EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: CHERRI BOMB Talk VANS WARPED TOUR & Marvel's THE AVENGERS Movie Soundtrack
I caught up with lead singer and guitarist Julia Pierce of Cherri Bomb to reflect on the band's debut album 'This is The End of Control'. We also chatted about preparing for the upcoming Warped Tour, musical influences and much more.
Cherri Bomb was founded in 2008 by then 11-year-old Julia Pierce. The singer/guitarist made it her mission to form a rock group of all girls and ended up recruiting drummer Nia Lovelis, her sister Rena Lovelis on Bass and guitarist Miranda Miller. The band released their debut EP, Stark on October 18, 2011 and have unleashed their full length debut 'This is The End of Control' on May 15, 2012. Cherri Bomb have already played major music festivals like Reading and Leeds as well as opening for a wealth of bands such as Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Bush, Staind, and Steel Panther.
Keven: The full length debut is finally out, but have you even had time to stop and enjoy the release because it seems like you're touring nonstop?
Julia: Not really. We were in New York the day of the release so we celebrated there with our label and it was really fun. I don't know, it's hard. I didn't really sit back and watch everyone explore our album but in sort of a way, I did enjoy it.
Keven: Now that the album is out are you even looking ahead to future records or has this been a labor of love with you?
Julia: We're going on tour this summer and we were thinking of writing on the bus during Warped Tour. We're not starting yet but pretty soon we're going to start getting ideas and bringing new material out.
Keven: Have you seen the Warped Tour documentary No Room for Rockstars?
Julia: I just got it yesterday and I was gonna watch it but I heard it's amazing.
Keven: I got to see an advanced copy of it a while ago and it's such a gritty and both amazing and frightening look at what some of the bands go through on Warped Tour and I was just wondering if you were nervous? Because it's so much hard work but it pays off huge in the end.
Julia: I'm totally excited and I'm not nervous one bit. Warped Tour is a really special festival to me because all my friends go every year and it's a festival I've always wanted to play. I'm friends with a couple people who've been on Warped Tour and they tell me what it's like. I kind of know what to expect but I also know it'll be crazy no matter what. I'm also a huge fan of like all the bands on the lineup this year.
Keven: Are you most looking forward to the exposure from Warped Tour or is it the experience between the shows just hanging out and taking it all in?
Julia: A little bit of both. I know it's gonna be grinding and playing small stages, it's gonna be hot out and we're gonna be exhausted but I think all of that makes it fun. We're gonna look back on it and be like, 'Oh my god, I did all of that and it was an amazing experience'. I'm mostly excited to make friends with all the bands. Because they're bands that I idolized and just being able to meet those guys would be a dream come true.
Keven: Cherri Bomb is a very versatile band and you've opened for just about every big name rock band out there but has there ever been a time where you've felt uncomfortable opening for somebody?
Julia: Our first tour, opening for the Smashing Pumpkins in Texas and Oklahama. That was a little uncomfortable because the audience wasn't that accepting. We didn't know what to expect and when we got on stage we thought 'Is this what touring is actually like?' We got heckled a little bit but other than that I've never felt uncomfortable being on stage. After that when we toured in the UK and Europe I was like, 'This is what touring is really about', playing these huge festivals for people eager to hear music.
Keven: Some have pegged your band as a little too young because your notoriety has escalated so quickly the past couple years and because the rock scene is dominated by the same bands that were at the top 20 years ago, do you feel an insane amount of pressure to hang with these established acts?
Julia: It's not really that much pressure, it's mostly just being really busy. You're going through so much, you don't have time to sit back and realize what you're doing. I'm also not going through this alone and because there are four of us in the band, we all have each other.
Keven: Which bands inspired the sound and direction on your debut album?
Julia: The Foo Fighters are a great influence on us and we listen to their music all the time. We think their style rubs off on us and for me, mostly, My Chemical Romance. Those two bands are pretty much my two favorites of all time.
Keven: I know you've played with The Foo Fighters before, but have you met Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance?
Julia: Yes. I've met him a couple times. I actually met him at his wife Lindsey Way's art show so our manager introduced us to him and we had a great conversation and he ended up giving us tickets to their show at the House of Blues. So that was my first concert, seeing My Chemical Romance. It was one of the best concerts I've ever been to. He's just the sweetest guy ever and I'm just in love with that guy (laughing).
Keven: It's hard already when you're in a young rock band, but you're also a band comprised entirely of young females; do you feel like you had more hurdles to jump through than other bands on the scene?
Julia: I think in the beginning when we first started out and weren't even teenagers yet, that was really hard. We started out playing a lot of classic rock covers and a lot of adults respected us because we did play rock music and could actually play our own instruments at such a young age. Now that our own album is out, people are really starting to get who we are and people are realizing that we are for real.
Keven: I know it was a conscious decision on your part to seek out the rest of the band; why go with an all female line-up?
Julia: At the time and I still think this; I just thought that having all girls instead of a mix, would be very empowering and something different. I know it's definitely been done before but I feel like because of our music and this day and age, we are different.
Keven: Plus, now that you're in an all girl band and about to do the Warped Tour, you don't have to share a bus with a bunch of gross guys.
Julia: (laughing) Yeah and since there's less girls on the Warped Tour we won't have to wait as long for the showers.
Keven: Which song do you think represents the record most, if you could only pick one?
Julia: I'd have to say 'Shake the Ground', just because it's about being unstoppable, taking control of our lives and not caring who steps in our way.
Keven: And, I have to mention that track was featured on the 'Avengers Assemble' record which also happens to be one of the biggest movies of all time now. How does it feel to be a part of that universe?
Julia: When I found out that we were on that soundtrack, I freaked out. When I looked at who else was on that soundtrack I was like wow, 'We're on the same CD as Rise Against, Soundgarden and Bush'. The fact that we're so close to these huge bands, that's amazing. I feel like it's so surreal that it hasn't even hit me yet (laughing).
Keven: You guys recently took a tour of Marvel headquarters because of that didn't you?
Julia: Yes we did, that was amazing. We got a tour around the entire place and there were comics everywhere. We could see the different rooms and the process of how comics are created; it was just so much fun. Then we got a bunch of comic books after.
Keven: Are you a comic fan at all or is this something completely new to you?
Julia: It's actually new to me. I've never been a comic fan my entire life just because I never put the time into reading them but I do like them. I just never had the time. I've been reading some of the stuff I did get and it's just amazing.
Keven: Since you're such a big My Chemical Romance fan, Gerard actually has this comic that he writes called The Umbrella Academy and I highly recommend you check that out.
Julia: Yeah! You know I've heard about that. OK, I'm definitely gonna do that. He's really multi-talented so I know he writes comics, acts, he dances and stuff like that so I'm gonna check that out, thank you.