By Grant Sharples
When Mia Berrin moved to Original York to search for acting, she snappy realized it was a mistake. It wasn’t compatible with who Berrin is as a person, and she didn’t esteem the way she was treated. So she began playing in a punk band, skipping classes, and “figuring shit out,” as she tells MTV Information. She released an EP called Hate It Here in 2017, however the initial lineup of her community, Pom Pom Squad, eventually dissolved. She grew to changed into to solo reveals, performing with excellent a guitar until she eventually met her fresh bandmates: guitarist Alex Mercuri, bassist Mari Alé Figeman, and drummer Shelby Keller. The team was status. The shit was learned.
“It all felt a little magical,” Berrin tells MTV Information. “The day that I met them, I had been thru this breakup, and I had misplaced my band not too long ahead of. Abruptly, these two folks [Figeman and Keller] were dropped in my lap. Alex also happened to arrive back to the same indicate where I met them.” She has a buddy who calls days esteem these, where every part meshes so without hassle, “magnet days.” “It was a magnet day!” Berrin says.
On June 25, three years after the lineup was pulled collectively as if by some invisible force, Pom Pom Squad released their debut album, Death of a Cheerleader. The memoir, co-produced with Sarah Tudzin of Illuminati Hotties, explores sunny indie rock, energy ballads in 6/8 time, a Doris Day mask, and thrashing punk. But those descriptors merely scratch the surface of Berrin’s latest effort, a swirling collection of songs that merges apparently disparate motifs into a composite package. For that approach, she’s came across inspiration in some of pop’s boldest auteurs.
“I deem some of the artists that fascinate me the most legal now are artists who are the vogue, almost, esteem Billie Eilish or Rina Sawayama,” she explains. “They can streak anywhere in their song, however as long as they maintain a central heart, theme, or image, it mute feels esteem their mission.” Berrin spoke to MTV Information about unifying her creative approaches, the album’s hanging and campy visuals, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and more.
MTV Information: The album traverses so many genres in a seamless way. How did you streak about meshing so many ideas into this unified vision?
Mia Berrin: I assumed of it as a movie soundtrack, esteem what diversified parts of the narrative arc need. As I was writing, I was placing the songs in diversified slots and scenes. The song “Crying” is the correct example, where basically I knew that, to me, the two pulls of the memoir were going to be more grunge-punk-indie rock-focused, and the opposite pull of the memoir was going to be lush, Motown, cinematic stuff. “Crying” was the last song that came collectively on the memoir. I knew that what was missing was a 2nd where both really meshed in one song. It was really hard to desire out that balance, and it almost never made it to the studio. But when it did arrive collectively, and when it did eventually earn to the place that it is miles now, it felt esteem a very most attention-grabbing bridge in a way. It took a lot of finessing and thoughtful placement and sequencing.
MTV Information: You said that you were almost letting the images arrive first and the song would apply. Is that the job in the back of Death of a Cheerleader’s songwriting? Were you writing lyrics to certain ideas and visuals that you already had in ideas?
Berrin: I grew up journaling a lot, so I’ve gotten beautiful excellent at clocking when a understanding of mine may be a lyric. But in this job, there were a couple songs that had been written or existed ahead of. “Head Cheerleader” was one of them. I deem that, as I was exploring that imagery, and also thinking about rising up and not being a teenager anymore, the cheerleader image develops in that sense of my existence. This idea of the death of a cheerleader came to me.
This image of being under this crazy, campy, amorphous constructing excellent felt esteem a really great metaphor for where I was in my existence, which was buried under this idea of femininity or this model of myself that I felt esteem I had to select to be socially acceptable to folks. Around the time I wrote “Head Cheerleader,” I had really fallen in adore with any person. It was a game-changer in phrases of how I understood myself as a unfamiliar person. It all came from that emotional place, and then heightening it around this image of seeing how far I may push that was really fun.
MTV Information: One thing that stands proud about this album are the visuals, from the Veteran Hollywood-esque video for “Crying” to the marching-band-impressed aesthetics in the video for “Head Cheerleader.” What are some of the ideas you’re exploring in the iconography?
Berrin: Ever since I started Pom Pom Squad, the aesthetic of it to me has been almost equally as important as the song, if not equally important. I really esteem when an artist can create an abilities or a feeling around the memoir. Fancy if any person associates you with a feeling, that’s a beautiful spacious factor. I really esteem when song can achieve you in a really particular headspace and bring you back to a particular 2nd. I deem curating the arena around this memoir has told it in so many ways. This memoir actually did start with images ahead of it started with song, oddly. I was exploring being quarantined. I had a positive desire to dissociate from my reality of being in my apartment and being in a confined space. I spent a lot of time in quarantine watching [RuPaul’s] Drag Race. It felt esteem every part I wanted to be and make in my artistic existence: fun, campy, engaging, typically really serious, and emotional.
MTV Information: You have these really used songs — Tommy James and the Shondells’s 1968 psych-pop hit “Crimson and Clover” and “This Couldn’t Happen,” a model of Doris Day’s “Again” from 1949 — on the album, however they don’t really feel out of place. How did you streak about repurposing them for Death of a Cheerleader?
Berrin: What I really esteem most about those songs is that they transcend their time in that they are so saccharine. “Crimson and Clover” specifically is such an unintentionally creepy song. That’s what I liked about them. There’s so remarkable cinematic potential in that vogue and in that era. A lot of times when I hear older songs repurposed in a similar way, it’s in hip-hop. I grew up on hip-hop; I was always really fascinated by sampling. I really esteem the feeling of colorful a particular song, and then, on the opposite hand many years later to your existence, you hear that and where the sample originated. It’s esteem musical worlds colliding.