Posted: July 30, 2014 in ’60s Rock, Bands, Entertainment, Interview, music, New Music, New Release, Pop, Psychedelic
Tags: 60’s, Album, Brit
Earlier this year, we told you about the amazing new modernized 60’s vibe music by The Cherry Bluestorms. If you missed it, make sure to check out our album review here: The Cherry Bluestorms Bad Penny Opera Review. One thing is for sure The Cherry Bluestorms is one band that I wanted to know more about. With their latest album Bad Penny Opera they bring to life a psychedelic 60’s inspired rock pop to life with vocal harmonies that feeds your soul and an infectious pop rock edge.
We had the opportunity to interview Glen Laughlin and Deborah Gee and are pleased to bring that interview to you here:
Music Junkie Press: Thank you so much for taking the time out to talk with us here at Music Junkie Press! We have to tell you that your album Bad Penny Opera was one of the highlights of this year. In a time when music gets muddled with genres, quick fix albums, etc it is refreshing to hear a well crafted concept album as yours. How did the story come about for you and can you tell our readers a bit more about it?
Glen: Thanks for the kind words. As often happens I thought of the title first and had it banging around in my head for quite some time until I actually had an idea for a concept album. It’s not surprising that the concept I came up with had to do with the pop culture revolution in the 1960’s. It was convenient that “Penny” is female and that gave our protagonist a name. What your readers might like to know is that the story takes us from around 1963 to 1970. Although Penny is nominally the protagonist, in a sense the backdrop is the protagonist and the protagonist is the backdrop. Penny goes through her trials, tribulations and coming of age along with that whole generation, but with The Cherry Bluestorms’ music, informed by all of our sixties influences, as the sound track.
Music Junkie Press: Your unique style is infectious. Who would you say were some of your biggest music inspirations?
Glen: The Beatles are the giants of Pop. In addition to them we were influenced by most of the significant mid –to – late sixties bands: The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, The Small Faces, Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd, Donovan, The Move and many others. We are also influenced by a lot of later bands such as Oasis, The Stone Roses, The Charlatans, Hurricane #1, Ride, Shack, Supergrass and Super Furry Animals.
Music Junkie Press:
When you wrote Bad Penny Opera did you have a particular writing process when telling a story and making it so seamless through the music? Do you break it down song by song or work on the music first, or what? Tell us more about the creative process behind it?
Glen: I write the music first in nearly every case. Sometimes I have a title or a line or two of lyrics that inspire the song, but from that point I write the music. In the case of BPO I looked at the songs that I had and noticed that there was a connecting thread. In a couple of cases, I adjusted the lyrics for that purpose. It wasn’t the case that I wrote all of these songs to order. I should point out that one of the songs is a Donovan song and one of the songs I wrote with Deborah.
Music Junkie Press:
What are you currently working on?
Deborah: We’re finishing up our first vinyl single called “See No Evil” and we are planning to launch a crowd funding campaign for that. We have also started recording the third Cherry Bluestorms album and my second solo album. Meanwhile Glen is also producing some other artists in our studio.
Music Junkie Press:
We understand you have an upcoming show, can you tell us more?
Deborah: I assume that you are referring to our appearance at Mission Creek Oakland Music and Arts Festival on Wednesday, September 10 at Legionnaire Saloon. They’ve deemed it a “Psych/Power Pop Explosion”, which I think pretty well describes our music. One of the best things about being in a band is getting to travel to other places and discovering other bands that are more less on the same page. We’re going to be playing with the fabulous Bye Bye Blackbirds and The Slouching Stars. It should be a really great show.
Music Junkie Press:
We just got word that you are performing at this year’s International Pop Overthrow, is this your first time at IPO?
Deborah: No we first played for David Bash’s festival in Toronto Canada shortly before we released our first album, Transit of Venus. Since then we have played IPO in Liverpool, London, Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles. The L.A. portion of our show for IPO will be held in Huntington Beach at Fitzgerald’s on August 2.
