Your Next Favorite Band: No Small Children

If you saw the recent Ghostbusters remake, then you may not realize you’re already familiar with your next favorite band, No Small Children, who performed the iconic theme song for the movie. The Los Angeles- based trio — Lisa Pimentel (guitar, vocals), Joanie Pimentel (bass, vocals), and Nicola Berlinsky (drums) — have an ear-catching sound that will have you singing along by the second chorus.

Founding members Lisa and Nicola were teaching at the same elementary school when they decided to form the band, and not long after bassist Joanie moved out to join. Now, all 3 continue to teach during the day and rehearse, record, and perform at night.

I got the chance to talk to them about maintaining 2 careers, touring, their advice to young writers, and more!

Germ Magazine: Let’s start with how you got into music and then came to form No Small Children.

Lisa: I can’t remember not being into music. Since I can remember, I have always tried to get my hands on any instrument I could and to try and play it. It started with discovering my father’s trumpet stored away in the attic when I was like six and then through countless musical endeavors and experiences. My, not so straight, road eventually brought me to a conversation with Nicola during recess duty one day (we all have recess duty at least once a week). Amidst the chaos and red balls just missing our heads, I said, “You know what, Nicola? We should start a band and call it No Small Children.” She said, “that sounds like an awesome idea.” So we did, and here we are. Haha.

 

GM: You’re elementary school teachers by day, rockstars by night. How does that happen?

Lisa: Teaching can be a very creative profession. Lesson planning, responding to the constant “curve balls” thrown our way, and orchestrating for the best experiences we can for our students is what keeps us coming back. It is super creative, exciting, rewarding, exhausting, and so much fun… and so is playing music. I don’t think of it as two different things… it’s the same thing… just one is working with eager children in the daytime and one is working with adults into the wee hours of the night.

 

GM: Is it difficult maintaining two simultaneous and time-consuming careers?

Nicola: Yes, and fortunately we work at the same elementary school, so lunch breaks become band meetings and band practices become opportunities to discuss best practices for reaching our students. We often say that we have parallel careers, but each truly helps the other. Being a teacher has helped us to become extremely organized musicians who make lists and plan six months to a year in advance while being a touring musician keeps us open to connecting with new people, taking risks, and problem-solving. Actually, now that I’m writing this, we could just as easily flip those life lessons from each career. Being a DIY band (recording, booking, touring, merchandising, promoting, etc.) and caring deeply about our students takes tremendous time, but we love the work.

 

GM: That’s incredible. What was it like to cover the classic Ghostbusters theme song for the remake?

Joanie: When we first recorded it, we had no idea that it would end up in the movie. The previous October, we had dressed up as the Ghostbusters for a Halloween show we did and decided to cover the song in our set. People LOVED it! Since the movie was coming out that summer, we thought we’d record it and put it on our YouTube channel. It turned out sounding great, so we figured, ‘Why not pass it along to the folks at the movie and see what happens?’ You can imagine our surprise when it actually ended up in the movie!

 

GM: Any crazy tour stories?

Lisa: When we played at midnight on the last day of a three-day festival in the middle of nowhere. We had gowns on for the show and had to use the porta potty in the dark just before we hit the stage. We haven’t worn those gowns since.

Joanie: Realizing when we arrived in the city that our accommodations were a 5-story walk up…with all our gear. One time we were staying with a friend on the East Coast, and their dog ate all of Nicola’s underwear.

Nicola: The time we pulled into our hotel after a gig and realized that our gear was neither safe in the car or at our hotel room, so we gave up our paid room and drove off into the rainy, dark night, finally pulling into the next hotel at 4 a.m. Worth it.

 

GM: Many of our readers are high school-aged aspiring writers. What advice would you give them?

Joanie: We would not presume to give advice to anyone, but if asked, we’d remind them that there’s no substitute for hard work and that they’ll learn far more from experience then they ever will from us.

 

GM: Finally, what can we expect next from No Small Children?

Nicola: Right now we’re working on our new EP, our fourth album, due out later this year. We’ll be on tour in August. New dates are being added all the time, so please go to our website for all of our latest news.

 

Check out No Small Children’s latest single, “RADIO”:

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