Staff Cheryl


Senior Staff Writer


Cheryl's last content update – Nov. 6, 2015, 7:53 a.m.

Fat Wreck
Cheryl's most recent reviews
Skepticism  - Ordeal album cover


Ordeal, 2015

9.0 / 10

Recording a live album isn’t a new concept, but for Skepticism, who don’t do anything by halves, recording their brand new album completely live, was certainly a new experience. The ...

Locrian - Infinite Dissolution album cover


Infinite Dissolution, 2015

8.5 / 10

Locrian’s approach to metal is to disassemble the core structures, push them further away from their crude beginnings and delve into building them back up again into towering walls of ...

Sick/Tired - Dissolution  album cover


Dissolution , 2014

7.5 / 10
200 Words Or Less

Sick/Tired don’t mess about. They’re angry, and they want you to know about it and they do so via the medium of fast, raw grindcore. The Chicago band pound through ...

Frog - Kind Of Blah album cover


Kind Of Blah, 2015

7.5 / 10

Frog’s second LP Kind of Blah is one that swings from highs to lows, from poppy pep to slowed down sadness and it encompasses every other emotion within it’s short ...

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Cheryl's most recent features
City States

One Question Interviews City States

Posted Sept. 30, 2015, 12:16 a.m.

Joel (City States) SPB: How do you find the time to work on so many projects and do your regular day job (if you have one)?  Joel: At the risk ...


One Question Interviews Northumbria

Posted April 6, 2015, 3:06 a.m.

Dorian Williamson (Northumbria) SPB: You recorded your first album in a church - what was it about the space that appealed to you and what kind of spaces would you like ...


One Question Interviews Rome

Posted April 6, 2015, 3:03 a.m.

Jerome Reuter (Rome) SPB: You're playing some anniversary shows this year and visiting some interesting places - How did you decide which countries to play in?  Reuter: I have to ...

AMSG 666

One Question Interviews AMSG 666

Posted Jan. 11, 2015, 11:29 p.m.

AngelFukk Witchhammer (AMSG 666) SPB: How important is Satan to you/the band and what does that belief mean to you? Witchhammer: Luciferianism for me is breathing /living each day ...

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Cheryl's most recent news stories
1QI: Big Eyes, Bruno Sanfilippo, Tempest, Koo Koo Kanga Roo

Bands 1QI: Big Eyes, Bruno Sanfilippo, Tempest, Koo Koo Kanga Roo

Posted Nov. 6, 2015, 7:53 a.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook & twitter and we'll post an interview four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday ...

Kate Eldridge (Big Eyes)
SPB: What is the most annoying recurring thing you read about your band (whether accurate or not)?
Kate: I am really bothered by the term "female fronted." Being a "FEMALE" has nothing to do with the music I write and play. It also sounds so unnecessarily scientific. Nobody says "MALE FRONTED" or asks how it is to be a MALE in a band. It's also really annoying getting compared to other bands solely because they ALSO happen to have women in them. It's 2015, people, knock it off. 
Bruno Sanfilippo
SPB: Though things like bandcamp have made it easier for artists to release music, I can't help but think that there are many out there who, like the main character in the film Mr. Holland's Opus, tirelessly work on writing and composing yet have no clue how to go about releasing their work to the public.  What is the best way for aspiring classical composers and/or musicians to get their work out? 
Bruno: I think the best thing to do is, on one hand, grow constantly as an artist. And this means, of course, to ID your own limitations and to expand relentlessly. Moreover, you must be an excellent communicator, which is not a minor issue. In any case, only the passion for what you do will give enough power to reach your goals.
SPB: What was your favorite band in high school? How do they influence your songwriting today?
c.a: There are probably only a handful of bands that Tempest as a whole can agree on enjoying. Now, take that handful and whittle it down to bands that we have been listening to for the past 15 years. There really is only one band that meets that criteria and has stood the test of time. Obviously it would be none other than Propagandhi.
To me Propagandhi are the perfect embodiment of what a band can/should be: aggressive, thoughtful, artistic, and honest. They have inspired and influenced us more as musicians and people than probably most of us would feel comfortable giving them credit for. Musically the influence might not be glaringly obvious…but it’s there underneath layers of distortion and feedback. More than the music though, it’s how they have ideologically influenced us. We have an adage that we have come back to over again during the past 8 years, and its WWPD. I like to think it’s this simple little idea that has helped us to make very few regrettable decisions as a band.  
Bryan (Koo Koo Kanga Roo)
SPB: You see to perform on a lot of varied bills from kids stuff to hip-hop shows and Warped. Do you prefer to mix up the audience you play to or do you prefer a headline-type club show?
Bryan: We prefer everything. It helps keep the show and the concepts fresh and helps us keep our audience varied. We want 5-70 year olds at our shows all together and playing all that stuff makes that possible. 
Still trying to play weirder venues, so hoping for more variation in the future. 

