Thanks to Gianni Della Cioppa of Andromeda Relix, a small Italian classic rock label, we got introduced to two interesting all-female bands, that mix loud rock with some punky side steps. CHERRY LIPS is the second band, that we want to highlight here. Their self-titled debut album is a real kick in the face. These ladies are indeed “Mean, Hot And Nasty”, while “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”! Two song titles, that tell their story in a nutshell. So read on and hear what these four cherry lips had to tell us...
[Note: Drummer Serena left the band recently and she has temporarily been replaced by Michael Reale. The band hopes to re-establish as an all-female band next fall]
When was CHERRY LIPS founded and can you please introduce the band members to us?
“CHERRY LIPS was bullied into being a real band back in 2005 by leadsinger Stefy, who was fed up with fronting boy bands. She wanted to play rock‘n’roll with girls only. First of all, she convinced her schoolfriend Karima to quit her classical guitar study and start playing the bass. Then the two of them grabbed Serena in a pub and put her behind the drum kit. Finally, they bumped into Elisa in a music store and... CHERRY LIPS was formed!”
Who came up with the name CHERRY LIPS and why did you actually choose this name?
“Well, it was a week before the band’s first real gig and the guy printing the promo leaflets said: “Girls, I need to know the name NOW!!!!” Someone pronounced those fatal words and they kind of blocked out any more intelligent ideas!”
Did any of the bandmembers play in other bands before CHERRY LIPS and if yes, can you name them? Did you record anything with those bands?
“Stefy fronted a glam rock band, called ROCK’N’ROLL PUSHERS for a year or two and recorded the LP “Original Skin” with them. Elisa played in a noise trio, called SUCREAMPOUDRE (or something like that), then she joined the rock band STARCHILD, with whom she recorded a couple of songs for the album “Lonely Rose” and she also cooperated with a few rock cover bands. Serena was in a crossover band, that played original songs and a few covers, while Karima only has a little experience as a rhythm guitarist in a teenage GUNS’N’ ROSES cover band.”
How would you describe the music of CHERRY LIPS yourself?
“Pure and simple: rock!”
Is it still possible for a band to be original at a time, when there is an overflow of bands? And in which aspect does CHERRY LIPS differ from the rest of these other bands?
“Originality is an opinion. In rock music all that could have been said has been said. The only chance for a modern rock band is to offer their point of view on rock, enriched with their experiences and influences. Rock is an attitude rather than a music genre and most of the enthusiasm of the music is given by the energy and feeling that the musicians put into it.”
Who can we see as your musical influences and maybe you can also name some influences of each band member individually here?
Stefy: “AEROSMITH, ETTA JAMES, THE WHO, ROLLING STONES, T-REX, SWEET.”
Serena: “THE WHO, RAMONES, MC5, STOOGES, KYUSS.”
Elisa: “AEROSMITH, U2, RADIOHEAD, RATM, JIMMY PAG, AC/DC, SCOTT HENDERSON, SOUNDGARDEN, SRV, SONIC YOUTH, INCUBUS, PARAMORE.”
Kari: “AEROMSTH, ACDC, IRON MAIDEN, JOHNNY CASH, KYUSS, TWISTED SISTER, MOTLEY CRUE, DORO PESCH, SKID ROW.”
How did the press react on your debut album so far?
“The press has been very kind to us and in general, we got some great reviews in the major magazines. We even got a great review in the Rolling Stone!”
Were there any negative reactions as well, and if yes how do you deal
with negative criticism in general?
“Of course, we have received a few critics here and there. Usually, we accept criticism in a very open-minded way, but when criticism becomes abuse we just ignore it.”
Can you tell us how you created the songs and ideas for this album? Please
tell us about your writing process and its different stages.
“We create songs from melodies, ideas, riffsor funny lyrics. Usually, Stefy comes up with the ideas and sometimes we get great riffs by just jamming at our rehearsal sessions. Then we elaborate the structure of the song together and play it in different ways many many times, until we find what we are looking for.”
How did you get in touch with Andromeda Relix, who released your album?
“Andromeda Relix got in touch with us! After recording the album, Andromeda released it and Venus distributed it in Italy.”
What was the most difficult part in making this first album?
“Most definately: schei (which in Veronese dialect means “money”!!). Just joking... During the recording of our first album, our formerly lead guitarist Julia decided to leave the band...You can imagine how we panicked! But after a couple of weeks of screaming, shouting, cursing and kicking the dog, we decided to go on and with great luck we bumped into Elisa in a music shop!! We found our fantastic new lead guitarist!”
Who writes the lyric and what are they about?
“The lyrics and song themes are Stefy’s cross to bear! She speaks fluently English, so she’s the one who has to write them. The band approves and Serena seems to have the incredible ability of expressing emotional situations in a few words... All the lyrics are very personal. They are usually about experiences - as all good rock music should be!”
Maybe there are a few songs, you would like to explain a little bit more?
Stefi : “The song, that I find more intense is “Haunted’. “Haunted” is about teenagers. We wrote it at the end of high school, when people start asking you, who do you want to be, where do you want to go, what are you going to do…and one constantly feels uneasy and scared in front of life and all its possibilities. We are haunted by the ghosts of what we want to become and what we are not!”
Elisa: “Wow, very heavy stuff!”
Who’s responsible for the artwork on your debut CD?
“Michele at Koan Film.”
Where can people buy your CD? Please promote CHERRY LIPS here for free!!
“If you are in Italy, you can buy the CD at any good music shop! However, if you are in any other part of the world, please contact us through our Myspace [www.myspace.com/cherrylipsrock] and get the CD with Paypal. You will receive it in a few days together with some cool merchandise stuff !”
What's your favorite CHERRY LIPS song and why?
