Brazenly boisterous and hypnotically effervescent, alternative rock artist Clementine Creevy, better known as Cherry Glazerr, reflects on the creation of her honest fourth album ‘I Don’t Want You Anymore,’ self-discovery, and growth.
Stream: ‘I Don’t Want You Anymore’ – Cherry Glazerr
Unabashedly herself, Clementine Creevy, frontwoman and creator of alternative rock band Cherry Glazerr, has always dove in headfirst into her music.
Beginning her musical journey at 15-years-old and releasing music under the name ClemButt on SoundCloud, Creevy has always maintained that music is “ an involuntary reaction” for her. After writing her debut track “Grilled Cheese” in her childhood bedroom and recording it with friends, Creevy became a Soundcloud sensation – amassing 200,000 streams on her first single.
A now 26-year-old Creevy joins our Zoom interview via her iPhone, sitting on the floor of her home studio wearing an AC/DC graphic tee to talk about her wildly successful fourth album I Don’t Want You Anymore, released September 29 via Secretly Canadian.
The singer’s 11-track fourth album is gritty, boisterous and immersive as it takes you through a variety of soundscapes. From thrashing tracks like “Soft Like A Flower” and “Touched By Your Chaos” to dreamy and transcendent tracks like “Golden” and “Bad Habit.”
I don’t want the pain and chaos
Of what I have going on
Never make things how I want
Daggers in my heart
Close my eyes in the sun
Slashing the tires of my own car
Sorry to the people that I sucked into my world
Touched you with my chaos
I never wanted love
I never wanted love
– “Eat You Like a Pill,” Cherry Glazerr
Atwood Magazine caught up with Creevy following the major success of I Don’t Want You Anymore to discuss SoundCloud rappers, the joys of collaborating with Yves Rothman (of Yves Tumor), and musical catharsis.
I’ve always tried to be as true to myself as I can. Because I feel like I’ve dedicated my life to my art, I don’t see any reason to not be fully honest all the time. And so every day, I am trying to be more honest to myself.
A CONVERSATION WITH CHERRY GLAZERR
Atwood Magazine: Hi, Clem! How are you doing post album release craziness?
Cherry Glazerr: It’s been good. I’ve been getting a lot of sweet responses and messages about the album. So I’m happy that people are connecting to it. I’m just happy it’s out! I’m already working on the next one though.
You just keep rolling! What’s been inspiring you to keep creating?
Cherry Glazerr: With this last album I definitely felt like this was something I needed to say for myself. It was a statement and my whole heart. And now I’m just thinking of moving forward from that. It feels like the natural progression to start working on the next thing. I’m also just always writing.
The album has been widely critically recognized. Is that something you expected?
Cherry Glazerr: You know, I don’t really think about that stuff that much, honestly. I’m excited that it made the rounds and that it’s being heard by more people who can connect to it. And who it can touch. All I want, as an artist, is to make things that mean something to other people. So as many people as it can reach is good for me.
That makes so much sense especially because you’ve been releasing since you were about 15 years old. You’ve been creating these bridges for people for so long. Do you remember what the catalyst was for delving headfirst into connecting with people through your music?
Cherry Glazerr: I’ve been creating music ever since I was born basically (laughs) When I was five I started writing little songs and then I picked up the guitar at eleven. It’s just a natural thing for me. It feels like an involuntary reaction. It just sort of comes out of me. When I was a little kid everyone was like ‘She’s a really good singer’ and my mom would be like, ‘Yeah, she sings things all around the house.’ I just saw a little video of me as a five year old and I’m just running around the house and making up this elaborate story and forcing my mom to listen to it. I’ve just always been performative and have always had the desire to create art. I think we all do! To a certain extent. I’ve just been lucky enough to have gotten the opportunity to do it as a career.
What was the first song that you remember writing it and thinking, “This needs to be out in the world”?
Cherry Glazerr: I remember when I had made “Grilled Cheese,” I had been listening to a lot of Al Green. I don’t know if anyone would ever put those two together *laugh* but I was trying to copy those guitar sounds. It was a lot of simple minor chords and that turned into “Grilled Cheese.” I wrote it in my room and I thought it was cheeky and it sounded good to me. And then I got together with my friend Paige [Stark] and she played drums on it. And then I got together with my friend Joel [Jerome] and he recorded it and then we put it out.
That one and “Teenage Girl” I did in the same session with Paige and her friend Luke [Macdonald] played bass. And they were kind of like my musical parents. They were just people in the music scene who were older than me and they were kind of my mentors. Then Paige was like, ‘I want to get you together with Joel’ and he recorded the first music that I ever did. Originally I went by Clembutt and then I put that up on SoundCloud and it started to circulate. SoundCloud is where I got the most attention. And then Burger Records hit me about putting out the tape. But I guess “Grilled Cheese” was maybe the first one where I was like, ‘I can see myself performing this.’
