April Interview: No Small Children!

April 5, 2017

 

No Small Children

LP- Lisa P
NB- Nicola Berlinsky
JP- Joanie Pimentel

1. Worst injury any of you suffered onstage?
NB: Loading gear into a show on the first night of a run of 10 shows in a row, Lisa closed the trunk on her hand. She played through the pain that night, but by the next day it was clear she broke a finger. She had to quickly figure out how to pull off all the guitar parts with one of her fingers in a huge bandage. 
 

2. Most important lesson you’ve learned from being in the music industry?
LP-Because of touring, we get to meet all kinds of people all over the USA. What I realize is all though a few people really suck, MOST people are AWESOME and want to be awesome. Sometimes it is hard to tell that when I am home for a while, because every TV show and News program I watch has a bunch of “bad guys” in it.  It seems like there are “bad guys” everywhere!!!!!…but mostly, there are not. Mostly, there are good guys (and ladies).

The other take-away for me is that no one knows my music better than me. I believe that being open-minded and brutally honest is the only way to create true magic. At same time, you have to know who you are and be able to be strong enough to stand up for it.

 

3. Is there a code of ethics/conduct amongst professional musicians who are on the same bill…and even in the same band? Maybe things like always acknowledging the band that played before you and the ones who come later on the bill, making sure to introduce each member of your own band, not touching/moving other bands’ gear, etc.?
JP: I wouldn't call it a code of ethics but there is a certain unspoken etiquette that we try to follow both within the band and also in general as musicians. Within our group, we try our best to always have a balanced representation where media and press are concerned. As far as being in a club, there are certain courtesies we try to afford other musicians such as not moving another band's gear unless they need help, sticking around to catch the other sets where possible, and acknowledging them. We also try to make a point to recognize the sound person for the night. They're often overlooked and working their tail off.

 

4. Are you ever surprised when the track on your album that you assumed would be your fans’ favorite turns out not to be (or vice versa) or have you gotten to the point of no longer trying to second guess what the public’s taste will be?
JP: We try hard not to make any assumptions about this type of thing. We put as much music out there as possible and let everyone choose the songs for themselves.

 

5. Strangest gift from a fan:
NB: One local fan always brings each of us a bag of apples each time he comes to our shows (being that we're teachers.) And then there was that time a male member in audience threw us the undies he was wearing...

 

6. Thoughts on technical prowess vs stage presence:
LP-I think it is fair to say that there are no “technical prowess’ types in NSC when it comes to fancy musical gear. We are not very good at impressive techie-type conversations with “gearheads” haha.  However, I will also say that we really want to learn more about tech stuff because we want to take our music to the highest level we possibly can. If that means being more technical, than shit, lets give it try.

When we brutally talk about stage presence together, we talk about trying to be our most natural self and not worrying about how we look. If it doesn’t feel natural and authentic to us, it’s going to seem stupid to the audience. All my favorite performers just throw themselves to the audience unapologetically. Some don’t move much at all and I fall in love with them and some are insane. They are not “trying” to be anything. In my opinion, as long as you are worried about how you look, it will never work.

 

7. Can a performer possess such an amazing amount of one that it makes up for the lack of the other?
JP: I think this is true in almost every profession. Very few people are great at every aspect of being a performer so playing to your strengths makes sense. However, the one thing there is no substitute for is hard work, regardless of where your strengths lay.

 

8. Do you think stage presence is a gift someone either has or doesn’t?
JP: I think stage presence is something you can, and usually do, learn with time and experience. It's good measure of a performer's confidence (or ability to fake it) and that confidence can only come after you've had both successes and failures in front of an audience. If you see us doing something right on stage it's usually because we did it wrong at least once.

 

9. Is the music industry what you thought it would be when you were still a young band looking in from the outside?
LP-I don’t think we had many thoughts about the music industry when we started NSC. We just wanted to play, and then we wanted to gig, and then record, and then tour etc. It has been a chase ever since. We feel like WE ARE the music industry. Now we need a manager.

When we were younger, you needed a record deal to do most of what we are doing now. It was awesome if you got one, but just a handful of people were lucky enough. And even if you did, you had to get lucky with the way the label handled your band. Back then, a few people made a ton of money.
 Now a lot of people are making a little money. Even though it is a lot more work, I like the new way more because NSC lives and dies with LisaP, Nicola and Joanie, instead of some person sitting in an office that totally doesn't get us.

Oh, also it would be great if people started paying for music since it takes so much work (and money) to make it.

 

10. Is what the band wears a consideration that you discuss as a group (and if so, does one of you have the final say on whether something is inappropriate, do you have a stylist, or do you all just put on whatever you’re feeling for each gig?
JP: We always wear matching dresses to every show....it's kind of our thing. Although we vote on most band decisions, we have a general rule that we only buy dresses that all 3 of us like. We have agreed enough times to have a closet full of them! The dresses are bold and flirty, and having all 3 of us show up to a venue wearing the same thing sparks interest with the crowd before we even play the first note. Not having to decide what to wear makes getting ready for gigs much simpler.

 

11. What's your mode of transportation for touring?
NB: From the west coast to the Midwest, we tour in my Ford Transit. It holds everything, gets decent mileage, and is easy to maintain.  
 

12. Do you ever wear any of your band's own merch?
NB: Guilty. We wear most of it except the shirts with our own faces on it. That would be weird. 

13. Do you currently have any endorsements? Which endorsements are you looking to get?
LP-Currently, we are endorsed by; Pinup Girl Boutique, DAddario Strings and Vater sticks. If you’re reading this, we would love to talk with you about endorsements or branding. We will let you know if we can’t do it.

 

14. If you play a show and...
NB: One of our band mottos that helps us keep perspective is: A show is never as bad or as good as you good as you think it is. But if things do go wrong during a show, with gear, communication, or musicianship, we address it as soon as possible. What needs to be fixed with the gear? What kept us from hearing, seeing, or tuning into each other? What physically or mentally impacted our playing? There is always something to adjust after every show if we want to keep growing. Once we figure out what it is and address the issue, we move on. 

 

15. Ever have to use the dreaded Port-a-Potties during festivals?
NB: Omg yes!!! We wore huge, gold, floor length ball gowns two years ago at the Tweed Festival. The stage was in the middle of a scenic, Vermont field filled with 3-day, music loving tent campers...not a building in sight. I don't think we wore those dresses again

 

16. One person you would really like to see you perform?
LP-Joan Jett -because she is the most badass of all the badasses and maybe she would like us and let us open for her. When I go to Supercuts to get my haircut I say “can you cut my hair like Joan Jett” and she knows exactly what I want. That’s why I keep going back to her. Shit, maybe I should be endorsed by Supercuts.

 

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