Every once in a while, a new rock band comes along that catches the ear of even the most jaded music fan. Such is the case with Cherri Bomb, that exploded onto the scene earlier this year with their powerful single “Shake The Ground” from the soundtrack of one of this year’s biggest films, “The Avengers.” The band has graced the stages of some of the world’s largest festivals, opened for rock royalty such as the Foo Fighters and Smashing Pumpkins, and is looking forward to spending part of the summer on the Vans Warped Tour..Having just released their impressive debut album, “This Is The End of Control,” released via Hollywood Records, this talented all-girl lineup is poised to take the world by storm — and they are not even out of their teens! Jason Price of the mighty Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with guitarist Miranda Miller to discuss the band’s formation, the creation of their first kick-ass rock album, what the future holds for them and much more!
What are your first memories of music in your life?
I have been around music my whole life. My whole family is made up of musicians. My dad used to take me to see concerts and we would watch Beatles movies together. I was just always brought up around music and it has always been there. It is hard to pick one thing that is my standout memory, it has just always been there! I started out singing and my grandpa is a jazz pianist. He asked me if I wanted to take piano lessons when I was 4 years old. I said, “Sure!” Little did I know that would be my life’s passion!
Who would you cite as your biggest influences as an artist?
My biggest influence and inspiration would have to be Paul McCartney. My dad turned me on to the Beatles when I was really young and they have always been a huge influence on me and my taste in music. I have a lot of great memories of watching “Yellow Submarine” with my dad and I have all of their albums. Paul McCartney’s songwriting ability has always really inspired me. I really get inspired by a lot of musicians with differents styles. I listen to jazz, theater, rock, pop and everything else!
You ladies were all from the East Coast originally, correct?
Yeah, we were all born on the East Coast. The sisters were from New York, Julia was from New Jersey and I was from Florida. We all moved to California for better opportunities for what we wanted to do, which was music. We all just happened to find each other after we moved to California.
Let’s talk a little about that. For those who may not be familiar with the band, how did Cherri Bomb originally form?
Julie Pierce, our lead guitarist, she wanted to find an all-girl band. She put up flyers in music stores and posted things on Craigslist. She found Nia Lovelis, our drummer, first. Nia was looking for a band as well. They got together and jammed out and it worked! They went through a few other people first but I had sent them some videos of me playing and singing. When I got back from where I had been visiting, I went in and played some covers with them and it was really awesome! At that point, the last member we were looking for was a bassist. Nia’s sister, Rena, played guitar, so we asked her to pick up a bass and she was our bassist from then on!
I am sure you answered this a million times but tell us how the name of the band came about.
Nia and Rena had a book called “Cherry Bomb: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Flirt, a Tougher Chick, and a Hotter Girlfriend — and to Living Life Like a Rock Star” by Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna. At the time we were trying to come up with a name for the band, they were reading that book. They told us we should read it too! After reading it, we kinda decided that name really fit our personality because it is about being a rocker chick. It was really just cute, funny and awesome, so we decided to go with that name!
Your manager is all-star drummer Samantha Maloney. What have you learned from her about music business in general? I am sure she can offer up some unique perspectives.
It has been really great having her because she has been through so much in the music business. She helps us avoid some of the mistakes that a lot of people make. We have learned so many things, the first being to wear earplugs so we don’t go deaf! [laughs] It is not so much “little lessons” as much as her constantly being there and helping us figure out what we have to do to get our music out there.
“This Is The End of Control” is a very impressive debut. Can you tell us a little about your writing process and how it shaped this album?
The whole process of writing “This Is The End of Control” was extremely creative which was awesome for all of us. It was the four of us and our producers. We would go sit in a room and someone would play a guitar riff and we would go off of that or we would pull out our poetry books and start writing some lyrics. It was great because even when we were recording, we would be recording three songs and then would have an idea for another one. We would get so excited and it became really hard to pick which songs to put on the album because we had written so many but it was so much fun!
What does the title of the album mean to you personally?
To me, it means us taking control of where we are going with our lives. There are a lot of people who try to put their input in like, “You’ve gotta do this!” or “You’ve gotta do that!” But you know what? This is our lives, this is our band and we are going to do what we want with it, so, “This is the end of control!” [laughs]
From start to finish, what was the biggest challenge in putting this album together?
