cheerbleederz have today (Thursday 30th April) shared a new video for their tune ‘sometimes i cry at work’, a highlight from the London trio’s second EP ‘lobotany’, out now via Alcopop! Records. The clip was filmed and directed during self-isolation, and edited by drummer Phoebe Cross and long-time collaborator Rich Mandell. “It’s such a weird time right now,” says Phoebe, “so it was fun to have some distraction and get a little creative and silly – now more than ever it’s nice to stay connected with people and continue getting some fresh content out that we enjoyed making.” Of course, this isn’t the only silly thing the band are doing from self-isolation – they’re also taking part in Dork’s upcoming online festival Homeschool.
Hi cheerbleederz, how’s it going? Are you coping okay with self-isolating?
Phoebe: I’m doing okay thank you – if you watch our set you will see that I’ve learnt to play a few chords on ukulele!
Sophie: Not bad! I am having a minor struggle with overwatering my plants – I have some baby chillis, and I love them too much…
Kathryn: I’m definitely ready for it to end! But holding up okay so far.
How has the lockdown impacted you guys so far? Have you had to cancel much?
Phoebe: We’re sad to miss shows we had booked like Wales Goes Pop, but I think ultimately we just miss hanging out!
Sophie: Yeah, it’s been sad not getting to hang out with friends and missing shows!
Kathryn: Being together as friends and not being able to write and rehearse as we normally do has been the biggest impact.
Are you able to record songs while at home, or are you stuck for a bit?
Phoebe: I live with Rich (we play together in Happy Accidents too) who records all our stuff, haha! But we recently released our second EP and our Now, Now cover (which we used to raise 100% of download money for Trussell Trust) so there’s no real pressure to record right now. But we’ve been keeping creative by doing a song circle thing and adding stuff to each song, so that’s been nice. I can use GarageBand more than before lockdown I guess!
Sophie: Yep song circle has been a fun and nice way to keep ideas fresh, even if they are just ideas that we can develop more later when we’re all together.
Kathryn: I’m recording bits using my interface and GarageBand, and I have all my guitars plus a Casio keyboard. I’m not really in a music headspace at the moment, but once my exams are over I’m looking forward to being able to really commit to music again.
What are you up to, day to day?
Phoebe: I was three weeks into my new job at Youth Music when lockdown happened, so in the weekdays I’ve been doing that! We provide grants to organisations who work with young people facing barriers so they can make music, in brief (check us out!) – so it’s lots of providing emergency funding at the moment. It’s really nice to be a part of something that’s making a difference in helping organisations stay afloat. Then when I’m not at work, I’m running, baking and cooking a lot like most people!
Sophie: I am juggling my two jobs with freelancing and trying to write to varying degrees of success.
Kathryn: I’m in the final year of my undergraduate degree, and our classes and exams have been moved online, which is weird. It’s nice to have something to work towards and structure the day around, but it’s also very stressful because I’ve been working hard all year and now suddenly everything’s changed. When I’m not studying I’m running a lot, I live right beside a beautiful park, and I’m watching a lot of Netflix!
What do you miss the most with the current restrictions in place?
Phoebe: Honestly, I just miss any kind of contact with animals, the things I’d do to have a cat right now.
Sophie: I miss doing my family weekly pub quiz at a real pub…
Kathryn: I miss my friends, I miss playing shows, and I miss walking around the city and coffee shops.
Are there any musicians or albums that you gravitate to during tough times?
Phoebe: Max Richter, From Sleep (it makes me sleep like a baby, I use it for insomnia) and right now to get me through Supermilk, Steely Dan and Grimes. What a combo.
Sophie: My amazing friend Shaun has started doing a quarantine radio show called Electric Angels which is playing only the most upbeat sugar pop you could hope for with many a forgotten tune and Tina Turner every show at 10AM… it’s been lifting my spirits no end!
Kathryn: I listen to the Mountain Goats, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Lemuria when I’m down.
Do you have any TV, podcast or book recommendations to help fill the time? What entertainment are you into?
Phoebe: I don’t normally binge watch things but did get through Tiger King pretty quick, love listening to Criminal and My Favourite Murder. Books – ones that have stuck with me have been by Zadie Smith and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in the last few years.
Sophie: My go-to is the Apple Music radio show Time Crisis, I’ve been listening to it every couple of weeks for about two years – they compare the current iTunes chart with the Billboard Top 5 from the same week in a random previous year and I find it super fascinating! In terms of TV, Ru Paul has been keeping me going, and I have just started the show Midnight Gospel which looks really promising.
Kathryn: Shirkers on Netflix is great.
Do you have any predictions for later this year?
Phoebe: More babies than usual will be born, and people will never want to eat banana bread again.
Sophie: I never wanted to eat banana bread in the first place…
Tell us some good news?
Phoebe: We’ve just sent the third album from my other band, Happy Accidents, off to mastering and I’m really excited to share it. I also am 100% getting a cat as soon as I move back to southeast London.
Sophie: My other band Finish Flag has also got an album out on 12th June!
Kathryn: I’ve just finished and submitted my dissertation, which I’m very proud of.
cheerbleederz are taking part in new online festival Homeschool, which runs from 8th-10th May – visit homeschoolfest.com for details.