So what I'm hearing is that you're a SoundCloud rapper?
Cherry Glazerr: [laughs] Basically! It’s kind of funny because I do owe everything to SoundCloud, which is really funny. It’s just me and rappers basically.
Since Cherry Glazerr’s genesis you’ve been releasing these very honest songs and when I was reading things you’ve said about this album you shared that this is your most mature and most honest album. What do you think makes this album your purest form compared to your past releases?
Cherry Glazerr: I think I’ve always tried to be as true to myself as I can. Because I feel like I’ve dedicated my life to my art, I don’t see any reason to not be fully honest all the time. And so every day, I am trying to be more honest to myself. And that hopefully comes through in my work. I feel like I learned so much musically and was influenced by so much since my last album in 2019 and I was really proud to be able to channel all of those new things that I learned into this album. And so that’s why I think it’s more mature. I was listening to a ton of experimental music. I was learning a lot of new chordal patterns and melodic patterns and was getting inspired in those past four years.
Channeling that all into the new record made it feel like to me that I was able to fully execute something. With my albums prior I would listen back to listen back to the recording and be like ‘Oh, that sounds cool. But what am I really trying to do? What am I trying to say?’ I think with this one I had a more clear idea of what I wanted each song to be like and feel like. I had a clearer vision. I wasn’t just seeing it come together in the process. Like “Soft Like A Flower” is the type of song that I had in my soul for many years. But I didn’t know how to make those chords and fit those melodies together until recently. It just clicked for me and I was able to do what I had in my head and I put it out!
And that feels so clear in the listening experience. I loved listening to the album in track list order. I was revisiting “Golden” and “Wild Times” and it was so cool because you can hear a complete shift from one song to another. You kind of touched on this but what is some knowledge that you were bringing into the creation of this album? Especially since every single song had its own purpose and its own soundscape?
Cherry Glazerr: My mind always goes to “Soft Like A Flower.” With that track I wanted to put dissonance in the track. So there was a lot of moving up and down half steps which I had never really done. I had played that in my room and figured out that that sounds good to me, post Stuffed and Ready. And my taste developed and I incorporated a lot of that into the track. That was something I really wanted to do and finally did it. I don’t know, that might sound kind of weird to some people. But that was something really special to me and it was a small detail that I was excited to be able to do.
Soft Like A Flower” is the type of song that I had in my soul for many years. But I didn’t know how to make those chords and fit those melodies together until recently. It just clicked for me and I was able to do what I had in my head and I put it out!
That’s super exciting! I personally loved how gritty this album was. I know you've been debating what genre this album feels like to you. How would you describe the album to really encapsulate all of those complexities, because it is quite a complex album?
Cherry Glazerr: I was calling it my David Lynch album. [laughs] It’s unexpected and dark and rough around the edges but with a lot of soul and a lot of heart and a lot of weirdness and a little bit of humor.
I think you encapsulate that so well in this album. I feel like you really explored the depths of these relationships you're describing or even like the self discovery elements. Was there a topic that you feel like you had a breakthrough about while creating?
Cherry Glazerr: I started to realize how much bullshit I had been through. Especially with this one relationship that I had with a guy that was a lot older. It was just something I had never stopped to think about how it affected me. I think I was working through a lot of those feelings about that on this album. I took a minute to stop and actually acknowledge those feelings. I think I have a tendency to be a little bit avoidant. So if I’m just going and going and going I don’t stop to really think about how stuff makes me feel. I was really acknowledging a lot of the overwhelming feelings that I had during that relationship and working through that through this album.
I can only imagine. Was that a cathartic experience for you?
Cherry Glazerr: Yeah. I still do have moments where I’m trying to reckon with the person I was before the relationship and who I am now. Sometimes I wish I could go back to who I was but that’s also not really possible. So it’s about trying to grieve that person. I can be very self deprecating and that helps me work through a lot of self hatred for myself.
I think that's like a very relatable experience. And that is something that translates in the music. It creates space for people who experience the same thing which is so special.
Cherry Glazerr: Yeah, definitely. Thank you.
Circling back to the sound really quickly, you and your producer, Yves Rothman, were very experimental with the sound of this album. Was there a certain sample or sound that you guys used that was really unconventional or unexpected.
Cherry Glazerr: Every time he would be mixing I would be sitting on my phone on TikTok. He was like, ‘What’s that?’ Because I’d be scrolling from one video to the next and he’d be like ‘we gotta record that.’ In the beginning of “Sugar,” I don’t even know what the fuck the video is, but there’s this audio of me scrolling from one TikTok to the next. He was like ‘That’s fire!’
