Behind the band: Get to know Cherry Knot

A feature on the all-female band made of former and current San Diego State students
From energetic, crowd-filled shows to recording live at Monarch St. Records, the all-female band Cherry Knot offers a refreshing voice to rock music. 

Photo by Petrina Tran
From energetic, crowd-filled shows to recording live at Monarch St. Records, the all-female band Cherry Knot offers a refreshing voice to rock music. Photo by Petrina Tran
Petrina Tran

From energetic, crowd-filled shows to recording live at Monarch St. Records, the all-female band Cherry Knot offers a refreshing voice to rock music.

Cherry Knot’s sound is an alternative take on the rock genre that leans toward the softer side, in which the group describes it as surf rock. 

“We all have different tastes in music,” said Kinsey Claudino, who is a member of the band. “It is somewhat of a fusion of different kinds of indie rock.”

Cherry Knot is composed of former and current San Diego State students, with Brooke Diebold as the lead vocalist, Abby Donaldson as lead guitarist, Kinsey Claudino on back vocals and bass, Katie Thomas on rhythm guitar and Jade Lewenhaupt as the drummer.

Cherry Knot began when three of the members, Donaldson, Claudino and Diebold, started jamming together. After that, the band expanded its group to five members with Lewenhaupt  and Thomas added into the mix.

Cherry Knot is composed of former and current San Diego State students, with Brooke Diebold as the lead vocalist, Abby Donaldson as lead guitarist, Kinsey Claudino on back vocals and bass, Katie Thomas on rhythm guitar and Jade Lewenhaupt as the drummer. Photo by Petrina Tran

The band first started practicing together in the fall of 2022. Each member took on their role headfirst and with only a little familiarity with the instruments. Thomas, Donaldson, Claudino and Lewenhaupt all have a musical background in classical music. 

“None of us really were playing instruments that were our primary instruments,” Lewenhaupt said. “Everybody was really supportive and (are) excited to get good.”

When writing songs or creating their sound, Cherry Knot draws inspiration from bands such as Peach Pit or The Beths. 

When writing their own music, each band member has a different process. For Jade, it is playing with music theory and messing around with chord progressions and for Kinsey, it is drawing inspiration from the lyrics of bands that she loves. 

“A song will stick out to me and I’ll ask myself what about it makes it great? What can I incorporate into my songwriting skills to have that stand out?” Thomas said. 

The band works together to build off each other’s ideas and incorporate each other’s voices into the songs they write.

Cherry Knot’s debut show was at the Newman Center back in 2022. Since then, the band has grown together. 

“I think our banter and interaction as a group has gotten a lot more comfortable,” Diebold said when comparing Cherry Knot’s latest show to their first. “I’m just really proud of our progress as a group.”

Donaldson spoke about performing for the first time with the group, expressing that playing at the show gave her one of the best feelings of her entire life. 

From energetic, crowd-filled shows to recording live at Monarch St. Records, the all-female band Cherry Knot offers a refreshing voice to rock music. Photo by Petrina Tran

“It felt like this is what I am meant to do,” Donaldson said. 

The band unanimously agrees that the release show has been their favorite moment of Cherry Knot’s journey so far. 

In the future, Cherry Knot hopes to release a few more singles and eventually an EP. Until then, the band will continue to rock out together and put on more shows. 

To stay updated on Cherry Knot’s upcoming shows and releases, check out their Instagram page.

About the Contributor
Petrina Tran, Photographer
Petrina Tran is a fourth-year transfer from Grossmont College. She was born in San Jose, CA, but grew up in Dubai, UAE for 12 years before returning to the United States for university. Majoring in Journalism with a minor in Linguistics, Petrina has a passion for storytelling through photography, connecting with people, and being in the community. She currently serves as Social Media Outreach officer for the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and photographs for the Daily Aztec. This year, she hopes to expand into writing as well. Outside of the Daily Aztec, Petrina enjoys flying, music, reading, and experiencing different languages and cultures. She is excited to learn, grow, and be challenged while serving both the school and the greater San Diego community.