For this weeks "We're Here, We're Queer, Get Used To It" I'm absolutely delighted to share with you a band I am incredibly excited about, from one of my favourite labels Alcopop Records. CHERYM have been ripping up stages in Northern Ireland and beyond for a while no - they're on tour across the UK right now; have released an absolutely stonkingly good EP 'Hey Tori' and are about to take the world by storm!
I managed to catch up with them just ahead of the tour to chat about their influences, being able to show her queerness and her advice for LGBTQIA+ fans plus more.
You’re in an elevator and someone asks you to describe your music. How would you describe it?
Fizzy bubblegum rock, the Best music you'll ever hear...
Who were the artists you looked up to growing up?
Nyree: We all have a lot of different influences, Alannagh's being heavy metal with BMTH, Nova Twins, Hannah being indie/alt Charly Bliss and Tancred and then there's me with Shania Twain but also The Pixies and The Breeders!
Which person has inspired you most in your music career?
Hannah: I know it's probably cheesy to say but when I started CHERYM, I didn't know what to do with myself, I wasn't use to dancing around and acting mad, honestly I never played the bass before CHERYM but Hannah use to tell me, 'When we're on that stage, we are the coolest people in the room', I use to get so nervous before shows, but every time Hannah would say that, I'd calm right down and get into character as the coolest bassist IN THE WORLD!!
I started this feature to highlight LGBTQIA+ artists and hopefully to inspire people in our community that their sexuality or gender identity doesn’t need to prevent them from being successful. As a trans female I understand all too well the lack of representation we have as a community. Do you think that it’s important to highlight these experiences and identities and if so why? Of course!!! People from minority communities need to see others from minority communities doing the things that are predominantly male and cis, so that they themselves know that it’s possible for them to do it too! It’s inevitable, we have to see people who are like us achieve their dreams before we can achieve ours. There has has to be influence, there has to be encouragement, there has to be representation and visibility first. The amount of cis men who have said to me “just do it, there’s literally no one stopping you from being in a rock band.” never had to experience what it was like to work in a sector that has no representation for people like you. It’s not that fucking simple. Just shut up and help us get the visibility for minority communities we need first, then voice your opinion…maybe even then, don’t bother. A report published by the Council of Europe (leading human rights organisation) last week, showed a marked increase in anti-LGBTQIA+ hate speech in the UK. We’ve seen an increase in homophobia and transphobia in the last 18 months here in the UK. Even within the community, there’s been division with some getting behind the LGB Alliance’s agenda that seems intent on making trans peoples lives difficult. What’s your thoughts on all of this? Do you see us making any progress? I really hope so. Honestly anyone who’s still homophobic or transphobic and acts on that in 2021 needs jail time. I don’t think hate crimes are taken as seriously as they need to be in this country. Trans people being statistically most at risk. It’s a disgrace. I think the media are a lot to blame, trans people don’t have enough representation in those areas and whenever right wing media does report about trans people they make a laugh of their lives and don’t actually report the truth. I would hope that the more society platforms trans folk the safer that it will become, but we have a long way to go yet.
Your latest EP Hey Tori is finally now – did you find the writing process challenging given COVID and lockdowns? It was challenging at first, I suppose the reason for that was because we’re all so used to writing in each other’s company and bouncing off one another when it comes to songwriting. This time we were put in a position where we had to take a completely different angle and write alone in our houses for 6 weeks, but when we were able to finally get back into the practice room everything just fell into place with what each of us had went off and written separately. You’ve got a 12 date UK tour starting 6th October in London and finishing in Glasgow on 17th - I bet you can’t wait to get back out there! We are soooo excited!!! This is our first ever UK tour and we absolutely cannot wait. We want to show the whole UK what we’re made of and can’t wait to make so many new friends over here 🙂
What’s been your proudest moment since coming out? Probably being able to showcase our queerness to the world through the band, we’re certainly not quiet about it in any way, shape or form, so I think simply being out in somewhat the public eye, especially having so many queer fans, is definitely something to be proud about considering we’re showing other people ourselves in such a way where we want to show that it’s okay to just be yourself and not have to hide who you are.
If you could give your LGBTQIA+ fans any advice what would it be? I know it’s so cliché, but BE YOURSELF!!! It definitely takes time to grow into yourself when you grow up queer simply because you feel like an outsider from god knows what age, sometimes even from primary school. I’m saying that, my biggest piece of advice would be to just don’t push yourself and let yourself grow at your own pace, don’t “try” to be something you’re not, just go with the flow and there’s no need to feel guilty or embarrassed about who you are!!
Dreaminisfree always has and always will be free - Any artists looking to collaborate in this feature then please email using the subject We're Here, We're Queer, Get Used To It to firstname.lastname@example.org