Max Timander says he's not yet sick of articles focusing on how young he is, so let's start there. Only a year after his high school band, Stereo Confession, cracked our 2014 Picked to Click list, the barely legal singer and guitarist brought Cherry Cola, his solo moniker, out of the shadows. It's not every day you see a teenager with that kind of drive and passion for anything besides getting high.
The 18-year-old Timander, fresh out of high school and still living with his parents, is ruthless in his pursuit to make music his life. When he spoke with City Pages last week, he was still shaking and giddy with adrenalin and three Red Bulls after playing two shows in the same night. And he has no interest in stopping there. "I definitely want to be touring the world," Timander says. "That's been the dream since day one, since I picked up a guitar, and that's the dream now."
Cherry Cola is filled out by Stephanie Murck (guitar), Blythe Colvin (bass), and drummer Danielle Cusack of Bruise Violet. Reminiscent of the Ramones, later Pixies, and early Weezer ("[Cherry Cola is] the end result of listening to Pinkerton 24/7 throughout high school," Max jokes), the band carries the punk ethos and teenage energy that sparked so much interest in Timander's former project. But this new group is pushing past the boundaries of fast tempos and don't-give-a-shit rock. Timander is intent on not limiting the stylistic scope of Cherry Cola. "I feel like my songwriting has matured a lot," he says. "I'm being more honest in my songwriting, whereas Stereo Confession was more, 'the beach, the sun, school, fuck this, fuck that.' I'm being more open."
As Cherry Cola prepares to record an EP with Jordan Bleau of Frankie Teardrop for No Problem Records, the group's fledgling maturity is integral to the band's identity and sound. "I think mature music is when someone finds what works best for them," Timander says. "It doesn't necessarily mean that you're writing about the most mature things. Maturity is being able to write your actual feelings down onto a piece of paper." Out of the mouths of babes. [City Pages Picked To Click 2015]