about your work with Yves Rothman on this album. How did you first meet him and connect with him to begin working on this album together?

The label put me together with a lot of different producers, and I had tons and tons of sessions. I felt like I was dating 10 people at the same time. But I had a session with Yves, and I just loved his vibe and his taste, and he just seemed like a great person to make the album with. Then I found out he did the Yves Tumor stuff, which I loved. I love all of Yves Tumor’s records — like the past two that he did, Safe in the Hands of Love, so good!

Clementine Creevy in the studio
Cherry Glazerr; Facebook
Clementine Creevy in the studio.

I was just like, “Oh, I love this album, and I love this artist, so l feel like this would be a good direction for what I'm trying to do with this next record.” Because I kind of wanted to do something more experimental but have it be true to my previous sound, but more experimental and sort of Frankenstein-y — like putting a lot of weird sounds on the album and stuff and getting more free with it.

I felt like he was a good match for me, and he was like, “Yeah, I'm down to do the album.” So we worked together on the whole thing, but it was crazy. It took a long time to make because he was also touring with Yves Tumor. So he would go off to Europe and be there for three weeks, and then he'd come back and we'd be in the studio together. Then I'd be on tour, and then I'd come back. But, yeah, we ended up getting it done, eventually.

It was meant to be. It's kind of like a “Frankenstein” thing with your schedules, too? Frankenstein album.

Yeah, Frankenstein album. Exactly.

You said, “The songs on this one are songs I've dreamed of making.” What does this album have that your last album, 2019’s Stuffed & Ready, was lacking or whatever in your mind's eye? What does this one have that makes you feel really satisfied? 

I feel like this album had a lot of patience, and I feel like it broke rules that the last two previously had sort of followed, where they were kind of a little bit more formulaic in their structure. And the songs that I wanted to do for I Don't Want You Anymore, I sort of got rid of a lot of structural, formulaic kind of ideas, and I would just lean into the emotion of each part of the song instead of just being like, “Well, it's been four bars. We've gotta put a bridge here now.”

But I think that a formula works for a reason and can be great, too. I just felt like switching it up and doing something different on the last one, so I would say that's why it's different. And I kind of produced it as well, which was sort of new for me. I made a lot of final decisions about the chord structures and the lengths of stuff, drums.

Those were some of the reasons that it was definitely a departure. I talk a lot about love on this album, and on the last I think I spoke more about depression and myself and more political things. This record was a little less political and a little more personal and just me, talking about love.

It definitely has a different overall feeling. It's not just production work; it just has this appeal that's completely different. 

I’ve read that you really like to watch movies and that movies have always played a role in your songwriting.  So if this album were a film plot, what genre would it be?

Hmm, that's a good question. I would say, like, “freako-noir,” but “early 2000s does freako-noir”.

Is there like a companion movie or a film that would express this?

When we were recording — I think it was [the song] “Golden” — we were all in the live room together, and Jesse, my drummer for the album, he was tracking the drums, and Sammy, my bass player, was playing bass, and I was in there with a flashlight, just like doing weird dances, going berserk. It kind of felt like a scene out of a David Lynch movie So, I was thinking about David Lynch when I was thinking about the album.

I could get that. It's a good visual, too, the flashing light. Very David Lynch.

Yeah! That was the thought.

Your tour, which is called “A Touch of Chaos,” kicks off in Seattle on Feb. 26 and makes its way to Chicago's Lincoln Hall on March 9. That's the closest show you get to Milwaukee where we are.

Yeah, sorry guys!

That's okay. Chicago's pretty close.

Come to Minneapolis!

Ah, The Fine Line! That's even further away! But still, Minneapolis is a cool town.  What are you most looking forward to about this whole tour? You're gearing up to go as we speak, pretty much.

I am so excited to play guitar and sing and meet some of the fans and hang out with them. I feel like it's been too long. The other day I was like, “Oh, I can't wait to just be doing this but driving for like five more hours … in a van … to go to the next show.

Are you someone who likes being in the tour van, reading books and eating snacks and listening to music and podcasts and all that stuff?

Literally, yes, all of that. You just hit the nail on the head. Do you think you would be into that, too? Because you just gave a really clear picture of what it's like.

Yeah, I think it's super fun. I mean, that's kind of what touring is, right? That’s all you do. You spend, like, five to seven hours in a car, going to the next city …

Sometimes we soak Gummy Bears in tequila, and then we make little tequila Gummy Bears because we have those things on our rider.

Yeah. Very smart.

So if anybody wants to try that, they should. You just soak Gummy Bears in tequila, and then you have basically little JELL-O shot guys, but they're Gummy Bears.

You just made the JELL-O shot easy.

If I can tell the world anything, I’ll leave that.

We'll end on that note.

Perfect.

Clementine, thank you so much for chatting with me. I hope you have a really great tour!

Thank you!

88Nine Music Director / On-Air Talent | Radio Milwaukee