Posted by UnRated Magazine | Aug 9, 2019
Veteran rockers Brie Darling & Cherie Currie collaborate on their new album “The Motivator”
Exclusive Q&A with Brie & Cherie, took place on August 07, 2019
by Anita Maree
Unrated Magazine had the privilege to interview two rock-n-roll legends; Cherie Currie and Brie Darling. Both musicians are considered trailblazers and rightfully so. In the 1970’s they were both members of all-female bands which at times could be challenging, grinding, yet remarkably rewarding. Brie was the drummer and singer with the band Fanny, the very first all-female rock group to achieve critical and commercial success, including two Billboard Hot 100 top 40 singles. Cherie was the lead singer of The Runaways which was founded by rock-n-roll hall of famer Joan Jett and the late Sandy West.
Anita Maree: First, Cherie and Brie, congratulations on your new CD Release – The Motivator. It has a fine mix of classic cover songs plus three original songs. You both are well-respected singers, musicians, songwriters, and more. Let’s circle back to when you both first started in the music business. Brie, a pleasure to speak to you. Back in the early 1970’s, you were a member of the first all-female rock group Fanny to achieve commercial success. What are a few memorable times you had with the band that stands out?
Brie: With the band Fanny, it was my first experience to go out on tour. I met David Bowie many times which was a big deal and he came out to our shows to give us advice and I started to meet other musicians like Keith Moon and eventually Ringo Starr.
Brie, who were some of your musical influences early on in your career?
Brie: When I was about 17, the girls and I (Fanny) were in Sacramento at an afternoon concert and we were sitting on the floor waiting for the next band to go on and a woman walked up to us to tell us to be quiet as we were being quite noisy and I looked up at her and it was Janis Joplin. She went on stage shortly after that and Janis really blew my mind. She sang every note like it was her last and that had a great influence on me. To this day I still see and hear her singing and remember that day and the energy she had.
Brie, thanks so much for sharing that story. Incredible! Hi Cherie, thanks so much for joining our interview. I have been a big fan of your first band, The Runaways. In reading your book and seeing the movie what are the positive memories you can tell us about your first band?
Cherie: You know, we didn’t have any parental supervision except for Jackie’s mother who went with us on our UK tour. We had to take care of each other because there was no one else, and we had to have each other’s back. We didn’t really know each other real well either when we went on tour the first time. It was Motel 6’s and every dive you can possibly play every single night just to get from point A to point B to get to the next gig. After we got to know each other we all became friends. Lita (Ford) was a stern character and I was afraid of her but Joan (Jett) and I were very – very close. They would call us ‘salt and pepper’. That is my most positive memory.
The Runaways movie was released a few years ago with actresses Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning. What are your thoughts on the movie?
Cherie: Joan and I were sitting watching as the movie was being filmed, and we both felt like we were literally watching our band The Runaways – that’s how good the girls in the film were. I love Dakota, I thought she was such a pro and I was a huge fan of hers before the movie and I thought Kristen Stewart just nailed Joan and of course Michael Shannon I thought was exceptionally portraying the band’s manager Kim Fowley. Also the movie’s director Floria Sigismondi did just an outstanding job with capturing the 70’s which was no easy task. I was just thrilled that a major feature film was made about the band. I am so grateful for that.
During your first bands did The Runaways and Fanny ever intersect either on the road, in a studio or wherever? Did you ever get to meet each other during these years?
Brie: No, we didn’t. I went to see The Runaways perform I believe in 1975, but we never met until two years ago.
So let’s circle back two years ago. How did the two of you hook up and decide to record together?
Cherie: Patti Quatro reached out to me on Facebook and said that Fanny was making a new record called “Fanny Walked The Earth” and if I was interested in doing some background vocals and I found out that some of the GoGo’s and Bangles and other girls were going to be singing on the record and I wanted to meet them. I heard the song I was going to do vocals on and I was just floored on Brie’s vocals and I loved the song and I was like who is this girl and why is she not some huge star? So when I got to the studio I met Dave (Darling) and asked him where is the singer? Dave pointed to this really gorgeous girl with white and black hair and I told her I think you are just fantastic. So that is how we met.