Music Junkie Press:
If The Cherry Bluestorms could put together their dream lineup, what three bands would you like on the bill with you?
Glen: I suppose each of us would have a slightly different idea. If you are limiting it to existing bands, for me it would be The Charlatans, Beady Eye and Temples. If not, it would be The Charlatans, The Stone Roses and Oasis. It is too hard to imagine performing with my heroes from the ‘60s. Playing on the same stage with Ray Davies would be too ridiculous. I have plenty of 1970’s heroes as well, but I don’t think we’d fit on the bill!
Music Junkie Press:
Here at Music Junkie Press, we are firm believers in how music helps, heals, inspires and does so much more. Can you share about a particular time in your life where music was there to help you through something?
Glen: I’m not generally a depressed person, but I certainly have my moments. Writing a new song is the greatest shot in the arm, every time, depressed or not. I did have a significant break-up at one time. I never wrote as therapy, but I think my approach to lyrics did shift slightly away from the theoretical or fanciful and toward the personal from that time forward.
Deborah: For me, listening has been as much of a help in getting through tough times as writing or performing. There are some songs that seem to speak directly to you and just having someone else articulate what you’re feeling or going through is an irreplaceable human connection.
Music Junkie Press:
You three have such magnetic personalities, if The Cherry Bluestorms were to become a comic book, what would each of your superhero name and super powers be?
Glen: I would have to be Super Geek, Master of The Universe. My super powers would be calling in to work super late, taking super long vacations and being able to tune Stan Lee’s (The Dickies) guitar.
Deborah: Mark Francis White would be the debonair billionaire philanthropist playboy by day and The Joker by night. I would be THE CLAWWWWWW!!!!!!
Music Junkie Press:
If we could peak into your iPod, what artist or song might we be most surprised at finding in there?
Glen: I’m not sure whether people would be more surprised at my penchant for British Folk Rock like Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention, Progressive/Art Rock like Be-Bop Deluxe, early Genesis and Gentle Giant or ‘60s teen pop like Herman’s Hermits. I really never bought anything embarrassing like Styx or Rush.
Music Junkie Press:
With so many changes in the music scene over the past 15+ years, what is one thing you wish you could change?
Deborah: Since there is little remuneration playing in clubs and bands can no longer expect A&R people to be checking out showcases, the main way indie bands can hope to make money off of their music is to fairly monetize the various internet services that essentially steal our music. The royalty rates for services that do pay are so ludicrously low that even major mainstream artists make very little money on hit songs. The potential benefit of the equalizing effect of the internet and not having to get past the filter of commercial radio and major labels is largely defeated by the fiscal realities.
Music Junkie Press:
We all need advice in life, right? How about if you could go back to your 14 year old self, what advice would you give to yourself at 14?
Glen: I would reassure myself that I was going to be able to make music that I would be satisfied with. Having unrealistic expectations of myself and being overly critical paralysed me.
Deborah: Like Glen, I was insecure about performing at that age. I had friends and family trying to coax me into singing more in public, but I was terribly afraid. I would tell 14 year old Deborah that if all these other people wanted me to do it, I must be okay.
Music Junkie Press:
Lastly, what would you like to share with our audience and your fans?
Glen: We’ll be releasing a lot of music in the next year or so. We’re very excited about the new material. We hope they’ll be watching for it.
I really hope you get a chance to pick up Bad Penny Opera and listen to it from start to finish as it takes you on a musical journey with ups and downs, highs and lows, melodies, harmonies and tones which will soon be the backdrop to your own journey. For physical CDs, you may purchase them on Amazon or at For digital downloads you may purchase on iTunes, Amazon or CDBaby“. We are very excited for more new music by The Cherry Bluestorms so make sure to visit their social media sites so you can stay up to date on their latest news.
~ Marisol
Information & Links:
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