Clementine Creevy fronts the Los Angeles-based rock band Cherry Glazerr. She's 19 years old but you'd never guess that based on her powerful vocals, ferocious skills on lead guitar, and her ability to craft addicting tracks. She's aware she's talented. She knows what she wants. And she's here to get it.
Onstage, Creevy passes for a seasoned vet — she's been writing songs since she was 15 and started getting record label attention shortly thereafter, so it would be wrong to say she's new to the game — and she seems to channel the femme rockers she admires (Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein comes to mind).
While Creevy's talents are prodigious, a phone interview betrays her. We called to congratulate her on the release of her band's third album, Apocalipstick (Secretly Canadian), and found Creevy was just as wrapped up in pleasing her parents and overcoming anxieties as her peers.
Metro Times: Your sounds seem more developed and whole on Apocalipstick. What has changed since making the first album?
Clementine Creevy: You know, not a lot has changed. The band seems more complete now, but we're still just making music.
MT: A lot of this new material seems pretty personal. Do you ever get nervous sharing your music with other people?
Creevy: Sometimes I think like, "Oh shit, I wonder what my parents will think about this?"
MT: Sometimes I think that too — I get like this anxiety wondering how it will be received because what I wrote is so personal.
Creevy: You know, I think I've come to realize that nobody gives a shit about your art more than you do. So I think sometimes I'll be like, "Wow, this is great," and then like, I'll show someone and then they will just be like, "Yeah, cool," and you just get so frustrated. And it's like, that was really harsh because I just poured my heart out into this. And then you kind of have to realize that nobody gives a fuck about you, and that's kind of comforting.
MT: Do you see that as a good thing?
Creevy: Oh, totally. Nobody is that important. You are not that important. I think it's pretty sobering.
MT: How do you feel when you get that validation, though? Is that weird?
Creevy: Yes! I think it's beautiful and makes me think like, "Oh wow, people like this," but it's also a little awkward. It doesn't change the creative process for me, so I kind of find the feedback I get back to be unimportant to our music either way. The creative process comes from us, the band, so if we're happy, then fuck everyone else. It does feel nice, though. We spend a lot of time and energy making our music, so deep down I think we all want that validation. Does it matter? No. But it does feel great. I think that validation is just human nature.
MT: And at the same time, if nobody likes this, how do you make a career? How do you get paid?
Creevy: Yeah, it's definitely a neurotic place to be.
MT: Do you get a lot of shit for being young in this industry?
Creevy: I do. But I also feel like it's not cool to be constantly bringing up "I'm so young!" or "I'm so old!" To me, age is just a number and I think we're just gonna be who we are. You might change a little bit, but for the most part you are who you are. I think that can be pretty comforting.
MT: How do you think we can combat that feeling of "we must be young" and age and beauty matter a ton?
Creevy: You know, that's really hard. And I'm not sure if I have the answer. I just try to reject things. I try not to oversexualize myself. I'm a musician and artist, so I want my artistry to define myself. I really love funny women. I think female comedians are at the forefront in the shift as how we see women. Also writers and intellectuals, but I just love Sarah Silverman and Maria Bamford and Ali Wong.
MT: Ali Wong's Netflix stand-up special is everything.
Creevy: It's gold. That special feels like a shift to me. Her jokes are fucked-up progressive. Almost like regressive. Calling out that women used to have the best job, aka no job. And it's like, "No, don't tell them!" But what that joke is really saying is of course women have always been as capable as men, and as smart as men. We just haven't been allowed to do it.
With Slow Hollows. Starts at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 25; 4114 Vernor Hwy., Detroit; 313-436-1793; elclubdetroit.com; tickets are $12.