What qualifies as ‘hype'? Selling out your first ever show? When you have no songs out? And Charli XCX is your biggest cheerleader? And your main goal is to take over the world? All of those things are true of Nasty Cherry, who debuted in March with ‘Win' – a groovy, ramshackle, fuck-it song, co-written by HRH XCX.
So we gave the Cherries a ring, two of them, drummer Debbie Knox-Hewson and bassist Georgia Somary are in London, and the others, frontwoman Gabby Bechtel and guitarist Chloe Chaidez are in LA. They're chaotic in the best ways, and we've only seen the start of it.
When we call, they're gearing up for their second show in New York, but what went off at the elusive debut? "It was fucking fun!" Chloe says, "We had no clue what to expect, we somehow sold out, with not a single song out in the world. I don't know what people came for; it's just a curiosity, so all of us were curious as to what was going to happen."
"Some got more drunk than others…", Georgia says, interrupted by Debbie's "I played a drum solo! That I did not plan! It just came out of me; it was a surprise to me, more than anyone else."
"Honestly, it surprised me, Debbie, I can fucking tell you that," Georgia replies.
The hype surrounding Nasty Cherry started at the beginning of 2019, when Charli XCX started posting Instagram pics linking to a @nastycherryband account. No one knew what was going to happen – much like the attendees of that first show – but we followed anyway, because what Charli says, goes.
The result was a new band to believe in - a Spice Girls/Runaways crossover with plenty a banger to release.
"We all knew Charli individually before becoming a band, to different degrees," says Debbie. "So I was her drummer for like the last five years, Chloe is another band called Kitten, and we toured with Charli as Kitten. Georgia is a really good mate of Charli's from London, and Gabs was in one of her music videos. So Charli hit us up individually and was like you know I wanna start a girl band, I wanna put together a girl band that's gonna take over the world, so that's what we're all tryna do. What a soundbite, God."
Obviously, some of the members had more experience making music than others. "Georgia's in it for the culture. She's learned bass to be in the band, I love that," says Debbie.
"You know what though, you know what, it's fun to sound like a band with good self-expression through it," Georgia replies.
But that's Nasty Cherry's whole ethos. Just doing it because it's fun. They want to inspire girls to pick up an instrument and just DO IT. Be confident, don't give a sod what anyone says, don't worry if you're good or not, HAVE FUN.
"I think the project is a wider thing, I just want people to think it's cool to support your female friends," says Debbie. "I want the whole girl gang thing to have a revival, and that kind of empowerment and building each other up. I always hope when people listen to Nasty Cherry; I hope if they're dating an arsehole they break up with him, if they've got a best friend and they wanna go dancing, they put our music on. Loads of things, but they're all really positive."
"If there's any young female musicians, or even non-musicians, I hope they create music with their friends if they feel like it, with their female friends, and I want girls to feel inspired to come together," Chloe adds.
And that's reflected in the kind of music they're releasing. ‘Win' and ‘What Do You Like In Me' are the only songs we've heard (unless you've been to a show, of course) and showcase very different vibes for the group. Apparently, what's to come is a big mix too.
"We're like that underwear you used to wear as a kid, we're Monday through Sunday," says Gabby. "That's been the beauty of us not going into this like with any previous history of making music, or being a band in general, aside from Chloe I guess, an all-girl band at that, and some of us not doing music at all, like. Having that open-mindedness and just not having to feel like we're making music for any specific reason other than to love it and hope that other people love it, that's it really."
Chloe adds, "I feel like when writing with Georgia and Gabby who've not done music in this way before, it's still refreshing, because for me, when I write a song, I have a lot of anxieties that come along with that, just because I've been doing it for so long. I'm like ahh is this the one? And Georgia and Gabby just sing melodies as they come into their head. It's really beautiful. They bring such a beauty to the project."
"I think I could get choice paralysis when it comes to writing and I could sit on an idea and then think about it and overthink it", Debbie says about writing ‘Win'. "Working with Charli, she's like a top line genius; she's like yep, that's good, do that again, we'll double that, and that's done, let's move onto a chorus. It was super fast, which is really exhilarating. I didn't really have time to doubt the song's potential or whatever, so I think that was the first song that came together fully. It felt right that it would be the first single."
So far, there's a new single on the way, it has a video, and they haven't decided what it's called yet. There's an EP on the cards, and lots of work with ‘exciting people'.
"Win was produced by Justin Raisen, who's worked with us on some other things, maybe our next single… maybe, maybe …." says Debbie (bloody tease). "We're getting to work with a lot of really interesting people at the minute; it's really exciting."
Taken from the August issue of Dork, out now - order your copy below.
Featuring Sam Fender, Marika Hackman, Kim Petras, IDER, Love Fame Tragedy and more.