Paris is most famously known as the city of fashion. I don’t think we care about that too much, but It was a perfect place to meet and talk with Clem Creevy – a person of fashion, music and many other things. We spent some time with her before her band’s – Cherry Glazerr – incredible show in Point Ephemere. The result is an interview with the biggest “(laughs)” count in our history. That’s cool, isn’t it?
We think that polish people should get to know you more, so this interview is going to look a bit like a job interview, ok?
Sure. YOU’RE FIRED! (laughs)
First of all, tell us something about yourself.
I was born in New York City and grew up in Los Angeles. I’m a guitarist, singer, songwriter in Cherry Glazerr – the band!
We heard that Chery Glaser is a real person – a journalist.
Yes, she’s a NPR newshost. I started the band when I was, like, fifteen and I’ve listened to a lot of KCRW and I thought it would be funny to name a band after a NPR newshost. She does a lot of news reports and the traffic sometimes. I thought it would be a good inside joke.
Did she approve that?
She did, yeah! She loved it! She thought it was funny too.
Tell us about your strenghts.
I don’t have any strenghts (laughs). That’s a good one. I’d say I think I’m pretty good at finding inner reserve on the road, finding a center of peace when I’m travelling so much. I practice that and make sure that I always have time for myself, so that I can sustain myself on the road.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
That’s a good one. In a tour bus! (laughs) Because we have a van right now. We don’t have a bus yet, but in time we’re going to have enough money to have a bus.
Some of your music was used in fashion shows, and a lot of people found your music through that, right?
Yeah, a lot of Parisians (laughs). It was Saint-Laurent show that Hedi (Slimane – French photographer and fashion designer) was running and I did some modeling for them and I did some music for them. They recruited us to do a runway soundtrack. It was 2015, I think. It was so much fun.
I think a lot of people know us from that. A lot of people know us from a lot of things, because we have been playing shows for a long time, and we’re known as a band that tours a lot, so It’s a mix between Saint-Laurent and touring and putting out albums. But I do think that there was a lot of traction when Saint-Laurent asked us to do the music, because they’re such an iconic fashion brand.
I am asking because we have this polish artist called Zamilska and her history is a bit similar. Some big fashion brand used her music.
It was at the beginning, but then she got really tired, because she was quickly labeled as a “fashion music producer”. Wasn’t it the same in your case?
I guess I try not to worry about what people think about me and the band, because I know we just keep making music and putting out records and I think however people want to see us is ok, because we have fun making music and that’s really all that matters, so I’m not too bothered about that.
Are they still asking you to do some music for fashion shows?
That was the first and only runway that we’ve ever done. I don’t know what that means. It must mean that we’re not so good at it (laughs).
You’re also known from some TV series.
Yeah – “Transparent”.
You do a lot of stuff.
Yes! “Transparent” was fun. I know Jill Soloway – the creator – and they asked me to be a part of the band – Glitterish – and I happily obliged. That was a whole lot of fun too. I love that “Transparent” scene, because it’s a lot of incredibly creative, hardworking queer folk. It’s a very special atmosphere and they’re some of the funniest people that I ever seen and met.
It’s a very important show.
It’s totally important. It changes the landscape of the television. It sort of broke a lot of doors open for queer folk and for certain style of making shows in its kind of realism. It’s such a pleasure to be part of that. Oh, and there’s something special coming soon, but I can’t talk about it yet.
I don’t know, I can’t say! (laughs)
Are you in “Game of Thrones”?
Yeah! I’m a new star of “Game of Thrones”! (laughs) That’s why I’m here in this tour van, playing this punk club.
Speaking of punk – you were named a “punk feminist icon” by Vice and they made a documentary about you. How does it feel like?
I don’t know. I guess I can’t say, because I’m just trying to live my life and not to think too much about stuff like that, because, you know, you don’t want to have too much pressure in your life. Um, It’s good to have some pressure – be kind to other people and stuff like that. But yeah – it feels good. It was always a dream of mine to play music and to push the values of feminists who have come before me and taught me a lot of great things. I am a big fan of contemporary feminists like Bell Hooks and Roxane Gay. I read a lot of feminist literature and it’s taught me a lot about the world and I feel very happy to have an outlet and a platform to be able to push a lot of those ideas that have changed my life.
You’ve started very fast and very big. Fifteen years old and going straight to huge festivals.
It’s true. It’s funny though. You have your moments of fame but then people forget quickly. And you can’t worry too much about that. You have to find success in some other way. And I’ve found that recently. I’ve discovered that my version of success is the active making music with my friends and I have to keep that as my version of success, because if it becomes some other outside thing, I think you start to get anxious and lose yourself in some way. I always tried to think about that in terms of that.
You probably got to know many good and bad sides of the music industry as a fifteen years old. How does such a young person react to all of this?
You learn really quickly, because you’re so young and you have to learn quickly. You don’t want people to take advantage of you. I’ve learned that it’s the most important thing to surround yourself with good people and people you can trust, who believe in your success and who have the same values as you. That will make you a happy person, I think, and it will help you really figure out, once you found good people to be with, it’s easier to see the bad ones and you don’t have to fuck with them. You can see very quickly when somebody is not cool. You learn.
We were talking today about Billie Ellish being criticised for singing about depression being as a young girl. For some people it’s still too much.
Like she doesn’t understand, right? That’s so naive. It seems like anyone who would criticise her for that, has lost the idea of what it is to be sixteen. Because being sixteen is the fucking worse time of your life. It’s the worst! There’s no other time that’s worse than that! So she is the perfect person to talk about things like that and I commend her on her bravery and honesty in that regard. And it seems as anyone who criticise her for that has probably been hurt in some way, is jealous or is projecting his or her own fears or insecurities about their own problems.
On your new album, you’re singing about very similar stuff – isolation, sadness. Yet you seem like a very happy person.
I think, songwriting for me is so different than conducting my life. It’s like this release, this place where I can put all the things that I can’t articulate into words. And a lot of the times I realise that a lot of what I’m feeling is reflected in my songs and it’s not so much things that I can articulate into words. So a lot of my music has a lot of these things that I would never say out loud.
It’s your second album released in Secretly Canadian.
Yeah, Secretly Canadian had been poaching us for a long time. They had been coming to a lot of our shows and telling us to sign with them, because Burger Records (the first label that Cherry Glazerr were in) doesn’t sign bands – they just put out your music and you’re free to sign any other label you want. I love Burger and they helped us so much from the beginning. I have nothing but love for them. And Secretly came to us with a very good deal for us at the time. They seemed like very good guys and so we went with them because they were… they are a very good label for us. I feel very lucky to have them. They’re music lovers and they let us do what we want creatively and so it’s been a good match.
Did you consider running without any label before they come?
We were excited to join the label, because we were eager to put up more music and have a little bit more money to do that, so when Secretly came to us, it was really exciting. We were talking with a lot of labels at the time. We chose them as the right one amongst many.
I think we’re done. You’re going to play in Poland sometime?
I hope so! Yeah! We would love that! We totally should!
Interview by Agata Hudomięt & Krzysztof Sarosiek
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