The first the world saw of Nasty Cherry was their bassist Georgia’s bare arse. Announcing the band back in January they shared a video on Instagram where drummer Debbie attempts to pour fizz into a plastic champagne flute, which is being balanced on Georgia’s bum. In a jacuzzi.
The video came accompanied with the caption “HI. WE’RE NASTY CHERRY AND WE’RE THE BEST BAND OF 2019.” Back then they were a bit of a mystery. Articles were floating around online with titles like “who are Nasty Cherry?”, and morsels of information about the group were drip fed to followers through their social accounts, and through singer Charli XCX, who was hyping them up.
Over the months that followed, more was revealed. Turns out they were formed by Charli XCX, who brought the four women together from around the globe (well, London and the States) and moved them into a house in Los Angeles to create a band.
Charli brought together drummer Debbie Knox-Hewson, who had played drums for her on tour, bassist Georgia Somary, a set decorator on films like Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (she quit her job and learned bass specifically to be in the band), guitarist Chloe Chaidez who was (and still is) the frontwoman of alt-rock band Kitten (who had previously opened for Charli on tour) and vocalist Gabbriette Bechtel, a model and photographer.
Gabbriette was the last one to join. “Charli DM-ed me asking me to be in the band and I honestly didn’t have any details of what was going on around it, I just said yes” she tells NME before the band’s first ever UK show (as part of NME’s Girls to the Front series) in the dressing room of the grungy Shacklewell Arms. Charli then asked for a video of Gabbriette singing. “I was like – ‘I don’t fucking sing!’ And Charli was like, ‘That’s even better.’”
The full band first connected on “a noisy group Skype call”, and three months after that they moved into casa de Nasty Cherry. The first night together they drank champagne, ate pizza and hung out with Charli. “XCX gave us the rundown, which was basically, ‘We don’t know what we’re doing, but we’re going to make songs’,” Chloe says.
With music to make there was no time for any awkwardness – and any unease they might have felt disappeared after a few days of living together. “Sharing a bathroom with three other people, that bonds you,” Georgia quips.
“We were all naked by the first night, just running around unpacking and screaming,” Gabbriette adds.
Two days after the pizza party, they wrote their first single, ‘Win’. Their roaring debut was influenced by bands like The Runaways, with slinky guitar riffs, a stomping grunge-flecked rhythm section and a huge chorus. Since then they’ve released a string of thundering tunes, played a handful of live shows – though only that NME Girls To The Front show in the UK – and have just announced a Netflix show I’m With The Band: Nasty Cherry. This new series will follow the group from the very beginning of the band, to where they are now.
“Expect to see a lot of drama and a lot of good music,” Georgia tells us coyly. The band are talking about the series for the first time, having had to keep it secret for months.
What sort of drama will there be? “One night I got so drunk that Georgia passed the bathroom door to find me scraping cake off my knee,” Debbie reveals, “I had to film something throwing cake around earlier… and I’m there going [mimes eating cake], ‘My body tastes so good!’”
“That was day one,” Georgia quickly adds.
Anything they didn’t include in the show because it was too rock and roll? “We cooked a lot in that time,” Gabbriette divulges. “We were in the kitchen 24/7,” adds Georgia, “they should have mounted a camera on the hob!”
With the Netflix show dropping next month, the band can expect a whole lot more attention. Given they were assembled by Charli and the process was filmed are Nasty Cherry worried that the band are going to seem like a Simon Cowell-style manufacturing experiment?
“No, and I think based off our first hello to the world as a band being a flute of champagne on Georgia’s ass, I think we started it off being completely ourselves,” says Gabbriette. “It’d be depressing otherwise.”
They pride themselves on their music feeling empowering and authentic. “It’s a natural thing that happens when you’re in a group of people that treat each other like sisters,” Georgia says, “There’s a level of honesty that’s there.”
While Charli has been on hand to offer advice, she’s encouraged the band to make their own choices. “She’ll [Charli] say, ‘You should really go with what you think on this, because you’ll regret it if you don’t voice your opinion’ It’s advising us to advise ourselves, which feels very empowering,” Debbie explains.
“I feel like I’ve learned encyclopaedic amounts from her, honestly,” Chloe adds.
Looking to the future after the Netflix show, the band are working on their first EP. Any other aims? “A presidential candidacy,” jokes Chloe, “I’d really like to learn to card count – I think that’d really help fund the project going forwards,” adds Debbie, “And I’m learning to pop,” finishes Gabbriette.
And Georgia? “Not to get fired, because I really like the band!” Given the way things are going, we think she’ll be just fine.
PICTURES: Jenn Five for NME