(PCM) Pop alternative producer and songwriter Cherry Cherry Boom Boom (Martin Kierszenbaum) has recently released the official video for his first solo track and single, “Come Back From San Francisco,” The song is a cover off Magnetic Fields’ acclaimed 1999 album, 69 Love Songs, and is one of Martin’s favorites.
Martin, who is the head of Cherrytree Records, pioneering pop alternative label distributed through Interscope, has co-written and produced for the likes of Far East Movement, Lady Gaga, Robyn, and Natalia Kills. He is also the co-writer of T.A.T.U.’s #1 UK hit, “All The Things She Said.”
PCM’s Kristyn Clarke caught up with Cherry Cherry Boom Boom to ask a few questions about his recently released single and video, lessons learned in the business, and what he has in store for the future!
Q: You have recently released your single and video for “Come Back From San Francisco.” What led to your decision to choose that particular Magnetic Fields track to cover?
Martin “Cherry Cherry Boom Boom” Kierszenbaum: I think that Stephin Merritt is one of the best songwriters around. I’ve loved Magnetic Fields’ album “69 Love Songs” since it came out. “Come Back from San Francisco” epitomizes Merritt’s wit and melancholy. “You need me like the wind needs the trees – like the moon needs poetry, you need me” are among the best lyrics ever.
Q: How happy are you with the feedback that the single has been receiving thus far?
MK: I’m totally stoked about the feedback to my recording of “Come Back from San Francisco.” What started as a fun impulse to sing on Friday night in the studio has turned into a top 30 song on the Billboard Club/Dance Chart and the emails, tweets and posts of interest and encouragement have been super. I’m grateful to the amazing DJ’s that contributed great remixes and banged the song in their sets both in the club and on-air.
Q: Do you have plans to release a full length album? Can we look forward to any more cover tracks in the near future?
MK: I’ve just put out the follow-up to “Come Back from San Francisco” – a song called “One and Only” that I wrote (out Oct. 9th on iTunes, Amazon and Beatport). I’ve been writing and producing for other people for a long time now so the hardest thing was to write that song and then keep it for myself! But, the reaction to “Come Back from San Francisco” gave me the confidence to do just that and “One and Only” has already gone to no. 1 on the hypemachine.com/twitter chart so that’s very exciting and encouraging.
Q: You have done a fantastic job of taking a song like “Come Back From San Francisco” and making it your own, while still keeping the original song very much intact. What was the recording/creative process like for putting the song together?
MK: Thank you. The recording process was very spontaneous and impulsive. I just arranged and produced a song that I love in the Cherry Cherry Boom Boom style which I guess I’d describe as “electro-bittersweet.” A lot of my songs have that quality whether it be Gaga’s “Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say),” “White Flag” by Far East Movement, “Happy Birthday” by Flipsyde or “Not in Love” by Natalia Kills. I related to the longing in the lyric of “Come Back from San Francisco” and the inevitable break-up ending to which the narrator is ultimately resigned.
Q: You have worked with some of the hottest artists gracing the musical landscape these days, is there anyone you would like to work with that you haven’t had a chance to yet?
MK: When I get asked this question, I usually say Abba because I think they’re music is magical and extraordinary but, actually, I’d be very happy to just sit and take notes while they worked.
Q: Is it ever difficult to switch hats between working on your own personal material and that for other artists? What type of influence does each reflect on the other?
MK: When I produce music for an artist, I try to tap in to the artist’s vision and aesthetic and create a soundscape for those. It’s really fun: to strive to make something unique and representative of the artist’s personality and esprit. I hadn’t made music for my own voice in a while although I did get my start like that originally and I’ve sung backing vocals in a lot of my productions. In creating music for my voice, I try to do the same thing and tap into an emotion and authentically represent it in the song and recording. In that respect, the processes are very similar. The difference is the vantage point.
Q: Do you have a pivotal music moment that stands out for you? One that made you decide that you wanted to pursue music for a career?
MK: I was very lucky in that my parents encouraged me to play piano and paid for my lessons. That immediately became a blessing since playing would make me feel good when I was sad and happier when I was happy. When I started learning about music theory and composition so that I could begin to create new music, my joy went into turbo. I was also very lucky to identify that passion early and dedicate most of my hours to it growing up and beyond.
Q: What has been one of the most important lessons you have learned throughout the course of your career?
MK: I’m fortunate to have had an opportunity to learn from very wise people starting with my dad who taught me that perseverance, integrity and hard work are essential. And, from generous folks like Sting, Trevor Horn and Richard Carpenter, among others, I continued to see first hand that dedication to one’s craft, pride in one’s work, loyalty and class are paramount.
Q: Are there any additional projects you have in the works for yourself or for other Cherrytree artists?
MK: Absolutely! At Cherrytree, we just signed two amazing artists: Willy Moon and Jessie Ware. You’ll be hearing lots more about them soon. Also, I’m really proud of the work we’ve done developing the careers of maverick artists such as Feist, Robyn, Ellie Goulding, Far East Movement, La Roux, Lady Gaga and LMFAO, just to name a few. Our 24/7 “Pop Alternative” radio station, CherrytreeRadio.com, is doing great with artist and staff-hosted shows and exclusive features and we’ve just launched Cherrytreedom.com, a source for fresh, Cherrytree-related gear. In the studio, I’ve just finished Cherry Cherry Boom Boom remixes for Krewella’s “Alive” and Imagine Dragons’ “It’s Time” and I’m producing some crazy tracks with the very talented Colette Carr. Far East Movement has also just shot a video for their song “Little Bird” that I produced which contains a sample from Feist’s beautiful song “Caught a Long Wind.” I’ll also be putting out a lyric video for “One and Only” soon which I made with multi-talented engineer/producer/video director Tony Ugval.
Q: Personally, I look at music as a universal language that we can all speak and understand. Is there anything in particular that you hope your music speaks to listeners?
MK: I agree with you. I’m very happy when I can communicate a feeling through my music. It’s awesome when that emotion can resonate with other people. Music is a wonderful joy and I’m lucky to be able to work in it every day.
Stay tuned for more to come from Martin “Cherry Cherry Boom Boom” Kierszenbaum, and visit his official site at cherrycherryboomboom.com. “Come Back from San Francisco” plus exclusive remixes are available now on iTunes via Royal Pop Records.
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