Brie: When I first met Cherie, I noticed she is just so open and she made me feel so Ok about her. Some people are so close to the vest. Cherie made me feel safe and many times this just does not happen. So many people are just looking for their light in the sun and she does not do that and I love that about her. It is just a love fest and I love it!
So great to hear. Listening to your new album “The Motivator” you both selected a bunch of cover songs from the ’70s. How were the cover songs selected and what was the process?
Cherie: Dave (Darling) just wanted to know what songs we loved from that era. Of course, the ’70s were great times and simpler times and I selected classic rock songs from this era. Brie and others brought in cover songs to select also. In the end, we had well over 40 cover songs and we had to narrow it down. I have to tip my hat to Dave (Darling) as he had to arrange these songs and to make them so they weren’t like a karaoke type deal or bar band. Yes, it was all of us coming together passionately and this is that you get – this record.
Brie: Cherie and I selected the cover songs simply because these artists are influences to us and the songs we selected to stand the test of time. The only song that is not from the ’70s time period but the group is would be The Kinks’ – Do It Again. This song is from the ’80s and my brother suggested this for us.
Perfect job on making each cover song unique and owning the song! Your voices simply blend so well together. Cherie – you have more of a heavier, deeper vocal and then Brie comes in with more of a scratchy and combined just a super blending together!
Brie: Ha! Dave (Darling) calls Cherie the Steam Roller and he calls me the Flame Thrower!
Anita Maree: Then on the new album you have three new original songs. Can you talk a little about those and the writing of the music and lyrics?
Cherie: This was my introduction to Brie and Dave and their outstanding songwriting. I came to do a session at their home and Brie wanted to play me a track and I was just taken by the first note and the profound lyrics and she started singing and I was just like wow- this girl is incredible. I called my son and told him that I just heard the perfect song. Jake Hayes, my son, is an outstanding musician and songwriter told me that “Too Bruised” is his favorite song on the album.
Brie: The original song “This Is Our Time” came from an earlier conversation I had with Cherie. We were talking about how thrilled we were working together and Cherie said “This Is Our Time” and I thought ‘BING’ this is a great song idea. I scratched it on a sheet a paper and Dave started on the music and I worked on the lyrics. I showed it to Cherie and she had some lyric changes that turned out to be very important. We work well together. Our other original song “I’m Too Good, That’s Just Too Bad”, for me it is about me and Cherie and remembering there are times we have done stuff and we have not been recognized and I think it is because we stuck out a little bit too much, maybe other people didn’t like that because possibly we were just too good. We wrote this one together. Cherie is great to work with and she always comes prepared with ideas.
You recently just performed your first concert in Los Angeles together. What was the reaction and where do you go from here?
Brie: We have some dates for our tour and we will start in Los Angeles and we want to play every possible place we can and we want to keep writing too.
Cherie: We had three rehearsals before our first show we did this month and our touring schedule starts in early November and goes on from there. This record deserves a great live show.
It was a pleasure speaking with you both. I am really looking forward to seeing your live show so please ping Unrated Magazine when you get to Chicago. Speaking of Chicago, Cherie I was fortunate enough to see you perform here a few years back with your son Jake Hayes on guitar during Halsted Street Market Days which is the largest outdoor street festival in the Midwest.
Cherie: Yes it was a great festival. Jake was on guitar and also in the band was Nick Maybury and Grant Fitzpatrick. That was so much fun. Thanks so much for the support!
“The Motivator” is available everywhere! Get your copy today.
Songs on the album:
Gimme Some Truth
Do It Again
He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
This is Our Time (original)
Too Bruised (original)
I’m Too Good, That’s Just Too Bad (original)
Something In the Air
For What It’s Worth