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Columbus native band Cherry Chrome. Credit: Courtesy of Carley Brown

Columbus’ Own: “Spunk rock” Cherry Chrome reflects youthful energy

While Cherry Chrome has been a band for just over a year, lead singer and guitarist Xenia Bleveans-Holm has been working with drummer David Holm for her entire life. They are father and daughter, after all.

“Since Xenia was really little, we’ve done creative things together, be it playing music, doing art projects, making up funny stories. It feels very natural,” Holm said.

Bleveans-Holm and bassist Amina Adesiji, both 16, along with 18-year-old guitarist, Mick Martinez, and Holm, 48 years old, make up Cherry Chrome. The bond between members is as good as family.

“We spend, like, the first half of our practice just eating cereal and hanging out,” Martinez said.  

“If you didn’t like your band mates, it would just suck,” Bleveans-Holm said. “It’d be weird if I was like ‘you guys have to go eat your cereal in the other room, and no I won’t make it for you.'”

The girls agree that having a dad around is important as well.

“He has to be a little bit in charge of us. Otherwise we’d just be eating cereal the whole time,” Bleveans-Holm said.

Bleveans-Holm, at age 9, and Holm came up with the name Cherry Chrome when discussing band names.

“I kind of always wanted a band with that name … It’s spunky,” she said. The band describes themselves as “spunk rock.”

“I think it fits the kind of music that we play because we’ve got the girl power vibe going, but we also play with lots of distortion and stuff,” Martinez said.

Adesiji’s first inclination toward music came when she dressed up as a “rock star” for Halloween at 8 years old. She knew she was serious about music in fifth grade when she played in a school celebration.

“I was so nervous, but at the same time I thought it was the coolest thing,” she said.

Bleveans-Holm started out by stating that bands like Nirvana and The Strokes made her want to be a musician, but then she had a flashback.

“I take back everything I said. I knew I wanted to be a musician when I saw the Hex Girls on Scooby-Doo,” she said.

The girls then all agreed that the fictional girl power band had an influence on their desires to be musicians.

When Cherry Chrome put out their first single, “Velvet,” in March, it was played on CD102.5’s The Five Spot the same day it was released. It continues to be a part of the rotation for the station.

Bleveans-Holm has written all of the songs, but getting the arrangements just right is a collaborative effort for the band.

“I like conveying a certain mood without outright saying it,” she said. “I like lyrics where you can’t exactly figure out what they’re about.”

“But you can feel it,” Martinez finished.

Over the summer, the band jumped from booking shows around once a month to at least once a week. While they’ve gotten great support from the music community, Cherry Chrome has had its fair share of skeptics due to the fact that it is fronted by three young girls.

“We’ve had some different people who have definitely been condescending,” Bleveans-Holm said. “I’ve gotten that outside of dealing with music. I feel like as a young girl, grown men like to be condescending towards you. It’s definitely something that gets me really fired up.”

But they agreed that their age has proven to be an asset as well.

“I think it helps us 99 percent of the time. Sometimes we run into those people who don’t think we’ve got it in us, but that doesn’t hinder us. It just makes us pissed off and makes us do better,” Martinez said.

Last fall, Cherry Chrome recorded 14 unreleased songs. Four of those songs are ready to release, but they need funds in order to make hard copies of the EP.

They will be playing a fundraising show at Kafé Kerouac on Sept. 11 at 8 p.m. The suggested donation will be $5.

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