Cherry Bombs are the badass eruption pioneering the genre. Not with guitars, vocals, bass or drums like a traditional "it band" but by transcending the visual.
In an industry that at times has been very male-oriented, Cherry Bombs are paving the way, both with female empowerment and an explosive detour utilizing jaw-dropping aerials, intense fire sequences and dialed-in choreography to rock the stages.
Alicia Taylor is the driving force, a former NFL cheerleader who wasn't ready to hang up the moves and wanted to continue her way - integrating rock & metal music, growing tired of dancing to Katy Perry.
Facing not only a belittling male toxicity, but venues that at times aren't quite sure how to handle the performance DESPITE consistent communications and clear tech riders. Cherry Bombs nonetheless are constantly innovating the stage, the moves, the danger, the experience.
"We want to change the perception. We're not just a bunch of girls shaking their asses. We give it everything we've got. Hanging from 45 feet in the air, fire in the mouth," Alicia Taylor explains.
Even festival fans get a hard smack across the face when Cherry Bombs take the stage with their trailblazing performance.
"‘What the fuck is this? The fans don't know what to expect, they're wide-eyed and silent. It's new, it's so visual. You can't turn your head or go to the bar, you can't still experience it that way. ALL EYES ARE GLUED to you. About half way through people are into it, by the end they get it."
Never content is the backbone of Cherry Bombs. The attention to detail, the scale, the amount of physical labor to build, create and execute is that of a Hollywood production. Constantly attacking the normal.
"We're pushing boundaries in this live entertainment. We're dancing to rock/metal, my favorite type of music, in a very visual way. We're dancing, fire arts, almost like side-show acts but we're all multi-talented."
Today Season 2: Episode 3 of their behind the scenes documentary, Girl Gang drops, a season that threw a lot at them, raising the stakes exponentially.
"This season we're dealing with a lot of new things. Crossing the border as we go international for the first time and the travel obstacles you face. The riots in Mexico for Knotfest. Even dealing with the different types of fuel (for the fire acts) and basic things like baggage getting lost all the way to performing on a festival stage that big with that many people."
The season also digs into the elevation level issues caused by Mexico City, realizing they're direct support to Rob Zombie - "HOLY SHIT", broken van doors, the aftermath of Knotfest Mexico's riots, and the ultimate decision confronted at the end of episode 2.
While Season 2 takes Cherry Bombs to towering heights, Season 1 started back at the inception of Cherry Bombs with a behind the scenes look of how it all began.
"We use to do motorcycle rallies across the country, we saw so much crazy shit. Where’s our reality show?” Girl Gang came to life when they went on tour with Buckcherry. "Six girls in one van, no crew, staying in whatever hotel we could afford, sometimes that hotel was the van."
Alicia noticed “God, we have some much great content. We don't know where we're going next, who we’re going to meet, what crazy thing is going to happen? With this group, we're all over the place and it's risky. It sets you up for wrenches to be throw in the mix."
And wrenches would come. Luckily the cameras were rolling in Season 1, while in search of manager who needed to see them live, an inspiring journey was quickly derailed when Murphy's Law reared its ugly head.
“The live showcase fell apart when (the prospective manager) decided not to show up. We were fighting with the venue on whether we can rig or not. I severely hurt my ankle. Luckily the documentary gods were like, 'I got you'.”
The drama and suffering would ultimately lead to the amazingly humorous line "It's like a bunch of monkeys fucking a football out here."
Fast-forwarding: Cherry Bombs had big plans for 2020 including a headlining tour, and like most performers, had to watch it be put on hold.
"Adapt or die. We had our headlining shows cancelled. We had planned this entire storyline, nothing too artsy fartsy but enough to keep people engaged for an hour and a half show. So we were like ok, 'How can we figure this out?'"
"We got our videographer and put together a quick rundown of the show. More like an extended trailer of the show. We didn't want to make a quick clip and didn't want to crunch our show down to a few minutes so we made this 5-7 minute extension that we're excited for people to see."
When up and running, the actual performance promises “a fun show that's a mix of From Dusk till Dawn meets Dante’s 'Inferno', a little bit of Death Proof and The Shining, if Rob Zombie directed it all.”
“It features our first male performer, who will take you through the storyline. Set in a wild west saloon, he's trapped inside - trying to find his way out. Everywhere he turns is a new ghoul or demon making him a part of this house for all of time."
"It's a live horror show with fire acts, aerial acts, things we've NEVER done. The production is elevated, new skills, new characters. It's exciting."
With the extended trailer video, the headlining tour performance, a 3rd Season of Gang Girl and a can't miss performance at Storm the Arena this December in Paris (alongside Mass Hysteria & Lacuna Coil, among others) all on the way; Cherry Bombs are just scratching the surface of their genre progressing future. That future is wide open, and if there's one thing we've seen from Cherry Bombs; they're ready to take it by the balls and make it uniquely their own.
Watch Episode 3 of Girl Gang Season 2 below.
Next week: the finale of Girl Gang - what to expect in Season 3, and behind the scenes on their explosive show-stopping last minute addition to Corey Taylor's "CMFT Must Be Stopped" video.