When you think of an all girls 80’s band who had the clubs jamming, the group Klymaxx comes to mind. With their many mega hits Klymaxx’s music has continued to transcend time. SayWhatNews caught up with Cheryl Cooley to discuss the music, the past and the new Klymaxx and their new flava:
SayWhatNews: Wow, I am so honored to get to speak to you Cheryl Cooley, who is one of the most talented female guitarist out there. Tell us who is Klymaxx.
Cheryl: Klymaxx: self-contained all female band with hits from the 80’s.
SayWhatNews: Please introduce us to the ladies (band) and tell us who plays what instrument.
CHERYL COOLEY guitar virtuoso, composer, arranger, producer, performer extraordinaire
DANIELLE - songwriter and vocalist
LEAH - veteran lead vocalist
LISA -plays piano and voice
AMY - plays drums
VICKI - keyboard player
SayWhatNews: First I would like to go back in time a bit and discuss how Klymaxx began. The original members: Bernadette Cooper, Lorena Porter, Joyce Irby, Lynn Malsby, Robin Grider and of course Cheryl Cooley. How was Klymaxx formed back in the early 80‘s?
Cheryl: Klymaxx was an 8 piece band in the beginning. We all each had our own story of how we met in the group. From walking in and taking musicians from other bands to putting an ad in a paper that sold used furniture.
SayWhatNews: How did you come up with the name Klymaxx?
Cheryl: It was meant to be a word that explained the music and group, a play on words and spelling.
SayWhatNews: In 1981 Klymaxx was signed to Solar Records. How were you discovered?
Cheryl: In 1980 I was working in a bank. My supervisor at the bank, Linda, was the niece of Peabo Bryson’s producer, Johnny Pate. She asked me to give her a demo tape of the band to take to Johnny, he then gave it to Margaret Nash who was an executive at Solar Records.
SayWhatNews: True networking at its best. By 1983 the group was then signed to Constellation Records. What was the reason for leaving Solar Records?
Cheryl: We never left Solar; Solar started another record company with a different distributor and call it Constellation Records.
SayWhatNews: Also in 1983 Klymaxx released its 3rd album “Meeting in the Ladies Room” which had the smash hits “Meeting in the Ladies Room”, “The Men All Pause” and the mega hit ballad of all times “I Miss You”. Tell us what was the inspiration/driving force of that album which helped Klymaxx shoot to stardom.
Cheryl: As MCA being the new distributor for Solar/Constellation Records, they thought it was a great idea of an all-female band, the staff at that time worked very hard to promote the band.
SayWhatNews: The single “I Miss You” landed on Billboards chart at #3 in 1986. How surreal was that moment for the band?
Cheryl: It was great! A dream come true.
SayWhatNews: By 1989 the band lost 3 of its original members. Can you tell us what happened? Klymaxx was one of the first bands with all females playing instruments- Why would members leave in the height of the bands career?
Cheryl: In 1987 Bernadette left the band to pursue a solo career. In 1988 Joyce developed a fear of flying and wasn’t traveling with us anymore. In 1989 Lynn left because she didn’t want to work with our manager at the time, Ron Sweeney, anymore.
SayWhatNews: Klymaxx made an attempt to re-emerge in 1990 but had little success with radio play but was a hit with the fans. When did you, Cheryl decide to create your own production of Klymaxx hits and start a new band under the name Klymaxx?
SayWhatNews: In 2004, the original band members were invited to reunite on the VH1 show Bands Reunited and fans learned of some of the issues with the original members. Did it bother you at all that the ladies had a problem with you starting your own Klymaxx?
Cheryl: I was approached by Ron Sweeney (our old manger) to call all the original members and ask them if they would be interested in reuniting to do some Old School concerts. When I asked them, I got answers like, ‘I’ve too old’, ‘I’ve got too many gray hairs’, ‘I don’t want to leave my family’, ‘my job’, and ‘it’s not going to work’. Convincing Lorena, Joyce and Lynn to come to auditions and see if we could work it out, they at first agreed to do it, then each one drop off for various reasons. I was always hoping they would change their minds and want to be a full time musician like I do. As far as Vh1 reporting on the situation, you must remember, there is no law that states the media must report the truth.
SayWhatNews: Bernadette Cooper has her own Klymaxx group with a couple of original members. How does it work legally? I came across her web site the other night andfound that she too with 2 other original members are doing shows as Klymaxxand she went to court to get the rights to the Klymaxx logo.
Cheryl: At this time all 6 of us have the legal right to the name. A final judgment has not been handed down by any court.
SayWhatNews: Cheryl, how hard or easy was it to find talented ladies who could bring back the essence of Klymaxx to appeal to Klymaxx fans but yet bring their own flava to make the group even better then before?
Cheryl: I always put my faith in God to bring the right people for the right position. The fans love the music. The ladies I perform with are about the music.
SayWhatNews: Can you tell us what each new member brings to the group?
Cheryl: Talent, dedication and humor.
SayWhatNews: The demand of Old School music has been motivating many of the favorite 70’s, 80’s and some 90’s bands to reunite and tour. Why do you think fans are wanting what I call real music?
Cheryl: I think there is an audience for all music. Commercial music has evolved in so many various dimensions. What you and I call real music may not be embraced by the younger generation. I really appreciate the fans that want to hear and love the music that I perform.
SayWhatNews: SWN loves all genre of music from the past and present, its just some of the current music has no essence/meaning. But anyway, will Klymaxx ever release a new album or will you ladies continue to tour and sing all the smash hits?
Cheryl: The future holds more than we can ever imagine. So we’ll have to wait and see!
SayWhatNews: What’s next in the future for the ladies of Klymaxx?
Cheryl: More music. More performances. More musical journeys.