There’s a long-standing symbiotic connection between punk and skateboarding, but Cher Strauberry is taking that relationship to the next level. After all, how many punk musicians can also say they’re a pro skateboarder with one of their boards sitting in the goddamn Smithsonian?
Strauberry, who grew up in Oakland, Calif., but now calls Brooklyn home, is currently readying her debut album, Chering Is Caring. Recorded on a Walkman and a microcassette player (which her older sister gave her when she was just a teenager), Chering Is Caring serves as an audio diary of the last two years of Strauberry’s life. Early teases “I’ll Be Waiting,” “Down n Out” and the snarling rave-up “Swish and Spit” (which just dropped on Friday) give a taste of her sound and attitude. There’s a punk brashness that rubs up against the startling intimacy of her delivery; similarly, the DIY aesthetic of the recording serves as a contrast to the natural melodicism of Strauberry’s songwriting and guitar work.
Ahead of Chering Is Caring’s June 18 release, Cher Strauberry took Billboard’s LGBTQuestionnaire to let us know a little bit more about her world.
Multiple Choice (Answers are in italics)
I look at my phone:
I’m looking at it right now
How important is social media to your music career?
Not remotely important
I do it but I don’t love it
Important, but I have mixed feelings about it
Essential and I mostly love it
Would you rather be:
On the town
Rate how strongly you agree/disagree with the following statements (Answers are in italics):
2021 is going to be way better than 2020.
Who can tell?
LGBTQ representation is improving in the music industry.
Who can tell?
Coming out was easy.
It was complicated
It wasn’t terrible
Fill in the blank (Answers are in bold font)
As a trans woman, growing up was sh-tty but also sh-tty.
Erica Dawn Lyle is an LGBTQ artist whose music really inspires me.
The last thing I purchased online was a 10 pack of $4 fish nets.
One word to describe my music is lesbian.
What inspired Chering Is Caring?
For years, I have always written and recorded songs in my bedroom, but I never showed anybody. I knew I eventually wanted to make a record that was like a mixtape. In the end, I showed my friend Mark some of my music, and he was the one who convinced me to finally create the record.
What was the hardest song to get right on Chering Is Caring?
“Swish and Spit.” It is impossible to sing. I don’t know how to sing it again, but it is the best song on the record.
What’s the biggest difference between skating and making music?
One is on wheels.
What was the first song you ever wrote? What was it about?
If I am being fully honest, the song would have been “Motorcycle Riders” which was about the tv show Biker Mice From Mars that I probably wrote when I was thirteen. The show was about a crime fighting cyber punk group of mice from Mars that were in a motorcycle gang.
You’re trapped on a desert island — what three albums did you bring with you?
Dear Nora – Rarities, 50 Million – Bust The Action, and Nirvana – Incesticide
Name a Twitter/Instagram/TikTok account you’re obsessed with.
@Instagram – @nothingparty
What’s your astrological sign? Do you care about astrology?
I am a Gemini – yes and no.
What’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn how to do, but still haven’t gotten around to?
Sewing. I have actually been making stuffed animals, but I am really bad at it. I use old jackets and dental floss. I go on old grandma forums and learn how to make these sock monkeys. I recently made a fish, and it is a pillow. I am even learning how to embroider them, but I really am not good at it. I am basically playing Frankenstein.
What accomplishment in your career are you proudest of?
Getting Vans to donate $20k to a trans clinic. That is the one thing I am super proud of.
Tell us two truths and a lie about yourself, but don’t tell us which is the lie.
I have a tattoo from the guitar player from MCR.
I drink 5 coffees a day
I love the Internet.