Cherry Glazerr Wants Women to Have Their Own Society
Clementine Creevy is cupping a tiny white teacup and speaking about feminism with fervor and unjaded openness. In the future, she says, she dreams of a brand-new society constructed and run by those identifying as women. A kind of fantasy island where women help women help women ad finem, thereby taking the power back after millions of years struggling under the thumb of the patriarchy.
Today, however, we’re unfortunately still living in the present world, in which Creevy and I are sharing a sparsely occupied teashop with a man loudly orating on the many varietals of soft cheeses. He manages to drown out Creevy’s voice on my tape recorder at times with his talk about larders and goats, but her conviction and humor cuts through the nonsense in the end: her all-consuming love of feminist and writer Roxane Gay, her assertion that she’s more than a little “power hungry,” as she puts it.
At 22, the L.A. musician might not be quite ready to lead the resistance to its own private island, but her passion for both feminism and music does meld on her upcoming album, Stuffed & Ready, out February 1 via her band Cherry Glazerr. It’s a bald work rife with insecurity and bluster in equal measure, much like Creevy herself.
“I write a lot about power and control within my life and my relationships,” Creevy says. “I’ve always been kind of an existential kid, now I’m an existential adult, which isn’t totally healthy, probably.”
Creevy started making music in her bedroom at age 15 under the name Clembutt, just a few years before she found herself enamored of feminism. She took a Women’s Studies class in high school, and she says it changed her life. Two years before that, though, Burger Records founder Sean Bohrman discovered “Clembutt” on Soundcloud; a tape titled Papa Cremp followed in 2013. Soon, Creevy was making music and modeling for Saint Laurent, performing in a fictional band on Amazon’s Transparent – and releasing Cherry Glazerr’s debut LP, Haxel Princess, in 2014. The band’s second album, Apocalipstick, dropped in 2017 via Secretly Canadian.
As Stuffed &Ready nears its release date, Creevy sat down with TIDAL — as the aforementioned man droned on about cheese — to discuss the new album, trusting men and alone time. Read on for more from the Cherry Glazerr front woman below.
It seems like you’re exploring being a woman and the roles we play on this record. Can you expand on that?
I started to realize how often men in my life jumped to being in a paternal role and how men want to take on paternal roles for all the women they’re around and how that frustrates me more than anything.
Simone de Beauvoir has this great quote about how women should be suspicious of all men — and that includes feminists. It just struck me; thank you for reminding me that it’s OK to be suspicious. The song ‘Daddi’ is very much about how, despite my feminist educations, it’s easier said than done to not slip into traditional subservient roles.
How do you work within the mind-frame of not trusting men and still work with them?
It’s a dichotomy; it exists as something that is complicated. There’s no easy answer for that one because I struggle with it. … I do work within the system; I don’t know why. The people around me I’ve chosen, obviously, so it’s a really fair question that you’re asking me. I guess I love the men that I work with. I can also get really angry and isolated with them because I feel unknown.
Like they don’t understand where you’re coming from because you’re a woman?
Yeah. Because they haven’t lived as a woman before, so it can feel like we’re on different pages. But for the most part, I love all of them and it’s fun to make music with them. Those are the two things I’m passionate about: making music and feminism. It’s great when they co-exist, but sometimes for me they’re separate, because the men I work with have access to stuff I want to use. Skillsets, gear, knowledge.
I can be a little bit power-hungry. Like, I have a little bit of penis envy, which sucks because I love the idea of a society with no power structure, because when power structures are in place, oppression exists. This is something we’ve learned throughout history. I can’t help but get really excited about the notion of women being in power for thousands of years — as long as men have been in power. That’s when equality will be achieved.
Does being power-hungry translate into your music, too?
I think it does. I write a lot about power and control within my life and my relationships. I’ve always been kind of an existential kid, now I’m an existential adult, which isn’t totally healthy probably.
How does feminism come into play on this record?
Guilty feminism. This idea of the hypocrisies that come with being a feminist in 2019. I took that from Deborah Frances-White, who is a British feminist. She has a show called the Guilty Feminist that I really relate to a lot. Like, ‘I’m a feminist, but some days I wake up wishing I had a thigh gap more than anything in the whole fucking world.’ That’s just a concept that I relate to.
I’m really hopeful about forth and fifth wave feminism being intersectional. I don’t think we’re there yet, but there’s a lot of really cool feminism coming from non-white, non-cis people. That’s something I feel really lucky to have, and something that I didn’t have a lot of when I was being taught feminism. I became a feminist when I was 17. I took Women’s Studies as an elective in high school; it was me and four other people. It changed my life. … What if women helped women until we created our own economy? That’s an idea that I really love.
You talk a lot about isolation on this album. In ‘Self-Explained,’ in particular, you mention not wanting people to know how much you like being alone. Can you elaborate on that?
I really like my solitude, but I feel guilty when I’m alone or spend too much time alone. Because we have these social norms that have been engrained in us for thousands of years that socializing is good for you, so you should do it. And it’s kind of like, what about doing shit for no reason? Why does everything have to be because it’s good for me? I don’t remember the last time I did something for no reason at all.
It’s interesting how this generation of younger people is taking solitude back.
Yeah, I feel a pushback against the crap that’s been shoved down our throat for the past thousands of years. Everyone I talk to is like, ‘Yeah, social media sucks and it makes me feel shitty.’ And that in and of itself is resistance.
Do you feel a lot of pressure as a musician to always be out there? Extended beyond yourself?
Yeah, I do. My way of combatting that is being nice to myself. It’s this new thing I’m trying. I find that if you’re kind to yourself, everything great thing comes after that.
My mom has this great saying where she’s like, ‘When you talk to yourself in your head, if someone else said that to your best friend, would you dropkick them? Probably. So don’t fucking say it to yourself.’ That’s not her exact words.
(Photo credit: Pamela Littky)
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