In Conversation with…CHEERLEADER

This Philadelphia based quintet simply will set your world ablaze with warm, shimmering pastel hues, infectious sun-soaked melodies and restless tranquillity, tied together in a glorious haze of lo-fi indie pop, it’s something dreams are made of. Cheerleader’s latest effort, Perfect Vision along with B-Side Waiting, Waiting, is out now to download worldwide with a limited edition vinyl to be released in the UK on 16th June via Young & Lost / Bright Antenna.

I caught up with the band to discuss their recent trip to the UK, new single, what’s next for them this year and much more.

So you recently spent some time in the UK, touring and playing shows, firstly I wanted to say I hope the UK treated you well. How did the shows go? Was the UK everything you expected it to be?

We had a blast in the UK, and I think it’s safe to say it was everything we expected it to be. We had never been over there before so we didn’t really know what we were getting ourselves into, but once we were there it was really great.

We had heard before we left that the venues and bars over there treat you well and that was definitely our experience for sure. We also had the chance to play them shows with The Hold Steady, who are super awesome dudes. I’d say overall we found everyone over there to be really receptive and encouraging.

Did you go sight-seeing? If you did, where was your favourite place that you visited?

We were fortunate enough to be busy playing shows almost every day we there so we didn’t get too much of an opportunity to go sightseeing, but we were able to see a few places. We were actually staying right near Tower Bridge, and it was really beautiful being right next to the river.

Possibly not as exciting to other people, but we’re all huge fans of the British comedy, Spaced, and on the last day we were there we were able to sneak away and see the house where it was filmed which was awesome. We also got a chance to visit The Tate, the Modern History Museum, and The Science Museum, which were all pretty incredible. We tried to do as much as we could on our days off.

Your new single, Perfect Vision, is out now. It’s a dreamy haze of summery indie pop. Can you tell us a little bit about the track and the concept behind it?

Sonically, Perfect Vision was inspired by listening to lots of European and American pop music, specifically Robyn, Icona Pop, and Katy Perry. But we also love guitar and guitar rock generally, so I think we just wanted to try to see if we could make a song that married those two things together.

Lyrically, I think the song is about the tension between being excited about and anticipating the future, or sort of achieving your full potential, and the desire to stay within your comfort zone.

What can we expect in terms of new material from Cheerleader this year?

We’ve got a full length album in the works currently. You can expect to hear another single release in the coming months, with a full length album sometime later this year. 

If you had to listen to one of your own songs on repeat for a week. Which one would you pick and why?

That’s a tricky question. I think that because we are so close to the material, we have a tendency to get kind of obsessed with the more technical aspects than the songs themselves sometimes. That’s not to say the integrity of the song isn’t important to us; it’s actually the most important thing. But we tend to like listening to tracks that we think “sound” the best in terms of production.

Of the five songs that you’ve heard, I think each member would have their own favorite. New Daze would probably be Chris’s and my answer (Joe’s), because that song was kind of the genesis of Cheerleader as a concept, so it will always be near and dear to us.

Say you had to promote your band in your best cheerleading voice, what would be your cheer?

Oh no! I guess we kinda set you up for this one…hmmm, maybe something like “Cheerleader, they’re alright! They’re a band that’s on your side!”

When you’re not gigging and touring, what’s your favourite thing to do in your downtime?

I think we’re all nature lovers, so we all enjoy spending as much time outside as we can. We spend a lot of our time when we’re out playing and writing new material, trying to flesh out new ideas and new songs. I think we’re all pretty normal dudes, aside from maybe our deep and abiding love for 80’s action/sci-fi movies.

What are your thoughts on the music scene in Philadelphia? Is there quite a buzz around the city surrounding the music scene and are there any venues that you recommend checking out?

Yeah the music scene in Philly seems to be really taking off as of late. But we also haven’t been here terribly long, so I don’t wanna say that it’s new and totally embarrass myself later. Either way, there’s definitely a really thriving live music scene here in Philly. And it’s pretty great too because it’s very diverse in terms of different types of music and different venues too.

There are a lot of DIY basement shows, and it obviously goes all the way up to the larger, more established venues. We actually just played this bar called Boot and Saddle last night, which is a relatively new place, and it sounded amazing. And we’re really lucky to be playing this venue called Union Transfer in a few weeks, we’ve heard great things about. We really haven’t played anywhere we haven’t liked so far.

We’re big supporters of new music here at Bitter Sweet Symphonies. Having said that, are there any new artists that have caught your attention recently that you’d like to share with us?

Funny you should mention that, because at the show at Boot and Saddle we actually played with this band called Langor, and they totally and completely blew us away. Their songwriting was incredibly strong, and they were just really comfortable together and on the stage. I’m not sure if they’re a new band or not, but they were new to us. We’re also huge fans of The Derevolutions and Decorations, both new bands that are gonna be huge.

Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to your fans?

Yeah, I guess we’d just like to say that your support really means the world to us. We’re lucky to be able to be doing what we’re doing, and it’s a dream come true for us. And we just hope that you have as much fun listening to our songs as we have when we’re making them.


A special thanks to Cheerleader for this interview and for more info on the band, check out the following links below:

Website . Facebook . Twitter

Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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