We believe that if you have a platform, no matter how big or small, you should always use it for the better, I’d like to hope some people do see us in a light where we can inspire people to be themselves and be more accepting and open with themselves and others.
Cherym are a Derry pop punk trio, consisting of Hannah Richardson (Lead guitar and lead vocals), Nyree Porter (Bass guitar and vocals) and Alannagh Doherty (Drums and vocals). Over the past while, they’ve been intoxicating audiences and listeners with their upbeat, brash music, all with a side helping of fun.
I caught up with the gals, albeit socially distanced, to find out how 2020 was treating them.
Hello! Who are you and where are you right now?
Hello we are CHERYM and we are all currently in our rehearsal space cos this is basically the first time we’ve been together since lockdown.
You guys released your first music in 2018. Was that your first foray into music? How did it all start?
Honestly, its difficult to pin point how/when it all started because i can think back to so many occasions were i thought “this is it, i think we can make this happen”. I think we were very lucky that we had some sort of appeal to people from the start, i don’t know why but were so grateful because they pushed us to keep going. To discover who we were as a band.
You always seem to be having fun, is that the secret to Cherym?
DO NOT take yourself so seriously. When I first started the band, I was so scared of how I looked and presented myself on stage and Hannah told me, “right now when we’re playing, we’re the coolest people in the room, have fun and just be yourself.” It honestly made me into the musician I am today.
Describe your songwriting process?
We’re very fortunate that we can just go into the practice room, jam and suddenly, we have a song. Obviously we have to put a lot more into the song to have the final outcome but yeah, were very blessed lads.
Who have you been recording with?
Wee Caolan Austin, down in Smalltown America!
When you go to the studio do you have a definite idea of what you’re looking for or how much input does a producer have?
We have an idea but I think when we’re in the studio, we suddenly have more ideas to make it better. I think because Caolan is so cool and lets us explore ideas, we do get to make the song 100x’s better. And we are very open to any ideas that Caolan would have because he is a LEGEND.
Over the past while, there has been a lot of discussion in Ireland, trying to ensure that female musicians get as much air time as guys do. Why do you think it’s such a struggle for presenters (if they can choose their own music) or radio stations to acknowledge talented females?
I feel like there’s just always been a massive struggle for women in any career, even if we are being represented in some respects, it’s never to the point where there is accurate population representation for women in music. As well as this there’s always been an obsession for boy bands in radio so it’s hard to get away from the so called “norm” and to a more progressive social acceptance for women in the industry too. We are all acknowledged, but not as much as we should be.
Abigail is such a sweet song to an ex. Instead of being moany, it’s upbeat and positive but more importantly, it’s a song from one girl to another. I think it’s really important to ensure songs like Abigail reach the mainstream. It helps acceptance of LGBTQ equality. Do you consider yourselves role models, how comfortable are you with that?
We believe that if you have a platform, no matter how big or small, you should always use it for the better, I’d like to hope some people do see us in a light where we can inspire people to be themselves and be more accepting and open with themselves and others. We’re quite comfortable with who we all are as people, all being members of the LGBTQ+ community and we would hope that if someone was struggling with that part of themselves that they could look to a song like Abigail and think “actually I’m not weird or I’m not an outsider, this is normal and this is me” as it should be in the mainstream media too.
You’ve recently released a single, ‘Weird Ones’. It’s a difficult time to release new music but at the same time, people seem to have a little more time to embrace new music. Was ‘Weird Ones’ planned for release before Covid happened?
I think we tend to pace ourselves between releases and don’t want to rush, we definitely planned to release it the early months of 2020 so it was going to be released during the pandemic no matter what I guess.
Your sound is huge recorded, fun, brash in your face. But, your live shows have gathered a lot of attention and over the past year, you’ve played a shed load of shows. What’s the best thing for you about a Cherym live show ?
I think the best thing about our shows is that we never really take ourselves seriously. It’s always good craic and a class atmosphere cause we just let ourselves go and really enjoy the time we get on stage. We just always be taking the p*ss and you’ll never see us being serious during a set, we just love having a good time.
The Oh Yeah centre is a huge part of the Northern Ireland music community and you guys won the Oh Yeah Contender award at the NI Music Awards in 2019. How important has it been for you to know you have their backing?
Extremely important! The Oh Yeah centre work really hard to give local artists some kind of platform so honestly it was like a dream come true to win that award. Hopefully we’ll do them all proud !!!
You’ve released a number of singles now and an EP. It would still be very early days for a long player. What’s your next move?
FEBRUARY 2021 !!!!!!
How do you consume music?
Spotify mostly. All of us are constantly trying to find new bands and new artists to listen to, sometimes it’s like we’re in competition with each other like who can find the best band or whatever. We get a lot of music from each other I’d say.
Can you recommend a few albums which show where you’ve come from on your musical journey?