Somehow (You Still Get To Me) is out now!
Image: Jazmin Pezzano.
Australian genre bending queer creatives Cry Club recently shared their new single, Somehow (You Still Get To Me). We caught up with the duo before their show in Sydney over the weekend to chat about the release, building their visual identity, performing live and so much more!
Tell us a bit about your musical background and how Cry Club began...
Jono: I mean I grew up with no music in the house at all, I discovered music at 14 and prior to that wasn’t listening to music. But essentially then fell into a hole I haven’t gotten out of.
Heather: Mine is musical theatre, I did ten years of like classical and musical theatre training as well as like amateur musical theatre growing up as well. And then I guess I swapped between just music and acting, and I was very convinced I’d go to like WAAPA and be very musical theatre, and then that didn’t happen so I stopped doing a lot of music stuff. I really liked like a lot of I think we - you first messaged me after we met on Facebook. I was like 'does anyone want to start like a The Cure or a Siouxsie and the Banshees cover band, and Jono was like 'what about if we did that but not a cover band just wrote our own songs'. So yeah, it definitely came out of that but we just met because I was like very bitter about not going to a musical theatre school and I did acting instead.
J: But we actually met on like a government funded trip to Japan, we were sitting next to each other on the plane.
Thank you universe!
Heather and Jono: Yeah!
H: Yeah, John was watching Over the Garden Wall on an iPad which is one of my favourite like weird cartoon network shows.
J: And we were like, both of us cried our eyes out to it the first time we watched it so then later landing on cry club felt very accurate.
Wow that’s perfect, that is such a kismet moment. Your brand new single, Somehow (You Still Get To Me), is out now. What inspired the track and what’s it about for you?
H: We did a lot of writing in lockdown, and I think it was definitely at a point where a lot of musicians were very much feeling the despair in Melbourne.
J: Yeah everyone was releasing their sad songs, in their sad era
H: And we just have a studio set up at my house so all we got to do everyday was hang out and write songs and it kind of fucking ruled for us you know? So we were just like if we get too bogged down in the sad stuff, we’re just going to be writing sad stuff. So we were like let’s just go completely opposite and have as much fun as humanly possible.
J: So each day was the challenge of like what’s the most fun and exciting thing we can do today.
H: Yeah and it was just like we finished, we did a demo, it happened really quickly I think. We had this big 80's guitar instrumental thing and I was like 'oh my god this is so dumb' like in the most affectionate way. Like this is beautiful and ridiculous and stupid and we would never be able to do anything with this. Like its too, I don’t know, we thought it was a bit too much a bit too ridiculous.
J: We sent it to our team though and they were like this is our new favourite Cry Club song immediately, and it was like 'oh, okay!'
H: Yeah lyrically as well its very much like, especially being on dating apps or whatever anyone who is queer, especially queer women or non binary people you’ll match with someone and you’ll be like you’re my exact perfect type and I’m obsessed with everything you do. You’ll match and be like 'oh my god you’re so beautiful', 'oh my god you too', and then you’ll never speak again.
Amazing. You've just been discussing the lyrics and so on that note, is there a lyric in there that you think gets stuck in your head more than others? Or one that you are most proud of? Anything that kind of jumps out at you?
J: I think honestly for me it's like, I know it's like the name of the song, but I feel like that "somehow you still get to me". I just like the idea of it being this thing, it's like constantly in your head that this person isn't leaving your head and that line is doing the same thing. I'm just like, I feel like it lines up really well.
H: My favourite is actually the second verse when it's like, "Please can you stay on the line, make a FOOL outta me" [sings]. I'm like, I don't know why it's so melodramatic. And it's so like, just that feeling of being so desperate and like uncool. I just love it. It's very much like camp. Very Cry Club of like, I'm feeling the emotion at 800%, like it's been distilled and it's like yearning. Yeah, I love that line.
The drama of it all. Yes. You've shared a music video for this one as well. Great video clip. How did you conceptualise it?
H: I know for ages, we just wrote treatments for all of the songs in lockdown as well. There was this idea that we had down, just someone doing like an anime. Like a magical girl transformation from someone boring into like someone from KISS, you know? It's so ridiculous. Like it's so funny and cheesy. And yeah it was like, 'what's the ideal world?', and then just scaling it back and back and back and back until it was something that we could do entirely ourselves. We love music videos. We're very much like Channel V, MTV kids. So they're really important to us. We just wanna have something visual for like, I don't know, like a visual story for the song. And so if we couldn't afford to get it made properly, we were like, 'Well, we're gonna do it in the back room'.
