Indie girl band Nasty Cherry exploded onto the scene in 2019 when pop-icon Charli XCX brought together four young women to create the girl group of her dreams which debuted with the Netflix special “I’m With the Band: Nasty Cherry.” The half UK / half US group consists of guitarist Chloe Chaidez, drummer Debbie Knox-Hewson, bassist Georgia Somary, and singer Gabi Bechtel. “Forming a band on a TV show sounded like the most fucking fun and crazy idea,” recalls lead singer Betchel. The intimate 6-part docuseries following the highs and lows of forming a girl group put the band on the map, with coverage in everything from Rolling Stone to Vogue. Prior to the band being formed, only two of the girls had experience making music, making their sudden rise to popularity even more fascinating. “I was taking photographs and modeling, Chloe was and still is fronting her band Kitten, Georgia was a set decorator, and Debbie was a session drummer,” says Betchel.
Following their unconventional and rather sensational debut, the band was experiencing the joys and challenges of their first world tour with sold out headline shows in both the US and UK. When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived it was stalled indefinitely. “Due to the recent recommendations of local, state and global health authorities your homegirls shows for the rest of tour will be postponed. Looking out for everyone’s health and safety,” they announced on a recent Instagram post.
Despite postponing their live performances, Nasty Cherry has been busy in the studio, and returned this month with their first new track of 2020 titled ‘Shoulda Known Better’. The song is pulled from their forthcoming EP which will be dropping this summer via Charli XCX’s Vroom Vroom Recordings. ‘Shoulda Known Better’ is accompanied by an animated video by fellow musician and multi-disciplinary artist, Du Blonde. “‘Shoulda Known Better’ is a song about making dumb decisions despite knowing better” they explain, “we wrote it in LA a couple of months ago, at a time we all felt we were falling for the same shit over and over. The vibe of ‘Shoulda Known Better’ is the angel and devil on your shoulder, simultaneously shout-singing at you, and you’re kind of enjoying it.”
We caught up with the glamorous foursome for the inside scoop in an exclusive interview, with photos shot by our EIC Indira Cesarine. Check it out below.
Tell us about the beginning of Nasty Cherry. Did any of you know Charli personally before the band formed? How did she discover everyone and bring you all together
Gabbriette: Charli knew us all before she formed Nasty Cherry. Chloe’s band, Kitten, had toured with her, Debbie had been her drummer, I had been in her music videos, and Georgia was an old friend who’d also done some videos for her. When she asked us to be in the band, we all said yes instantly because we all had this faith in her idea and her skill at curating. She’s an incredible collaborator, and we trusted her. Forming a band on a TV show sounded like the most fucking fun and crazy idea.
What did each of you do before Nasty Cherry?
Gabbriette: I was taking photographs and modeling, Chloe was and still is fronting her band Kitten, Georgia was a set decorator, and Debbie was a session drummer.
How would you describe the band’s sound in 3 words?
Debbie: The band sounds like a sweet and sad daydream
What are the musical influences for Nasty Cherry?
Chloe: It changes, but there’s a lot of influence from different places, from Joy Division to Ashley Simpson
You guys co-write the lyrics for the songs. How is that process of writing together?
Chloe: Writing together is different every time. We all bring ideas, be it a guitar hook or a synth idea or a full set of lyrics, and build from the thing that feels good in the room that day. There’s not a set order to it.
How do you guys prepare for your live shows?
Debbie: Well, our periods have synced for most of our shows. Aside from that, we rehearse and hype each other up a lot.
Did you get nervous the first time playing together live? Tell us about your most memorable performing experience?
Georgia: We totally get nervous. We were being filmed for the TV show as well when we first performed, so it was a real birthing experience as a band. The last show in London was beautiful. We were on the same level as the audience instead of up on a stage, so it felt just like a party instead of a basic performance.
Your Netflix show “I’m With the Band: Nasty Cherry” came out November 14th. How was it making the show?
Gabbriette: The show is fucking emotional! There’s drama, iconic outfits, and of course, smash hit songs. You see us at our most vulnerable as we try and become the biggest band of the decade with Charli at the helm.
What was it like having a film crew around 24/7? Have any of you been on TV before?
Chloe: None of us had done a show like that before, so it was all a new experience. You do kind of get used to the crew being there after a while as an extended family. At the same time, we wanted to make something great together as a band and form new friendships. It’s a unique pressure when every mistake is documented on camera, and you’re trying to learn as you go.
What is the fashion direction/style of Nasty Cherry?
Georgia: We each have our own style. Some days we want to wear matching jumpsuits on stage; other days, we look like we are going to entirely separate events.
Your debut EP “Season 1” came out last November. Tell us what track you are most excited about and what we can expect from the new EP?
Gabriette: “Fuck modern love” is a sad little song. The writing process for that one was one of the craziest because we wrote it so quickly, and it felt like a really special moment. The EP came together in so many different places over the last few months, and each song holds its own corner.
What can we look forward to from Nasty Cherry this year?
Debbie: A new EP in Summer! We’re of course looking forward to getting back on the road when the time is right!
PHOTOGRAPHY by Indira Cesarine for The Untitled Magazine
STYLIST: Alexander Garcia
FASHION ASSISTANT: Sasha Leon
MAKEUP: Megan Kelly