Probably that, or I also have my friend Anders in there. We were at a party in Laurel Canyon. And there was a crazy part of the house where there’s an elevator that comes down? And he goes ‘Turn around, look at that.’ And I put that at the beginning of “Sugar.” And I told him, ‘You should listen to the new album, you’re in it.’
Do you incorporate real sounds in your music often?
Cherry Glazerr: Yves is just really down to do that. And I just think that’s fun and a part of the process! Part of why you do this is to make stuff that makes you laugh. Or just make something that is a cool sound for no reason. Sometimes I feel like producers will be like, ‘Oh, haha, yeah, but we’re not actually going to do that, right?’ But Yves was just down! And so he and I are a match made in heaven or hell, I don’t know.
What was your vision and kind of going into the creation of this album? And what did it kind of become?
Cherry Glazerr: I had worked with a lot of writers and producers during COVID. Probably 10 people, I was doing a lot of collaborating, and a lot of sessions. My label wanted me to get into a room with a lot of different people and experiment because we had the time. Something just clicked when I had a session with Yves. I was like, ‘You are the GOAT! We need to do this together.’ And I really loved all the Yves Tumor stuff that he did. I knew he would work well with what I was trying to do, which was definitely more freeform, more experimental, less structured. We were just creating. It was just little songs that we thought were interesting, just trying stuff. No rules.
That sounds super liberating.
Cherry Glazerr: Definitely! Working with Yves is exactly like that, very freeing and liberating. He really listens to everything that I have to say. There’s no big egos walking around in the room. It just feels like a very collaborative thing. He was the producer on it but he let me produce on it as well and he let me really make a lot of final decisions. It was a very synchronized and symbiotic little collaboration with him. I want to make more music with him one day.
That's so awesome. We were chatting about that self discovery during COVID and because you weren’t touring. How does it feel now that you're now going back on tour for this album in which the primary reason it came to fruition was because you weren't touring?
Cherry Glazerr: I’ve never thought of it like that. I have been thinking about making the stage show a little bit more peaceful. That’s weird because the music is aggressive and insane. ButI want to create some sort of centeredness to the live aspect. I’m trying to wrap my head around how to do that. It’s about creating a world. I’m trying to do that and incorporate some of the feelings that I felt while making the album, which are definitely a little bit more self reflective and quiet and intense.
I’m going to try to incorporate that visually, and musically onstage. I’ve been thinking about how to do that. Maybe it would be darker in the room with weird little lights everywhere, and sound effects. We’re touring as a four piece for this next album, which is cool. So we’re moving up from being a three piece to a four piece. It’s gonna bring another layer of spice.
Are you touring with the same bandmates that you've been touring with previously?
Cherry Glazerr: Yeah, Nick [Pillot]’s been with me for two years, and Sami [Perez] has been with me for, I think, four years. Sami, my bass player, she’s kind of my rock. She helps me do a lot of stuff in the band. She’s just a killer bandmate. I love her.
What’s it like to be returning to the stage with that same team and getting to work with them through all of these phases of Cherry Glazerr?
Cherry Glazerr: I actually wouldn’t know because I’ve had a lot of lineup changes. I feel like I’ve had an opposite experience to that. I’m the only one who’s actually seen the full trajectory of my life, as Cherry Glazerr. My label has been with me for a minute and so has my team, my team has stayed the same. I have always been the leader of the band and it’s always been my project. Even when I started it with other musicians. I started with Paige, Luke and Joe and put the music out. And then I got two new members. And then I had three new members after that. And then two new members after that.
It’s always been that I write all the music; people have always known that coming into the band. I have a very open and generous spirit and heart, and I love bands. But at the same time, I’m a total control freak when it comes to art. I am constantly balancing those two things. Only I’ve seen all my phases, but my current bandmates are so supportive and I’m obsessed with them. I’m like, it’s crazy.
I have a very open and generous spirit and heart, and I love bands. But at the same time, I’m a total control freak when it comes to art. I am constantly balancing those two things.
What have you got coming up next?
Cherry Glazerr: I’m working on the next one! I’m thinking about the themes for it and collaborations that I want to have. I want to make a song with Mitski. So I’m trying to link with her. Hopefully, if I put it in this interview. Maybe it’ll happen.
Manifesting a Mitski collab! What Mitski song would you love to do a Cherry Glazerr cover of?
Cherry Glazerr: I mean, I love “My Love Mine All Mine.” I know that’s a huge song right now but it’s so beautiful. The vocal melody is so awesome and iconic.
What can people expect from the new album?
Cherry Glazerr: I have like four main ideas, of what direction to go in, which is classic. I’ll probably put them all on the album, as I do with every album and never choose a side. It’ll probably have a little piece of everything.
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© Maddy Rotman
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