A bad-ass, all-girl band has us all excited!

You loved The Runaways, you loved Hunter Valentine. Now, there’s a new band to fill the void!

The band in question is called Nasty Cherry: lead singer Gabbriette Bechtel, Chloe Chaidez (lead guitar), Georgia Somary (bass), and Debbie Knox-Hewson (drummer). They’re good. They’re nice. Okay, so they won’t like that, so let’s pretend they’re “nasty”…

Seriously, though. Netflix has just debuted a 6-episode reality series titled I’m With The Band: Nasty Cherry, and it’s good. It’s tender, in-your-face fun with a quadrille of girls who are all pinning their hopes of success to this somewhat awkward invention from a female pop impresario, Charli XCX.

This series is the behind-the-scenes making of the band Nasty Cherry — from when they were formed to creating their first single. Not only is the formation of the band itself a risk; the show is Charli XCX’s debut as an executive producer and she’s the mastermind behind the band and the series, hand-picking the members for what she hopes is a real and yet bad-ass, authentic music industry enterprise.

This is the first band she has signed to her label, and she believes in them. A couple of the band members she counts as colleagues and as friends. And one of the four women is her gay session drummer, Debbie Knox-Hewson.

When you watch the show, which is all kinds of crazy, you’ll see that Debs is often the calm and collected one, the voice of sanity, the kind adult, and a kick-ass drummer, too.

“Drummers: we always say—all of my friends are drummers and we all say—If we all could be in a band together the world would be a simpler place,” says Debbie Knox-Hewson.

Writing music is “an intimate, vulnerable thing to be doing in front of people” says Debbie. She, along with lead guitarist Chloe, is really the only musician in the band. Which is not to say the others aren’t good.

They are. But that confidence, that stewardship, comes from Debbie and Chloe. Oh, and there is a bit of friction, too. Living in a house together. Deciding who really is top dog. I mean, Gabs is lead singer but Chloe has allll the experience.

And yet, Debs can tie a cherry stem with her tongue… These are the dynamics and more. Lucky for us, this gay girl does us proud: She has the rhythm of this whole operation at heart, and she realy proves, in times of trouble, to be its backbone.

“From a very young age I started drumming and I grew up in a family of music lovers,” Debbie reveals. “It was actually the perfect environment for me because I never had any pressure on me, it was always something that I was tinkering away with by myself.

I always knew the most about it, it was never a parent saying, ‘You should really practice.’ It was my own little adventure. When I got to 17, 18, I thought I should take it seriously.”

Debbie was studying drumming when she auditioned for Nasty Cherry and got it. Now, she’s part of a wild “start-up” culture and she’s totally up for it. After all, she’s been a female drummer in the industry which invariably prefers men. Nevertheless, she has a philosophical approach.

“On one hand it’s something that’s highlighted and noticed and you’re being discriminated for it. But on the other hand there’s so few female drummers, this is a real space that needs filling.

There’s so many auditions you get where they just want a female drummer. I think it’s an outlook thing: how you want to see it and anyhow you want to make it work to your advantage.

It’s something I always found empowering. I remember when I used to play with Charli XCX, young girls would come up after the show and say, ‘I really want to get a drum kit now, that was really inspiring.’ It was such a thrill.”

Debbie has taught drum camps and workshops for female drummers around the world. “The message I try and convey is, Just do it. If there’s not many bans in your community, make one. I think the show Nasty Cherry really it shares the same message, this idea that you should just give it a go and you don’t know what you might get from it.”

And she’s out, and proud, and gay, and has been for some time

“I guess it’s never really been something I don’t highlight about myself, it’s part of who I am and I  don’t consider it to be an addition, it’s just part of me, I’m very lucky with the band, and the friends and family I had growing up, it’s never really been a point of discussion it’s just always been who I am. We all talk on the show about being away from home and missing our partners and it sort of just sits in there with the other stories about the girls missing their boyfriends.”

“Even the expression ‘out’ hasn’t ever been something I related to because I haven’t been ‘in’.” But she is now ‘in’ the band Nasty Cherry and they are so good with that. As are we.

Watch on Apple TV