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INTERVIEW: No Small Children

Hi ladies, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’re awesome! Thanks!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Big Steps”?

Lisa Pimentel: Fifteen years ago, I was playing drums in my female punk band, HEIDI. This band was my first real attempt at writing songs in this band that I started with my bestie, Jilly Blackstone. Jilly wrote the original Big Steps! She was an incredible singer, writer, front woman and friend. She passed away a few years ago. I miss her every day and I am so thrilled that she lives in our music.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Lisa Pimentel: I’m not sure what Jilly was thinking when she wrote those opening lyrics, but I do know what they mean to us. The song is about kicking ass and about powering through doubt and fear.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Lisa Pimentel: We did make a video for Big Steps…it is about aliens and universal peace. LOL. We made it with our friends and it was wicked fun.

BTW, if you see the video you might think we have a new bass player but we don’t…Joanie lost 120 pounds since then…watch our “Welcome To the World” workout video to find out how.

The single comes off your new album Hold Tight, I’m Flying – what’s the story behind the title?

Lisa Pimentel: “Hold Tight I’m Flying” is the title track on the album. When I write lyrics, sometimes I’m not really sure what I am writing about while it’s happening. Then when I read them later, it’s like they are telling me how I actually feel about stuff. “Hold Tight” is definitely one of those songs. When we perform it, we feel like we have one foot in the room and the other taking some kind of leap, taking it somewhere free. We are scared, excited and grounded.

How did the band’s relationship with Bob Marlette develop?

Lisa Pimentel: Back in the HEIDI days, the band got signed to Warner Brothers out of Boston. HEIDI was on the lookout for a badass producer, which turned out to be Bob Marlette. Romance sparked over the course of making the record. Long story short, we have been together ever since. So yeah, we are kind of that cliché story. If you ask Bob, he will say, “Yeah, the hot chick drummer…duh?” So, that is how our “relationship developed.”

How was the recording and writing process?

Lisa Pimentel: We write and record our music in a few different ways, but mostly we come to rehearsal with ideas or full songs and rehearse and work them until they sound “right”. Some songs come together very easily and some take a bit more work.

The recording process is really fun since it’s usually just the three of us in the room and we can take our time. We are so lucky and we know it.

What was it like to work with Bob Marlette?

Lisa Pimentel: Everyone that works with Bob has a life changing experience. He is an incredible producer and cares about his work. He also cares deeply about people. He is a generous soul and he really believes in No Small Children.

Since Bob is my husband, our working relationship is a little different than other bands he works with.

How much did he get to influence the album?

Lisa Pimentel: Up to this point I have produced and engineered our music with Bob at our back. He chimes in when we ask him questions but really he let’s us do our thing (with a little pillow-talk on the side), until it is time to mix and master. We have asked Bob to produce our new upcoming song, which we will be releasing over the next month or two. This will be a new experience for us and we are super excited!

What led you to do a cover of the Ghostbusters’ theme song?

Nicola Berlinsky: Every year we play Halloween shows. This past Halloween we decided to dress up as Ghostbusters for a Halloween gig because we loved the movie as kids and knew we could buy painting jumpsuits for $8. Although not a cover band, we learned the Ray Parker Jr. theme song to play and sure enough, the entire venue sang along. After the show, patrons encouraged us to record our version.

How did it end up on the film?

After our Halloween show performance it was then a week later that we went into the recording studio and had our version finished in about two weeks. Happy with the outcome, we passed it along to the composer on the movie, Ted Shapiro, whose children we happen to teach. We emphasized to him that we appreciate honesty. If he didn’t like it or felt our cover may not be right for the film, then no worries. He wrote back that he honestly did like it, and he would pass it along. But he did let us know at that time that thousands of entries had already been submitted to the music supervisor, Erica Weis. Six months later, in the movie’s final week of post, we received a call that Erica and the director, Paul Feig, had come across our cover and created a space for it in the film even though all the music had already been finalized.

How do you feel about the reception?

We are so grateful for all of the encouragement we’ve received from Erica Weis and Paul Feig, as well as fans of the Ghostbusters’ movies that have reached out to us. This has lead to other opportunities where people are asking to place our original music in TV and film, as well as seek us out for future projects. It’s all been really fantastic.

How are you preparing for this 2016 tour?

Joanie Pimentel: We actually love being on tour and at this point we all just assume that we’re going to be doing it when we have school vacations. In typical teacher fashion, our preparation starts many months in advance and requires the effort of all 3 of us. After we figure out where we want to go, we start looking for our ‘anchor’ shows and build the rest of the tour around that. Then comes the crafting and practicing our sets, vehicle rental, flights, and promotion of the shows. There’s actually a lot of work that goes in to having a successful tour that has nothing at all to do with performing. One thing we’ve learned is that even when you have a thorough plan, things can and almost always do change. Being adaptable has served us very well on tour.

What are you looking forward to the most?

Joanie Pimentel: Everything…. all of it!

What can fans expect?

Joanie Pimentel: We’re a rock band so our goal is to melt as many faces as possible. We’re really serious about having fun. Fans can expect us to do our very best to make them smile big, dance with abandon, and in general have a great musical experience. We try not to take ourselves too seriously. We play loud, guitar-heavy music with relatable lyrics that aim to make people feel included in the show.

What else is happening next in No Small Children’s world?

Joanie Pimentel: We’ve just begun recording a new single that we’re super excited about and plan to have it completed after we return from our tour. We also have a big homecoming show at The Hi Hat in Los Angeles on August 25, 2016. At that point, we’ll be ‘road ready’ and thrilled to be playing to our local crowd. As previously mentioned, we’re in talks with music supervisors to have our material placed in television and in film. It seems a lot of what happens for us, happens very quickly but in truth, it is the result of a lot of hard work – work that we love!

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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