Jenny Valentish’s Cherry Bomb in Noisey
An excerpt from the Noisey interview with Jenny Valentish.
Jenny Valentish knows how to deal with the petulant, insecure, vain and munted. As a long time music journalist and editor including time at Triple J magazine and now Time Out, she has come across her share of precocious young bands.
So it is with a fair measure of expertise that Valentish paints Nina Dall, the protagonist of her debut novel Cherry Bomb, an adults-only teenage psychodrama set in the music industry. As one half of Sydney pop-punk band The Dolls, Nina is on a rocky rise in a world of fame, booze, fans, Gawker and TMZ.
We caught up with Jenny to find out more about Nina and Cherry Bomb…
Noisey: It’s fun with books like Cherry Bomb to guess who the characters are based on. Maybe the title is a cheeky giveaway, but can you reveal more of who has inspired your creation of the Dolls?
Jenny Valentish: You’re right in thinking of the Runaways (everybody should read Evelyn McDonnell’s hyperbolic Queens of Noise bio), but also, even though the book is set in the current day, I drew heavily on my teens in the ’90s. It was a boom time for grotty women with guitars: Babes in Toyland, L7, Hole, Belly, Voice of the Beehive, Transvision Vamp, Lush, Elastica. I put those kinds of bands on a slicker career trajectory with 360 deals and social media meltdowns.
How have you portrayed journalists and the press in the book?
The Dolls hold music journalists in very low regard, whether they be the gonzo hacks trying to carve a reputation for themselves; the parasitic old perves ogling behind their pint glasses, then going home to bash out hatefuck reviews; or the intellectual feminists who are disappointed that these teenage girls aren’t stepping up to bat.