Cherie Currie is back in the UK for the first time since she fronted iconic 70s all-girl punk band The Runaways. Cherie and the rest of the band paved the way for female musicians all over the world, including my own band, but I tried to keep my fangirling to a minimum when I got the chance to have a chat with her.
How are you feeling about touring the UK again?
It’s so exciting! Not only to be in the UK again to see and thank the fans but also to work with Alexx Michael onstage. He has produced me on a few songs and it was such a pleasure. One of the nicest and most talented people I know.
Is it strange performing without The Runaways behind you?
No. It’s been over 35 years now. I was lucky though to be the only member to work with each of the original members over the years.
What do you love about being on tour?
It brings back memories. The fans are the deepest part for me and it’s emotional. They were there since I was a young teenager and I think it injects youth back into me in a way. I love and appreciate the fans so much for believing in what we did and for sticking around all these years later. I think these songs brings them back as well. Back to a day of happiness, exploration and youth.
How would you describe your music for people that haven’t heard it?
It’s another chapter, a growth and it had to be. We do get better in this life. Better at everything. That’s the upside to growing up and the aging process. We understand more and appreciate more. Humility is a gift of aging.
So, going back to The Runaways, what were your highest highs and lowest lows whilst being part of the band?
Highest high was Japan. That was when we realized that we had made an impact. The lowest for me was the day I left the band knowing we didn’t have or were given the tools to make it work.
How did you get people to take you seriously as a band?
We played and we played a lot. I can see why at first we were laughed at. We were brave and we believed that age, if you were fighting for something you believed in wouldn’t matter. We had to be sure and we were.
Did you feel any negativity directed towards you as a girl in music that wasn’t seem to be directed at boys?
Of course. Anything new is going to be scrutinized, dissected and we were pushing the envelope big time. We put blinders on and focused. As much as those that put us down, we knew they had made up their minds long before they gave us a chance.
Did you feel any pressure to look/dress/act a certain way because you were a girl in a band?
The challenge was finding out who the hell we were individually and do it in front of thousands of people. At 15-16-17 years of age that is a tall order and we were given seconds to act. Eventually, we found ourselves, became our true beings amidst adversity.
How do you think women in music/punk are viewed and has this changed/is this changing?
It’s changed a lot. Women are now the icing, the cherry atop the cake so to speak. Here to stay and a main staple. Women rock and without us, it would be so boring.
What advice would you give to any girls wanting to start a band today?
I believe we know our destiny at a very young age. The biggest mistake you can make is to ask anyone ‘if you should’ follow that voice that guides you. People are fearful of failure by trait and no one can ever give you the right answer since they have their purpose and it’s not yours. Follow your heart. Be fearless. Be yourself and go for it.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I have no idea. Frankly, I don’t want to know. I am open to it all. I will continue to listen to that all important voice and follow it. You can check in with me in five years and I’ll let you know.