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1QI: Boilerman, Rock the Cause, Ex-Breathers, So Hideous

Bands 1QI: Boilerman, Rock the Cause, Ex-Breathers, So Hideous

Posted Oct. 25, 2015, 5:06 a.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook & twitter and we'll post an interview four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday ...

Kris (Boilerman – bass)
SPB: What’s your favorite format of release (7”, LP, etc)?
Kris: I think the 7" is a great format, physically speaking. Its layout space is pretty easy to fill nicely, but storing 7-inches isn't as nice. They're so hard to rifle through and they get lost amongst each other easier -- smaller packages, no spine, etc. They're also good to listen to when you're not ready to dedicate yourself to a full album, but the time between starting a side and having to flip it can be annoying if you're engaging in any other activity while listening to it. The 10" is the most pleasing record to hold. There's something about it that just feels...right. Unfortunately, manufacturing a 10" is so expensive that it's rarely justifiable, so there aren't many around. If it weren't for scarcity, they might be my favorite.
But the best has to go to the 12". You're gonna get the most music and the largest amount of real estate for artwork and other packaging goodies. You can also squeeze a good amount of music onto it at 45 rpm, which will be louder and clearer and all-around better sounding.
I would also like to give a shout out to my odd-number sized records: the 8 3/4" records, the 9”, and 11-inches. Hell, even the 5, 6, and 8-inch records. You're the real heroes.
Scott Herold (Rock the Cause)
SPB: What’s the hardest part of running a non-profit organization?
Scott: The most difficult aspect of running an NPO is your income streams rely completely on the benevolence of the public. You have to continually design new products and programs that tell a compelling story, that will motivate donors to give. There is a ton of competition for dollars. On some level you are also competing with for-profits for those same discretionary dollars. Many people give to larger pass through organizations in their work place. They let the pass throughs do the actual end giving for them when a direct donation and relationship could be made with a front line cause-driven social enterprise. Believe me, the little ones need that the most.     
Jack Vermillion (Ex-Breathers)
SPB: Would you ever crowdfund a record?
Jack: I don't think we'll ever find ourselves in a position where this is the best option for us. We're the kind of band that would rather just make a record for cheap by ourselves or with a friend before crowdfunding. However, people really love to demonize bands that use crowdfunding and I don't necessarily agree with that. It can certainly be cash grab by a lazy and corny band who is just going to make a bad record anyways, but, at the end of the day, who am I to judge a fan by what they do with their money? We've always raised money by playing shows and selling merch and I really don't see that changing for us. 
Brandon Cruz (So Hideous)
SPB: What do your parents think of your music?
Brandon: We’ve been fortunate enough to have a strong support system with respect to our families and them understanding why we do this music thing. I’d say our parents “appreciate” the work we do but would probably be more apt to enjoy the music if it were just chamber works or songs without the more abrasive elements of our style. We may just heed their advice on that one day...

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1QI: Esmerine, Unbroken, White Widows Pact, Lagwagon

Bands 1QI: Esmerine, Unbroken, White Widows Pact, Lagwagon

Posted Oct. 15, 2015, 2:28 p.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook & twitter and we'll post an interview four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday ...

Rebecca Foon (Esmerine)
SPB: What is your favorite 1960s artist?
Rebecca: Jimi Hendrix.
He probably fits under the category of people I would want to meet most as well. I have been inspired by him for as long as I can remember.
Rob Moran (Unbroken)
SPB: Have you ever heard your band covered by somebody else? What did you think?
Rob: I've heard a few covers over the years, some live and some recorded and it is always humbling. Of all the ones I've heard, Planes Mistaken For Stars was one that really nailed it. I could feel the angst and energy of the recording and was really into their take of it. I also enjoyed Panic's cover as well.
Dave Castillo (White Widows Pact)
SPB: How do you find new music?
Dave: Call me old fashioned but usually I find out about new music through my friends. A lot of them are a part of music in one way or another so I get the scoop on a ton of great stuff. It's also part of my job to find great new bands to book at Saint Vitus, and people know that, so a lot sort of comes to me that way. 
Joey Cape (Lagwagon, solo)
SPB: is the biggest improvement you’ve made to your touring lifestyle over the years? Is there an area of comfort or economy where you’d drastically changed your approach?
Joey: Surrounding myself with good people.  People who enjoy this life. They need to be happy, patient, and comfortable with constant change and unpredictable situations. A sense of humor is the first step. Also teeth brushing and deodorant can be nice.

