Cherry Glazerr Defines Today's L.A. Sound
Sean Redman, Sasami Ashworth, Clementine Creevy and Tabor Allen are Cherry Glazerr.
"I'm thinking I want to make a Tinder for a ham-and-cheese sandwich, but that requires making a new e-mail and everything. But I'm ready to go through that whole rigmarole just so I can be a sandwich on Tinder," says Clementine Creevy, guitarist, singer and founder of Cherry Glazerr.
She's sounds half-serious about it — well, serious about actually creating the Tinder profile for a sandwich. Whether she wants to put the effort into any required performance-art aspect of actively being a female ham-and-cheese sandwich out in the Tindersphere is debatable.
Creevy's dry sarcasm comes through clearly, even as spotty cell-phone service makes her voice warbly and distorted, sometimes cutting out entire sections of speech. In a van on the way to Dallas from Austin, this current incarnation of Cherry Glazerr is on tour with Best Coast and Wavves. It's the Los Angeles quartet's longest tour yet, and the first cross-country jaunt with musicians Sasami Ashworth, Sean Redman and Tabor Allen filling out the lineup.
What began in 2012 as a solo bedroom-recording project of Creevy's called Clembutt eventually morphed into Cherry Glazerr. The band manages to mix the raw cool of early Yeah Yeah Yeahs recordings with the unassuming chill of Vivian Girls and the kind of straight-up sass coined by Imperial Teen. Add a little Hungry for Stink-era L7 execution and the glammy magic of T. Rex, and there it is: Cherry Glazerr, an L.A. band defining the L.A. sound of right now.
Redman has been playing bass with Creevy since the Clembutt evolution, but multi-instrumentalist Ashworth and drummer Allen came into the fold less than six months ago. Things are going well — so well that Cherry Glazerr just wrapped the recording of a new record, and Creevy is excited about it. The yet-to-be-titled album was made at Sunset Sound in Hollywood with producer Joe Chicarelli, who has worked with Morrissey, Hellogoodbye and Real Estate, and co-producer Carlos de la Garza, whose credits include Paramore, Gogogo Airheart and Neon Trees.
"Great guy, good producer. He did a great job," says Creevy of Chicarelli. "He's incredibly kind and open and easy to communicate with."
"He really knows how to twist a goddamn knob on a board," spouts Ashworth.
"If I've ever seen a knob-twister..." Creevy says, crumbling into a laugh with the entire van joining in. That's the epitome of Cherry Glazerr's cool — interjecting cheap jokes amid deep conversations about the music they make, the music they like and the people in the industry that they choose to work with. Like Burger Records, where Clembutt got its start. Although Cherry Glazerr has moved on from the venerable California DIY label, Creevy says it was definitely a formative experience, being scooped up from SoundCloud by the one-for-all/all-for-one Burger Records ethos.
"They have a lot of great bands on Burger. They really are tastemakers; they've started a whole new culture," says Creevy. "Burger is a culture now; it's huge. It's very cool, because it seems almost easy to become a part of — it's accessible, but not in some cheap-thrills way."
The musician goes on to gush that the label helped build Cherry Glazerr's fan base. She also really appreciates that Burger is a home to musicians who like to help out and work with other musicians — and that the label is diverse in its curation of musical releases.
"They work with a lot of younger bands, but they also work with a lot of older bands, which is cool when you're talking about diversity and not being ageist," says Creevy. "I was fifteen when Burger called me; I couldn't even go to Fullerton (California, home of Burger Records) because I couldn't drive there, and I didn't want my parents to drop me off, because I was embarrassed. At the same time, Burger was working with, like, Kim Fowley, the Muffs and Weezer."
Which brings up the age thing. Yes, Creevy was fifteen when she started putting her music out there. Yes, she's nineteen now, a facet of her experience as a musician that often reduces the Cherry Glazerr narrative to one focusing on how "amazing" it is that a young woman can be successful in the grown-up art world.
"It is a talking point. I guess a lot of people in my world aren't nineteen — it's an outlier, I guess," says Creevy.
Allen adds, "I think a lot of music journalists just try to construct the simplest story they can about an artist to get the point across. They just settle on a few different things, and that becomes what gets said about you."
"Clem knows a lot more about music than my dad, and my dad is old AF. I don't think age really matters," says Ashworth.
"It used to piss me off, but I sort of understand now — it's simply a hook to get readers in," says Creevy. "I'm flattered that people think it's cool that I was making music like two years ago, when I was in high school, but I do think it can detract or just set a lower standard for me and for us, and that isn't what I want. I just want to be."
One listen to Cherry Glazerr and it's clear: Unless someone points it out, there's no way to know how old the band is. Distilling Clementine Creevy's work down to a teenage novelty act is exhausting and not worth anyone's time. But her music is.
Cherry Glazerr plays the Bluebird Theater with Best Coast and Wavves this Saturday and Sunday, February 27 and 28; Saturday's show is sold out, but tickets are $27.50 to $35 and still available for Sunday. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Bluebird's website.
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