J: A music video's gonna happen, however it's gonna happen. We just have to do music videos
H: Yeah, and Jono’s like such a wizard with Premiere [Pro], editing, effects and everything. So I just kind of sit there and go like, 'what if they look like this?' and he does it and it's amazing
J: And I'm like, let me just Google that [laughs].
And it's done! Well. How important is the visual identity for all of your music? And obviously you switch it on when you're on stage too. But how important is building and conceptualising that?
J: That plays such a huge role in what we do because I think a huge part of what we do is aimed at a very specific community. We're not really trying to be the band for everyone. We're trying to be a band for the specific people who it would be important to. So part of that is where we always try and make sure that our imagery is tailored to people we're speaking to. So for our album cover, it's pretty extreme. This spool on green and all this sort of stuff. And if you look at that and you go like, 'ah, it's probably a bit much', well we are gonna be a bit much. So like we always want to have that to be a huge part of our imagery, whether it be the cover art, the music videos, whatever it might be. If we can distill our identity down into the most refined version of itself, it can be the door that can let the right people in and also the door that can close to keep the wrong people out.
H: Yeah. And like there's, I've never been very good at the like casual, just cool [laughs] thing. I always have to be doing everything and it's similar to the music. It's like if you can't hear or understand any of the lyrics or the music, you could still look at us and kind of know what's going on. You know, like it tells the other half of the story. We wanna give like so, so much. Like we care so much and I guess you feel that in every single bit of it. It's very much like an explosion of emotion and everything and you just are literally wearing your heart and all your emotions on your sleeve and it's like a very representation.
J: It helps really communicate if we can really dial in the cover to what the song is about, or the video to what the song is about, we can really help an audience understand and connect to the song. As much as it's great for something to just be on Spotify or whatever it might be, I think about myself as a fan and when a band puts out a single and they've got a cool music video, I'm gonna watch it. You know? Like there's myself as a fan. I think maybe part of it is like we're trying to make the visuals for ourselves as we would want. Like if I was an outsider watching Cry Club as a band, I'm like, I would want to give that person enough stuff, you know?
H: Yeah. And it's like giving people that extra reason to like come and see it. Like what you see in music videos and how you see us in all the photos and any of the visual story is what you get on stage as well. And it's not just the audio. Like you come to the shows and it's like a whole thing. We give it everything and more. We just wanna draw people into that.
Well that touches perfectly on what I've got next, which is what can an audience expect from a Cry Club show? Is it crying in the club? Is it emotion? You've spoken about how much passion you put into things, which definitely comes across - so is that the main takeaway for you?
J: It's so hard. I feel like we've had so many people share such beautiful stories of what shows have meant to them. Like in November of 2020 we got to play what was one of the first proper shows back and there was a bunch of people that came up to us like almost in tears cause they were like, 'this is the first time I felt like I've been in an explicitly space for like a year'. Those moments have been really beautiful. So I think the huge part for us is just like the community aspect. Whereas just like drawing in people, I feel like we're able to collect people who are kind of on the same page, which is lovely.
H: Explicitly building these spaces that are designed for people or for people that um, don't feel as welcome and like, um, more like, uh, regular punk shows as well. And like we were very much inspired by like a lot of drag and other artists as well. Like it's the very much the like saha oo like rose pedal moment of like, oh it's like catharsis I think. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. There's a space where it's okay for you to be like so much don't have to like hold it in and like I'm Yeah. Very bad at holding stuff in and like it doesn't want, I doesn't want, It's just somewhere you could let it out and be around people who feel the same way and like you can expect to like, um, yeah just see, see Asco Golin mode <laugh>. Um, but with lots of heart. I think it's like the Yeah, I know. We wanna build that connection and make it so that it's, you wanna, you keep coming back because it'll be different and it'll be like, um, welcoming and yeah. It's just something that even if you're not watching me show or you're not listening a hundred percent you'll meet other people there that are likeminded and you have your back. Very important to us.
Yeah, absolutely. In the spirit of keeping things held back, is there anything you can tell us about what you've got in store for next year? Is there an album? Is there an EP?
