How LA Band Cherry Glazerr Combined Feminism With Public Radio To Rock You
L.A. rock band Cherry Glazerr's Clementine "Clem" Creevy plays guitar, sings lead, and writes songs for the band. She's also an occasional actor and model -- and she's only 22. She created the band at 15, named for public radio host Chery Glaser, since Creevy listened to Glaser every morning in the car on the way to school.
Creevy's an outspoken feminist who knows what she wants and speaks her mind on stage, in the press, in her daily life, and on four studio albums.
"Men have gotten places, places that I want to be, and I want that same respect," Creevy said. "Being seen as less capable has always been a major issue for me. It's forced me to want to be really, really good at my instrument."
Encouraged by her mom, Creevy began writing songs when she was 5 and picked up the guitar at 10. A single mother and only child, they moved around a lot before settling in Los Angeles. Creevy got serious when she started taking guitar lessons at the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, founded by the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea.
"I know in my music there's been this through line of me growing up," Creevy said. "I even feel like my voice has changed from album to album, literally, because I don't think I was done with puberty when I was 15 doing the first album."
In high school, Creevy started jamming with friends, which culminated in forming the band. The band has undergone several lineup changes along the way, but Creevy remains at the core.
"I started to realize that I wanted bandmates who weren't just my friends, but who really wanted to make big music," Creevy said.
Centering women's experiences has been another through line in Creevy's musical trajectory. Cherry Glazerr's first two albums, Papa Cremp and Haxel Princess, explore female adolescence and uplift teen girl bedroom culture within a melodic, surf-garage dreamscape. Creevy's playful yet provocative lyrics and imagery frequently depict women defiantly eating while embracing their sexuality, exemplified in the song "Grilled Cheese."
"People thought it was funny when I reclaimed eating, and I also thought it was funny. But why is it funny?" Creevy said. "We have this socialized notion that women are objects to be seen and not living, breathing people with needs."
Feminist themes continue into the band's third album, Apocalipstick, most notably with the guitar riff earworm "Told You I'd Be with the Guys." Describing herself as a lone wolf losing her pack, Creevy examines solidarity amongst women -- or lack thereof -- and how it often plays out in real life.
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On Cherry Glazerr's latest album, Stuffed & Ready, Creevy waxes more serious and introspective, revealing how her personal is political. In addition to Creevy, the three-piece band consists of drummer Tabor Allen and various basists (Devin O'Brien played bass on the album). Moody and powerful, Stuffed & Ready addresses mature themes like objectification, isolation, anxiety, and self-destruction.
"I came to terms with the fact that vulnerability is powerful and not something to be ashamed of," Creevy said. "I had put so much pressure on myself to not be vulnerable. The songs I was writing for Stuffed & Ready were kind of working through that pain."
Creevy challenges the dynamics of relationships with condescending, controlling men in the song "Daddi," and in "Wasted Nun," she exposes the effects of internalized sexism, namely self-destruction.
Perhaps the most universally relatable song, "That's Not My Real Life," confronts the fine line between being seen and being objectified as a woman on social media. Creevy asserts herself as the subject, not object, while recognizing that women's bodies are their currency in a world built by men. Yet she acknowledges her fear of not being entirely in control of her own image or how it will be perceived, questioning even her own conflation of social media and reality.
"I can feel the weight of all these people looking at me," Creevy said, "but how can I feel anxiety about people looking at me when I'm sitting alone in my room?"
Ultimately, Creevy embraces her alone time, her independence, and her singularity. She runs the show and decided that's what she wanted to do long ago. She's learned to own it and be OK with herself.
"It sounds cheesy, but once I love and respect myself, everything great comes from that. Nothing anybody says can trip you up, because you've decided for yourself what you want," Creevy said.
Listen to the radio version of this story on The Frame.