“We love every one of them, though we all agree that “Haunted” is the most difficult song to render live.”
How important is the internet for a band like CHERRY LIPS and where can people find you?
“The internet is obviously very important for a young rock band. Through the internet we sell our CDs, we contact our fans, we organize tours in other countries and we get our music around the world! We are always on the net!!! You can find us at My Space: http://www.myspace.com/cherrylipsrock or become a fan of CHERRY LIPS on facebook. We also have an official website at http:// www.cherrylipsrock.com, but there is a curse on it! For two years, we can not get it working!!!”
Do you handle all the internet business yourself or do you outsource
“We do both.”
Do you have other hobbies or interests besides playing music in a band?
“Three of us are students or pretending to be one (LOL). Karima does medieval fencing, Serena wastes her time by playing Diablo and watching splatter films or gossiping on the net, while Stefy does a lot of dancing. She also used to be a good snowboarder, but now she’s afraid of destroying her wrists. Elisa likes plants...”
What can people expect from the live shows of CHERRY LIPS?
“A high class kick ass rock'n'roll show!”
Do you play any cover songs on stage, and if yes, which covers do you
“Yes! We play some AC/DC songs and also KISS, JOAN JETT, AEROSMITH, T-REX THE BEATLES and some classic rock’n’roll. We usually choose songs that have a meaning to us, as far as style and sound are concerned.”
Why did you choose to cover “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” from CYNDI LAUPER on your debut album?
“Because it’s a great song with a great tune and great lyrics! It’s also a pop song, so we had the possibility to render it more rrrrrock!”
With which bands did you share the stage already?
“We shared the stage with ANTIPRODUCT (USA), FUTUREHEADS (UK), VANITY INK (FIN), ANGEL CITY OUTCAST (USA) and a few main stream italian artists, like ELISA and SONHORA.”
Are there any funny stories to tell about things that happened on stage or during a tour?
“We remember very well, when Karima broke her platform shoes and threw them off the stage or when Serena fell off the drum kit stage and disappared for a few minutes... Then again there was Serena on our German tour falling asleep everywhere (!!). Also, it must be said, that each and everyone of us has at least got totally drunk twice and made a total fool of herself or disappeared with some....guy. Though the most surreal story is our May 1st gig... We drove for five hours following the indication the people of the venue were giving us on the phone and never found the damn place!!!”
Did you ever witness any male groupies? Let’s say guys, who want to have more than just an autograph or a guitar pick from the band members?
“Well, not really! I mean, there are some guys, who hang around the band, but never with a groupie attitude. The devoted groupie attitude is a female charactiristica... We do have some female groupies!!! And as far as guys are concerned, we prefer hanging out with other bands!”
With which band would you like to go on tour, if you could pick any band of your choice?
“Definitely not an Italian band and definitely not a girl band. I think, our choice would be THE DATSUNS or HARDCORE SUPERSTAR.”
What was the most important gig, that you played so far?
“At the Derby Theatre in Milan, when we played before ELISA.”
What do you like better: playing live on stage or composing new songs in the studio?
“Guess?!!! Playing live of course.”
What’s the metal and rock scene like in Italy? Are there any good clubs to play live?
“The scene is very small and really tough! There are a lot of clubs, but more punk orientated.”
Which other, well-known bands come from the area, where you live?
“Definitely THEE STP from Milano, OJM from Treviso, SMALL JACKETS from Cesena...”
What are the future plans for CHERRY LIPS (on the short and long term, please)?
“We are planning on doing an enormous amount of live gigs in Italy, thanks to our booking agency Blitz Studio. We are also hoping to release a properly produced album for 2010 and to start getting bigger outside Italy.”
Do you think, that women in rock and metal still need the kind of recognition 'zines like Metal Maidens give to them?
“We don’t think so. A good band should be appreciated for the music and the sex of the musicians should be irrelevant. Surely though, a magazine like yours helps young underground female bands to show what they are worth! And this is very important, since girl rock bands are still a vast minority!”
Our online magazine is based in Holland (or the Netherlands, if you like). What else do you know about our country, besides the fact that we have colourful tulips and beautiful windmills?
“When Stefy and Karima where in highschool, they went together to Amsterdam on a school trip! They spent most of their time in clubs listening to blues gigs and jam sessions! You don’t get that in Italy, so it was a really cool experience!”
Are there any interesting gigs on the agenda of CHERRY LIPS in the near future?
“January and February are gonna be very intense, as we are travelling all over Italy! And perhaps there is going to be a little surprise in April. There are voices, who talk about a tour in Sweeden and Finland...”
What's the best thing about being in a band? And maybe there is an inferior side too, that you would like to mention here?
“Playing live, to test ourselves on stage and to comunicate our enthusiasm to people through music, that is what we live for! The relationship between us is hard, but wonderful. The good thing of being in a girl band is that there are no comunication problems, if you know what I mean! Our friendship grows stronger and stronger at each gig, each adventure and each mistake. The worst part of it all is to bear each others bad mood and temper and difficult personalities, but this is the reason we are rockers: we are tough women!”
What are your plans for the next CHERRY LIPS album? Are you most likely going to release it independently or are you looking for a big record label to release your second album?
“We are hoping to be able to afford a bigger production for the next album and perhaps, who knows, a wider distribution and a world tour!”
Do you have any personal messages for our readers?
“Rock your heart out!”
Is there something you would like to add to this interview? Maybe there is something we forgot to mention here, that is essential for the story of CHERRY LIPS? Maybe a last newsflash?
“After all these questions, it’s like you’ve known us since we were kids!!”
The famous last words in this interview are for CHERRY LIPS....
“We know, that it’s only rock’n’roll, but we like it!”
Visit their official website at: www.cherrylipsrock.com
or go to their My Space site: www.myspace.com/cherrylipsrock