When one thinks of the Metal genre of music it is a rare thing that one thinks of Nashville.
The two are almost opposite in nature and yet if one is of the mind and looks hard enough one can find bands of that persuasion here who are actually talented enough to rate a good listen.
One of these acts is without a doubt the indelible Cheryl Hill who brings an edge to the stage that is guaranteed to rock any venue and leave the crowd wanting more.
“This is definitely my rockin’-est work yet,” exclaimed Hill about her new five song EP “Change” that she is giving-yes, giving away in order to promote her work. Having already released two previous bodies of work and having played much of her newest material at last year’s Pride Festival in Centennial Park to an overwhelmingly positive response, Hill has decided to take her music in a whole new direction wanting to reign as the Queen of a genre ruled by her heroes Queensryche, Ozzy and Metallica.
“It was great,” explained the openly lesbian performer about her experience at Pride. “I really got to showcase a side of me onstage that I previously had been reluctant to show. I played a lot of the newer stuff including the material on my newest album and I had tons of people coming up to me afterwards to tell me what a great sound they thought it was for me.”
Hill is definitely no stranger to the world of music. After spending just a few minutes with her it is clear that she has had he fair share of charlatans and snakes in the grass that seem to populate Music City. But those bad experiences seem only to have hardened her resolve to do the music that she wants to do. Once plagued by the seeming scarlet lettered phrase “Eighties Metal”, Hill has decided to say “F*** off” to what she calls “The Man” and do what she does best. And what Cheryl Hill does best is rock!
“I don’t care any more if they label me Eighties Metal. The Eighties are already making a comeback anyway. I’m either ahead of my time or behind my time. Take your pick.” Whatever label she is slapped with by the press at large and record label know-it-alls, Hill makes it very clear that she’s there to make number one happy first. After she’s happy with her work then she will worry about what others think.
“You can’t please everybody,” Hill quips, “So just please yourself and hopefully everybody will respect that for what it is.”
Change marks the first time that Hill has collaborated with a producer having completely self-produced her first two ventures. Hill points to this collaboration with four-time Grammy nominated team Johnny Pierce (who has also produced local favorite Jen Foster) and Jim Emrich of Cedarhouse Productions as a major influence on her writing and her performances. Hill also moved away from using any acoustic guitar in her writing process which often was heavily in evidence in her earlier work.
“I hated the acoustic guitar but I was so determined to get away from the Eighties Metal label that I used it anyway as a kind of rebellion against that sound. The only problem was I ended up on stage playing wuss music and I hate wuss music! I just wanna rock, man!”
When asked what direction she sees her music headed in the outspoken Hill says that wants to aim even heavier in her music in order to become more like Agro-Metal bands like Nickleback. “I just want to do my music. I don’t want to be a cliché or follow a fad. No turntables. No synthesizers. Just me and the guitar and lots of distortion,” explained Hill.