Clementine Creevy rules! Still in high school and she’s already written a theme song – Teenage Girl – for one of my favourite magazines, Tavi Gevinson’s Rookie; gotten love from Grimes and made glorious noise with Paige from Tashaki Miyaki featuring on a song for her solo jams under the alias, Clembutt; she also rocks out in band No Parrots with two of her best friends. I recently interviewed Clem to find out more about the girl behind the dreamy fuzzy guitars, honest and at times humorous lyrics and sweet vocal that had one Rookie reader commenting: “Wow! It’s like Kimya Dawson meets Lana Del Rey! So good!” Have a listen for yourself—Clembutt will make you shake your butt.
Who or what first inspired you to want to make your own music?
CLEMENTINE CREEVY: I started writing songs when I was a little kid and I picked up the guitar when I was 13. I guess when I was little I was always singing in the shower and around the house and people would tell me I was good and that I should take it up. I was super into writing songs, I still have songs from when I was like seven. Now, I think I’m inspired most by the people and vibes around me, like the boys I have crushes on or sandwiches.
Are your parents supportive of what you do? Do you come from a musical family?
CC: My whole family is super supportive. Most of my family is in Chicago and every time I come back they tell me how much they love my new stuff. It’s awesome to have that. I’m so grateful. And yes, my whole family is very musical. Every year there is a musical at my aunt’s house and my cousins who are in a band called Platform 29 usually play. They are really rad, with acoustic guitars and violin, just super clean and raw, its dope.
What artists would people be surprised to find that you like?
CC: I love late 80’s to late 90’s hip hop. I like Wu Tang and KRS-One, Tribe, 3rd bass. My friend Isaac, sort of got me into it a couple years ago. I think it attracted me sonically and then I started to get into it lyrically. Gang Starr gives me goose bumps.
How did you arrive at the name/get the name ‘Clembutt’?
CC: I love butts. I think the word butt is the funniest word ever. And to be honest I just found it to be humorous.
Recently your song Teenage Girl was featured as Rookie magazine’s theme song for August. Tell us about the song? Where were you when you wrote it? What did you have on your mind when you were writing it?
CC: Tavi and I have a mutual friend out in Chicago, and her husband played her some of my stuff and she liked it so she wanted me to do her theme song. I love rookie and was shitting my pants when I found out. I actually woke up one morning after having spent hours reading Rookie the night before, and came up with it pretty quickly. I was thinking about this summer and how teenaged out it was. My friend told me about how she snuck cigarettes at lunchtime at school and it reminded me of dazed and confused where they smoke cigarettes in the bathroom. I saw Rob Kardashian on the corner when I was in the car with my friends, I stuck my head out the window and I was like “Hi Rob.” He lifted up his shirt and flexed his guns like a tool. The Kardashians crack me up.
Grimes tweeted about your song saying: i hope this song is actually written and performed by a teenage girl, either way its catchy. How did you feel about that? Do you enjoy her music?
CC: I like Grimes a lot. I love how she does a lot on her own, and I dig her style. I was flipping out when someone told me that she tweeted my song. I guess I felt a little weird because because I don’t have a facebook or a twitter or any social media page besides my soundcloud, so in a way I felt like I had to prove to the world that I exist. I’m also super naïve about artists not making their own music, like I found out that The Monkeys didn’t write their own songs and I was like “WHAT! PEOPLE DON’T WRITE THEIR OWN MUSIC?!”
I noticed Tashaki Miyaki replied to Grimes’ tweet: I happen to know this teenage girl and it was indeed written and performed by her (minus drums) she’s a badass!; Who played drums on the track?
CC: She did actually, ha ha. Paige played drums and I did percussions, guitar and vocals.
If you could collaborate with any musician ever, who would you want to work with and why?
CC: Wow that’s a really tough question. I would love to work with Black Moth Super Rainbow. They make me feel happy inside. They put me in a trance, like I’m Bradley Cooper in that weird movie where he takes a pill and learns Italian in a day. Or Al Green, because I mean, he’s Al Green…
Do you find songwriting challenging or do you find it comes naturally? Tell us a little about how you go about it. Do you have notebooks full of ideas?
CC: I do have notebooks full of ideas. Usually when I find inspiration ill write about it in my songbook and build off of ideas. I think it comes to me sort of naturally. But, I guess everyone gets writers block to a certain degree. I have been writing a song about Kevin Spacey for like two years that I cant seem to finish.
As well as writing your own music/songs you’re in a band No Parrots with Hannah Uribe and Sophia Muller; how did you meet them?
CC: They are my two closest friends. I was really into the idea of starting a band. Hannah plays drums and Sophia was a really cool voice so one day I was like, “lets jam!” And after that we started playing all the time. We have a blast fucking around and making songs about poop and “dog politics”. Sophia wrote a song about dog politics but I can’t read her handwriting and neither can she, so we don’t quite know what to do with that one, but it’s a pretty genius idea.
How would you describe No Parrots to someone that’s never heard you?
CC: Like a delicious cheeseburger.
Which is your favourite song you’ve written so far and why do you like it?
CC: I love Glenn the Dawg. I wrote it after my dog, Glenn died. It means a lot to me. I also love Hannah’s drumming on that one. Also, Trick or Treat Dancefloor. I wrote that one about a guy that I liked, and I had this image of us floating on a dance floor in space and candies falling on top of us from above.
Will you be making/releasing an album anytime soon?
CC: Hell yes! New stuff is coming up. A full length LP as well as an EP,
Other than music what are some other things you’re passionate about?
CC: I love creative writing. I love talking about the things that I see and how they make me feel. The world is such an amazing place to me!
What’s next for you?
Finishing high school, then I want to go to New York and keep making music. I want to develop as a person and as a musician, I want to explore, meet interesting people, and just grow up to be a cool person.