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1QI: Undesirable People, Unsane, City States, Wonk Unit

Bands 1QI: Undesirable People, Unsane, City States, Wonk Unit

Posted Oct. 6, 2015, 2:19 p.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook & twitter and we'll post an interview four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday ...

Jon Lebiecki (Undesirable People)
SPB: Winter touring: yes or now (and why/got any stories)?
Jon: Yes, absolutely. Simply because we’ve got a sick record coming out on 12” that we need entire world to hear. I’m not quite sure where we are headed yet because we don’t have a booking agent. I think the plan is to head down south. The Midwest sucks in the winter, especially with all of this global warming shit going on. Who knows?! We'll figure it out. 
By the way, that record is called Eternal Vision of a Blind Future and you can preorder right now from Hopefully you’ve heard of it already. But probably not because (A.) most major online media outlets would rather blind you with some bullshit news of some old band (Blink 182) doing the same thing over and over again & (B.) We are releasing it independently.
Dave Curran (Pigs, Unsane)
SPB: What’s the first thing you do when you get home after a long tour?
Dave: I curl up in fetal position and sleep for 5 days.  Then I go on tour again...
Joel (City States)
SPB; How do you find the time to work on so many projects and do your regular day job (if you have one)? 
Joel: At the risk of sounding overly technical, a lot of my productivity just comes down to really rigorous planning and time management. I do have a full-time job as an art director for a great agency in downtown Chicago, which makes it hard to stay on track as a songwriter in my spare time. So when I'm free and available (in other words, not asleep or at work), I kind of approach my music-making like I do my design career: I have a plan before I sit down. I tend to have a playlist handy—featuring the songs of other artists'—in case I'm stuck and need a source of inspiration, and if a composition isn't working I simply move on and try writing something else. 
That's not the whole story, however. Though I now have four threads of music I work on—City States, Avvenir, Contretemps, and Modal Voices—which has resulted in lots of output in the last 18 months, I started my music career with 10-year slog where I really struggled to create. Case in point: between 2006-2013 I only released nineteen songs! I was slow, self-critical, prone to bouts of crippling indecision and, as a result, not a lot got done. By comparison, since May 2014 when I released the first City States LP, Geography, I've put 22 songs into the world, and by this time next year I will have released over 40. The truth is, writing a good song is hard, learning to be efficient is hard, overcoming your own personal hangups is hard. With that, I'll offer a piece of unsolicited advice to anyone who is having a rough go as a songwriter: take your time, learn your craft, have a plan, and find a way to remove yourself from the burden of self-censure.
Alex (Wonk Unit)
SPB; How do you describe the band’s changes from Day One into what it is today, sound-wise?
Alex: The biggest change is a total reversal in songwriting style. For our first two albums I was writing lyrics to music, some pretty crazy technical stuff. These days (for the last two records) I'm writing music to poems which were already out there independently. It generally means musically our songs are simpler but delivered with more lyrical twists. 
We began as a 3 piece but started experimenting with different stuff by the 3td album (Muffy), adding cellos and trombone. Our current line-up includes Hammond organ.

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Cheryl's most recent blogposts

Paradise Lost @ KOKO

Posted Oct. 11, 2015, 5:26 a.m. by Cheryl

Paradise Lost w/Tribulation and Lucifer October 4th @ KOKO, London Hype surrounding a band is either indicative of said band being incredibly talented and worth your time, or, on the ...

Caïna @ The Unicorn

Posted Sept. 8, 2013, 3:25 p.m. by Cheryl

Caïna, Hordes, Barshasketh The Unicorn London, UK September 6 2013 We've been talking a lot about the rebirth of Caïna of late and we'll soon have a review of the new ...

Winterfylleth @ The Black Heart

Posted Jan. 29, 2013, 7:50 a.m. by Cheryl

The tiny Black Heart in Camden holds court to an evening of droned out sludge, traditional heavy doom, and more English black metal than you can shake a stick at ...

Show Review: The Great Old Ones w/Terzij de Horde and Oblivionized @ The Unicorn, London (January 5th 2013)

Posted Jan. 9, 2013, 12:17 a.m. by Cheryl

The Unicorn is suffering from a severe lack of air con tonight, the tension in the air made all the palpable by the insane levels of heat and the anticipation ...

Cheryl's bio

"Without music, life would be a mistake."
Writer. SPB Social Media Contributor. 

I also like coffee and film and cats. 

Cheryl's personal URL

Cheryl's SPB contributions

107 reviews 23 features 120 news posts 6 blogposts
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