Do Not Play Freebird
The Cherry Valence put on one hell of a live show, complete with two drummers, two singers, two guitarists and a bassist—they'll "Sweat, Sweat, Sweat (All Over You)," just like their song says, with an arsenal of Ampegs-on-10 Allmans-to-Zep classic rock. But no yelling, "Skynyrd, maaaaaan! Play Freebird!" because there isn't one shred of cheese in anything the actually-from-the-South (if North Carolina counts) Cherry Valence happens to play. In 30 minutes with guitarist Cheetie Kumar and bassist Paul Siler, we found out that she's the best cook in the van, he can identify a bird by its song, and that they surprisingly don't argue much.
OC Weekly: The last time I saw Cherry Valence play, I got hit in the head with a shaker. Paul Siler: Oh, really? We're gonna have to be careful about that. Cheetie Kumar: You're not gonna sue us, are you? No. So why is the new record called Riffin'?Kumar: Every song on the album is based on a riff. And we really didn't have a better name for it. Siler: Riffin' is such a good word. And Humble Pie has a record called Smokin' that we all like. Tell me about life on the road.Kumar: I don't know if I can really reveal such exciting information. Siler: We try to find routes instead of interstates so we don't see the same billboards over and over. If we have a three-hour drive, we'll make it into five and stop a lot. Kumar: We like to stop at state parks. Jamie goes off fishing. He brings a fishing pole on tour?Kumar: Yeah, but he'll never catch anything. I think the string is imaginary. Wow. What's the biggest conflict on the road?Kumar: Loading is pretty much a science, so that's not an issue. With driving, the point is moot because it's gonna be Paul or Jamie. This last trip, I got mad at Nick because he played a Foreigner greatest hits tape. It just pissed me off. Siler: Sometimes peoples' shoe choices are kind of bad. That's all I'm gonna say. Kumar: Paul and this guy Kerry who went on tour with us last time wore bandanas with cheesy Aviator shades. And now Paul's taken to wearing shorts with black socks and boots. It's an incredible look. You really have to see it. Is Paul looking at you while you say this?Kumar:He's avoiding me. He pretends to not hear a word I'm saying. Siler: Nah, I'm just reading a magazine. Any obscure items you bring on tour?Siler: Well, no foot-fetish magazines or anything like that. Kumar: We have a nice supply of kitchen items in our van, such as spices, cooking oil, Worcester sauce and sesame oil. And we always have a good supply of ginger root. It's kind of a cure-all. I gnaw on it with a little honey a lot. So what's the most grueling aspect about playing in a band? Siler: Not knowing if you're going to be able to shower and knowing you're probably going to end up on some dirty floor somewhere. Kumar:Not to be crude, but menstruating when you're on tour sucks. In the summertime, I can't think of anything worse. The Cherry Valence performs with Gasface, the Rattlesnakes and the Husbands at the Liquid Den, 5061 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 377-7964. Sat., 9 p.m. $6. 21+.
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