If you could date one Avenger, we asked 14-year-old Rena Lovelis of the all-chick rock group Cherri Bomb, who would your first choice be?
"Oh, Iron Man" the spunky bassist answers without a second of thought. "He's got an iron butt!"
The current lineup of Cherri Bomb—featuring Rena on bass, her sister Nia on drums, blonde bombshell Miranda Miller on guitar, and band founder Julia Pierce up front—has been active for barely three years, but they've already made some superhero-impressive strides through the LA hardrock scene. Cherri Bomb has opened for Smashing Pumpkins, played festivals in Europe with the Foo Fighters, and recently submitted the head-banging single "Shake The Ground" to The Avengers soundtrack (listen for it May 4th!). That's not a bad day's work for a band whose elder member is 16.
Rena recently chatted with us about being a young rockstar, walking The Avengers red carpet, and pickles. So many pickles.
Hey Rena! So "Shake the Ground" is going to be in The Avengers, yeah?
Yeah, and we're all crazy about that! Last week we went on a red carpet for The Avengers, and that was the longest red carpet we've ever been on! Usually we'll do little ones that are like 12 feet, but this one was really long and we weren't used to it, moving down the line. We saw Scarlett Johansson and my sister and I were waiting for Robert Downey Jr., but we didn't see him. We had to catch another red carpet—actually it's called the black carpet for the Golden Gods Awards —and we didn't get a chance to see the movie either, it totally sucked. But we're going to go together as a band!
Does it ever get weird working with your sister?
Yeah, sometimes we'll fight like, "Hey, drop the freakin' tempo!" and stuff like that, and there's always a little sisterly competition, but for the most part we all get along.
Do you remember your parents' reaction when you and Nia told them you were going to open for the Foo Fighters?
I remember them telling us to just stay calm. That was our first or second tour in Europe and we were all really excited. Foo Fighters were one of our biggest inspirations as a band.
What was it like playing for the Foos?
That was amazing! We actually had dinner with all the members of the Foo Fighters, and Pat Smear, the guitarist, was sitting next to us at the table and he was giving us all kinds of advice about being onstage. I asked him, "How do you find the energy to perform every night?" And he was like, "You know, sometimes you don't. If you don't feel the music that night, you just need to look deep within you and find the emotion that you have the music that you're playing."
Is that easy for you?
For the most part we'll try to listen to a song from another band before the show, whether it's the Foo Fighters or Marilyn Manson or something, and it kind of pumps us up to do better on stage, and we'll watch them on stage and be like, "OH my god, I want to do that move!" and that makes us feel better.
Rad, so what's the signature Rena move?
The one I use most is a pretty typical one. I'll be in a…hold on, I gotta do it to think about it (laughs)… my left foot is forward and I'm kind of in a lunge, and that's my move where I'm most comfortable. I've seen others, like I saw Danny Lohner from Nine Inch Nails play onstage and that's where I really understood the meaning of getting into the music and feeling the emotion onstage.
Do your parents usually join you on tour?
My sister and I always have at least one of our parents to come and watch over the whole band. Sometimes my dad will come to help out with instruments and stuff—he know almost everything about instruments, and it's really helpful to have him there! And my mom will watch over us, and sometimes the parents will take shifts. So yeah, we have our parents there, we have our manager Sam Maloney to watch out for us and we also have our school teacher, 'cause we're all still in school.
You have a teacher that hangs out with you on the road all the time, like a groupie?
Yeah, and she's really funny! She talks to literally everybody. Her name is Pam, so all these older guys in bands will be like, "Hey Pam, what's up!" And she can have a conversation with literally anyone (laughs). She used to be in musical theatre and everything, so she knows entertainment things and all that, and how to stay safe. It's funny because one day we were talking about how to stay safe like when we're walking out of a house or on tour and (laughs) she's giving us a lesson on bringing a knife with you and stuff. And we're sitting there like, well we should be learning English, but why not talk about this instead (laughs)?
So, not gonna lie, I was lurking on your profile a little before this. There's a Kurt Vonnegut quote on there: "Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt."
Yeah! Actually, my mom's a big fan of him, too. We were at a festival in Australia a few weeks ago and we were sharing a dressing room with another one of the bands and a guy had that phrase tattooed on him and we were like, oh my god! I love that phrase!
Do you have any tattoos?
No, I don't have any tattoos, I'm too young! I'm 13…oh no—actually I'm 14! My birthday was just on April 5th, so I constantly forget my age now (laughs).
Oh, Happy B! What'd you do?
On my actual birthday a friend of mine who lives across the street brought over a present for me. I'm obsessed with pickles. Miranda (Miller) and I are big pickle fans and we'll eat pickles all day and everything, so a friend of mine brought over a pickle-making set, and he brought over like five big jars and a giant bag of cucumbers and all the little utensils needed for making pickles. It was great! At night I went to dinner with my parents at a vegan place. I'm vegan, my sister's vegetarian, and our parents are vegan, too. A whole family of vegetarians and vegans. Then on Sunday we went to Disney Land.
Nice! I haven't been there in a while.
You should go! It's the happiest place on Earth (laughs).
What would you say your geekiest habit is?
I'm slightly a germ freak, and I don't like to touch the bottom of any shoes at all, because I don't like knowing where they've been.
Dang, did that start after you started touring?
Yeah, actually it did happen after we went on tour the first time. We had these rain shoes on that they call Wellies in Europe, and we were literally slogging through the mud the whole time, and I never wanted to touch the bottom of those shoes cause somebody could've peed in the mud. There were people peeing all over. So now I never want to touch the bottom of any shoes because, you know, crazy people pee on the ground stuff and it freaks me out! I never had that phobia before the tour.
Cherri Bomb—most adorable rockstars ever?
Can't get enough Cherri Bomb? Pre-order The Avengers soundtrack here!