MEB Editor Joe Ballard recently had the opportunity to pose some questions to guitarist/vocalist Miranda Miller, drummer/vocalist Nia Lovelis, and bassist/vocalist Rena Lovelis, the alternative hard rockers of Cherri Bomb. In accordance with the band’s wishes, we did not discuss the recent departure of lead vocalist/guitarist Julia Pierce. We did however talk about their plans for the future, the craziness of Warped Tour, giving back to the community, hiring male strippers, and much more.
The natural first question for any band interview: how’s the new semester of school going so far?
Miranda: It’s going great! I’ve even been fitting in a couple dance classes between school and the band. Somehow.
Nia: It’s going really well! I’m having a blast in English. We’re learning about poetry and Oscar Wilde.
Rena: Straight A’s…. Awesome! No really, education is really important to us. We work really hard at it.
Does it ever get difficult having to combine your schoolwork with all of the natural band commitments or do you balance it out pretty easily?
Rena: Yes, it gets extremely difficult trying to balance the two and stay on top of both. School is no picnic as it is, whether you’re homeschooled or in public school, so having the band commitments on top makes it even more strenuous. Fortunately, we get by each year with grades we can be proud of. Once in a while, we even give ourselves an ego-boosting pat on the back.
Releasing This is the End of Control to widespread praise, touring with the likes of Lostprophets, playing Warped Tour and Bamboozle… 2012 was a whirlwind of success for Cherri Bomb. What was the biggest highlight of them all and why?
Nia: Warped Tour had to be the most fun and memorable. A few nights after the shows were over, my drum tech, friend, and I would set up my kit next to our bus, and we’d have a huge drum jam. It was so awesome because all the musicians got to bond and play music together.
Miranda: It was all amazing, but Warped Tour was my absolute favorite tour. I think the biggest highlight for me was our first Florida show, where my dad and some of my family got to see us play for the first time. I just remember walking offstage with a huge smile and thinking “this is exactly where I want to be”.
Rena: Warped Tour and our tour with Lostprophets were my most favourite shows. On Warped Tour, every day we faced a new adventure, whether it be our tent blowing over because of storms or walking two miles in the heat; it was all one big journey for every band on the lineup. The Lostprophets tour was so chill compared to Warped, but every night when Lostprophets played a show, I’d sit next to the stage and watch them play and I was just mesmerized at how intense their energy was.
Got any crazy/awesome/just plain weird stories from Warped you’d be willing to share?
Nia: Some of the best memories on Warped were pulling pranks on our crew. We snuck a blow-up doll and penis balloons in our tour manager’s bunk and we hired a male stripper dressed as a cop for our bus driver’s birthday. We also threw a surprise birthday party for my mom. It was so much fun!!!
Miranda and Rena: The end of the night BBQ’s and the crazy weather and downpours. Being stuck under our merch tent with our fans in a hurricane singing “99 bottles of beer” was a memory we will never forget.
You’re well-known for doing a lot of performances in the name of charity, teaming up with great causes such as Music Saves Lives and the Brooks & Brooks Foundation. What inspired you to do so much wonderful work for the community?
Rena: We’ve been given an insane amount of opportunities over the past few years. It feels great to keep climbing up the ladder to reach our dreams, but once in a while, we really just like to take a moment to give back to others and make a difference. Music Saves Lives and Brooks & Brooks Foundation are two organisations that we found and really enjoyed. We also volunteer at a local animal shelter two days a week. Being around great people and helping others is so meaningful to us. We try to encourage fans and friends of ours to find organisations that they are passionate about, so they can make a change too.
You’ve performed many of the songs from End of Control acoustically in recent months. Is there any chance you might record and release acoustic versions of some of those songs in the future?
Miranda: It could happen! Right now, our focus is writing and eventually recording our second album. But we may record some acoustic songs in the future, that would be fun.
In the wake of recent events, what’s the plan for readjusting the band’s lineup? Will one of you three be taking over lead vocals or are you looking to bring in a new vocalist/guitarist?
Miranda: Cherri Bomb started with the concept of all four of us capable of singing lead on different songs. Rena and I are now taking over lead vocals and it blends really well, we are experimenting and amazingly, it is coming together nicely. We may find another lead guitarist, or we may just stay a trio. We’re currently jamming with some friends and great musicians and trying different things out, so we’ll see what comes of it.
This past week also brought the news that you and your label, Hollywood Records, have parted ways. In the aftermath, while thanking them, you said that “we have never felt so free”. Why is that? Did you feel the label was holding you back in some way?
Rena: All of the success we have had thus far has been from a ton of hard work from us and all of the people who have believed in and worked for the band from the beginning. Hollywood Records was just one of the many forces that helped us along that path and as in every relationship, there are times when your paths grow apart. We are incredibly thankful for the time we spent with them and the opportunities they gave us. Our post was not meant with disrespect but more of a celebration of now being able to take responsibility for our own vision.
Are you looking for another label to work with or do you plan on taking the independent route for your next album?
Nia: We’re waiting to see where fate takes us. There is talk of other label interest, but [we] want to make sure it’s the right relationship to jump into. Indie sounds intriguing also.
Miranda: We could go either way. We’re open to new labels, but we’re also open to recording independently.
You said in a recent statement on Facebook that you’re writing new material. Musically, do you want to go in a different direction from End of Control or continue along similar lines?
Rena: We want the writing and recording for our second record to be more experimental and creative, so I try not to put a definition on what our sound will turn out to be. The only thing I can say is that our recent experiences will shine through our music with deeper meanings, greater stories, more fun and emotion than ever before.
Miranda: Naturally the music will evolve, since we’re under different circumstances and evolving as a band. Don’t worry, we’re not going reggae. We’re experimenting and we’ll see where that takes us.
Nia: We want to be able to explore different musical avenues, and whether it ends up similar to the first album is yet to be seen.
You also spoke of playing with some temporary guest guitar players for upcoming shows. Can you shed some light on who these folks are and how you found them?
Nia: I can tell you about one of them. Our friend Casey Moreta, who has been jamming with us for a while, is jumping in for a few dates. We’re really excited. He’s an amazing guitar player, and we’re taking it one day at a time.
Miranda: We received so many emails from people who wanted to play with us or they knew someone who would fit perfectly. We have jammed with so many good players, girls and guys. Some of them have added so much to the sound of the band; it has been an amazing experience playing with some of these people. I guess we will have to wait and see how it turns out..
As far as your own music tastes go, what are some of your most anticipated albums coming out in 2013?
Miranda: I heard Alice in Chains is coming out with a new album and I’m really excited for that.
Nia: Personally, I’m really excited for Black Veil Brides‘ new album. The single they have is great and I’m anticipating what the rest sounds like!
Rena: Black Veil Brides – Wretched and Divine, Buckcherry – Confessions, Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience, Paramore – Paramore, Puscifer – Donkey Punch the Night, Bring Me the Horizon – Sempiternal, and Depeche Mode – Delta Machine, among many others.
Any last words for all the loyal Bomb Squad members out there?
Miranda: Always! Thank you all so so much for your continuing support, and for inspiring and motivating us to keep doing what we love. Don’t let anyone get in your way, and don’t take no for an answer!
Rena: Thank you to each and every single one of our loyal fans who stick by us through all of the ups and downs, and believe in us and our music. The immense support from all of you is overwhelming and much appreciated.
Nia: Bomb Squadders are the best, the absolute best! Thank you all for the unconditional love and support. Hang on, it’s gonna be a great ride.