Liner Notes is a new feature here on Figment News that spotlights a top selling or classic album by asking the band who recorded it to take us on a song by song guided tour of the recording process.  In short, it’s a chance for the rest of us to be a fly on the studio wall during the genesis of a great album.  Given our current punk rock gig flyer contest we thought it might make sense to start with an album that certainly captures that DIY spirit, so we asked Cherry Vendetta to give us the “liner notes” on their seminal debut EP “Screw The Scandals”.  Take it away Cherry…

Screw who? Screw you!: A “Screw the Scandals” retrospective.

It began in the fall of 2010, more as a joke, as something to do, than anything else. I [Eve “Cherry” Locaine] had made quite the sensation shanghaiing a band that was playing at a party, just to scream out lyrics that mostly involved telling my boyfriend at the time, Billy Jameson, to go screw himself over and over. The beat was pretty frenetic and the people at the party loved it. Things were smashed and the cops came and had to break things up, but that night a legend was born. It was probably the best (and worst) break-up ever.

The bassist of that band, Jenna “Bombe” Kauffman, enjoyed the night so much she soon invited me to jam with her on a regular basis. Billy would try and drop by and get in on the action, wanting to be a rock star himself and seeing the potential there and wanting to milk from it with minimal effort on his part. He offered to manage [us] and we told him to go blow. But he planted the idea in our drunken heads: Let’s make a band.

Bombe: We put up fliers and kept our ears to the ground, circuited parties and small events to see if we could find what we were looking for. We found it in Mara [Adrienne “Maraschino” Jackson] and muffin [Jane “Muffin” Morris], cousins who would jam together on their guitar and drums quite frequently at parties and bars, just for fun. The four of us got together, got drunk off our asses, and almost started a riot at the next party where we ‘performed’ angry, raucous music.

Mara: It was unpolished, and needed some work badly, but it called back to the days of riot grrrl bands when they were at their best. People loved it. They couldn’t get enough of it and at every place we showed up, Billy was there to piss Cherry off. She decided it would be our personal vendetta against him to create a successful band, a special “fuck you” to him and every other man who would seek to bring us down.

Thus the band name Cherry Vendetta.

Muffin: We got together in my friend Andre’s garage, trying to sort out some sort of EP to put together and sell at shows. We recorded two songs – Rotten Alibi and Lithium Crash. It was basic shit, your typical ‘taped from a stereo’ thing, completely unprofessional. But the people loved it, and we saw a chance to do something with it. We started to try and save some money to get some studio time, and then tossed together a few songs. But the anger in us (especially Cherry) was too wild for a small studio, and we went completely broke making it (and paying off for repairs to damages incurred during the making of said album). I… did some things I’m not proud of, to help keep a roof over our heads. Andre, sorry I never called you back…

Cherry: That being said, the look of our first EP, “Screw The Scandals”, is unpolished and messy as they come, simply because Cherry Vendetta could not afford any better. But we felt it suited the raw, angry energy that exploded out, and fuck the album cover anyway – it was about the music, bitches. It’s always been about the music.

Song one – Rotten Alibi

First recorded in Andre’s garage, and then in a small studio (lamely named “The Studio”). They barely had room for the four of us in there but it made for some interesting sounds.

Dedicated entirely to Billy, the song’s title should say it all – he gave some pretty rotten alibis when he was sleeping around on Cherry with some girl named Kelly. We believe that this is when Cherry smashed a studio window with her mic stand…

Song two – Lithium Crash

Recorded first in Andre’s garage and then in The Studio, Bombe’s bass amp pretty much exploded on the last few runs but it made for some AMAZING sound that we have been hard-pressed to duplicate… basically we kept her busted amp around to use specifically for that song when performing it live now.

Inspired by Nirvana’s “Lithium”, with more of an angry twist – the convulsive feelings in the stomach tripled by the vibrations you feel off Bombe’s bass licks and Muffin’s drum beats mirroring the feelings one would get coming off this drug. Dizziness, confusion, dehydration, ringing in the ears. You will have all these symptoms in spades listening to this too often.

Song three – Rejections All Over My Face

This might be one of those things Muffin had to do to keep us afloat that she wasn’t very proud of. Certain aspects of it were recorded in Andre’s garage… the musical bits were at the studio. Muffin just about smashed her foot through her drum kit on this one.

Song four – Scissor Sex

Yes, boys, it’s exactly what you think. And no, we won’t tell you who and who. It was also a bit of a fuck you to the government over who you can and cannot marry.

Song five – Screw the Scandals

This song pretty much summed up everything for us, there was so much bullshit floating around by the time we got to the ‘making an album’ stage of our career, and we wanted to lay it all bare, and tell everyone to go screw themselves, and we are pretty sure Cherry did some serious damage to her throat on this one. Good thing vodka seems to be her spinach.

The song also inspired the title of the EP – it just seemed to fit so well with what we were up to at the time.

——–

It seems like it’s been so much longer than just a year since this first EP of ours had been released, and we cannot wait to be able to have that ‘hey remember when?’ years from now. Maybe even a ‘whatever happened to…?’ moment. As long as there are fans to listen, there will be a Cherry Vendetta to play. We fuckin’ love you guys.

xoxoxo


6 Responses to “Liner Notes: Cherry Vendetta “Screw The Scandals””

  1. formerwageslave Says:

    Awesome article! A great feature, can’t wait to read more of ’em. 🙂

  2. frizbee Says:

    formerwageslave just took the words right out of my mouth.

  3. TMTYTF Says:

    This was a f***ing great interview and I loved how the band was able to go into detail on the making of their debut EP. I also enjoyed the breakdown of each song. This is a really cool new feature that I hope I get to participate in one day.

  4. Crypt_Keeper Says:

    An awesome new feature, and I think Cherry Vendetta is a perfect choice to participate in the first one! I can’t wait to read more!

  5. Furious Grace Says:

    Thanks all. I am honored to have been the first to have the opportunity to do this, can’t wait to read others!!

  6. theHoseman Says:

    Not much more I can say that isn’t already posted above. I like the new feature and I really enjoyed this first installment.
    Furious Grace, you always add depth to your projects beyond just the song titles and album covers. It brings so much realism into the mix. I dig your stuff a lot!

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