J: I'm like I want to give the gospel at the same time. I'm like so much of it is, as we've learned from drag, always about the reveal
H: [Laughs] We did a whole [lot of] writing in lockdown and we're very excited because there songs where we haven't got to road test live. So a lot of the time we'll be like, 'here's a new song and you are the first people to hear it' and it's the first time we've ever played it live.
J: Yeah. Very excited about what's coming up. Yeah.
H: Too much to share
J: Yeah. [laughs],
I won't push for any more tea [laughs].
Images: Jazmin Pezzano.
GET TO KNOW CRY CLUB
As it is now November, favourite Christmas song please? J: I gotta go for Mariah Carey. I know it's overplayed but I gotta do it.
H: Also overplayed, but WHAM Last Christmas.
Biggest influences in music at the moment?
H: Mine's The Prodigy [laughs]. Die hard The Prodigy fan.
J: I have been listening to tons of Black Country New Road. That's my album of the year. So I've just been living that world for a very long amount of time.
J: Daniel Johns
H: [Laughs] That as well. My Chemical Romance. The 1975. Cool.
J: Dream Big, you know.
H: Yeah. Daniel Jones and Paul Mac.
J: Oh yeah. Paul Mac’s a hero
An album that has had the most impact on you?
J: For me, I think I have to point to Sister by Sonic Youth because that was the record that made me go like from, I'm playing guitar to Oh writing, like writing songs on guitar and like I have the pivot moment of hearing the song Schizophrenia and then that was the moment where I was like, 'oh, I'm in this for the rest of my life, aren't I?'
Mine is My Chemical Romance The Black Parade. I remember vividly the first time I heard Black Parade, the song. I know exactly what I was wearing and where I was. Immediately something in my brain clicked. And then The Fame Monster by Lady Gaga was very much the album that was like, 'oh I'm allowed to like pop music because it's cool. Actually I love pop music.'
If you could create a soundtrack for any existing film, what would it be?
J: I feel like The Matrix
H: Interview with A Vampire. I know it just came out as a TV show, but it's my favorite movie as well, so yeah.
What are you thinking whilst you're performing?
H: 'Did I hit that note? Did that sound okay? Did I take a breath in the right spot?' Mostly I'm like, 'did I hit that note? Did I make it?' And then how am I gonna get back on stage if I jump off stage.
J: If you go off stage for Road Smith, I can get you during the bridge.
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?
H: Yeah, Miley.
What was the first song that you loved to sing?
H: Mine's So embarrassing. It's Riverdance, I can't remember the name of it, but it's this random song from Riverdance that I used to really love as a kid.
J: I would say for me, the only musical memory I have before like 14 is this Frank Sinatra CD my mum had and there's the song Something Stupid that is the earliest musical memory I have.
The best concert you've ever been to?
J: I saw Hiatus Coyote at the... actually I saw Gay Christian man.. what’s his name?
H: Gay Christian man?
J: Sufjan Stevens! I saw Sufjan Stevens perform at the Sydney Opera House. There was these orbs in the centre of the room that each song represented one of the planets. And then right at the end he comes out on stage just by himself. All the lights go out and he sings Somewhere Over The Rainbow just by himself. And it was like the most beautiful moment I've ever seen in life.
H: I suddenly have forgotten everyone I've ever seen life.
J: Grace Jones.
H: Oh, Grace Jones I saw at Sydney City Limits. She was very, very late. Played four songs and it was the best thing I've ever seen. It was one of those shows watching it where I'm like, 'I love these songs. I've heard them so many times. Why am I crying?' Very, very emotional. Cathartic.
What's your dream location to perform in?
J: Really wanna play in Japan. I feel like the, Japanese audiences would get it
H: I would love to play anything that's like not a music venue. Any like a weird, I don't know, some kind of abandoned warehouse or anything that's like a reclaimed space I think. Or a skate park as well to play skate.
That would be cool. I know you played Pleasure Playhouse a few weeks ago, which I think is that exactly. I'd love to see you there again soon. What advice would your current self, give to your future self, for a year from now?
H: Oh, I can go first. Drink more water. Go to bed. [laughs].
That Is the headline. That's the headline of the interview.
J: Slow down a little bit.
Somehow (You Still Get To Me) is out now!