I think the biggest challenge that presented itself was being new to recording. We had recorded our EP and a few demos but this was our first time putting together an entire album. We really wanted this album to be as good as we could possibly make it. It is kinda hard to know when to stop or when to say, “That is good enough,” because, being perfectionists, we wanted everything to be perfect! [laughs] I think that was probably the biggest challenge.
What is the biggest thing you learned about yourself along the way?
I definitely learned a lot about myself through the process. I learned where I need to stop and take a break because sometimes you just push through and you forget to eat, you forget to sleep and you get so caught up in the music! I definitely discovered my limitations. I also learned, as a musician, what I needed to work on and what guitar skills I could get better at. I learned a lot of good techniques while recording which I can now use for the live shows.
At first glance a lot of people would be quick to compare you to The Runaways, which is a great compliment. Do you think it is any easier today for an all-girl band to get respect than it was back in their heyday?
I would think it was harder back then just because it hadn’t really happened yet. There weren’t any all-girl bands that had really made it. Now, there have been a few. Some people may not recognize them but there have been quite a few. Sure sometimes it is hard to gain respect but we kinda want to prove that is not what is important. What is important is our music!
You’ve played a lot of shows this summer at huge festivals, playing to huge crowds. What has that experience been like for you?
Playing in all of the places that we have placed has been absolutely amazing! We have gotten a lot of different experiences that have helped us along the way. We have also gotten a lot of advice from the people we have opened for, like the Foo Fighters and The Smashing Pumpkins. The festivals have been amazing and have exposed us to different crowds and fan bases. We have really made a strong connection with the fans, which has been awesome!
You spent a lot of time with the songs on “This Is The End of Control.” What is your favorite song to play live?
My favorite song to play live is “Shake The Ground” because it is so much fun. I don’t know how to describe it but it is so much fun to play on stage. You can feel the energy from the crowd and the other people in the band. It is amazing!
What can fans expect from your live shows?
Our live shows are definitely really energetic! It is kinda like four girls coming together and exploding! Which is definitely dangerous! [laughs]
How about music videos. Can we expect to see more of the band in that realm?
Ya know, we have actually been talking about videos. I am not sure when the next one is going to happen but we definitely want to do some more videos because they are always fun to make!
What about touring? Any clues as to what is happening there, both long and short term?
We are actually getting ready right now for Warped Tour! We are doing the July 17th through August 5th dates! We are so psyched about that! We are also going to be doing some East Coast dates and some stuff around the Warped tour.
That’s great! Sounds like you are going to have an exciting summer!
Yeah, we definitely are!
Is touring something you look forward to even though it can be a bit grueling in the summer months?
Yeah, we love touring! Instead of getting homesick, we get “toursick!” [laughs] We just have so much fun on tour, whether it is meeting other bands, playing for new people or traveling — it is just an amazing experience!
Have you had a “Spinal Tap Moment” on stage where something totally unexpected or totally ridiculous happened to you?
[laughs] I don’t know if we have had anything as extreme as a Spinal Tap moment yet! [laughs] We have had some crazy problems on stage. We recently had a show where for one of the songs, both Julia and my guitars cut out! So the whole song became some sort of drum and bass solo! [laughs] So, we have had some ridiculous things like that but we are still waiting for our Spinal Tap moment!
As you mentioned, you got some great advice from some industry giants along your journey. What is the best piece of advice you can pass along to someone looking to make their career in the industry?
I would just say not to let anyone get in the way of what you want to do. It is your life, you only have one! So, you might as well do what you want with it!
In your opinion, what does the future hold for Cherri Bomb?
Actually, we have been talking about starting to write for a possible second album. We are always practicing for live shows and acoustic stuff. We are always working on all of those elements and hopefully something good will come out of it!
Anything you want to tell your fans before I let you go?
I would just like to thank everyone who has supported us so far. We really appreciate it and we are really excited to see where we will go next!
Thanks for your time today, Miranda! All the best to you and the girls!
Thanks so much!
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Jason Price founded the mighty Icon Vs. Icon more than a decade ago. Along the way, he’s assembled an amazing group of like-minded individuals to spread the word on some of the most unique people and projects on the pop culture landscape.