We love NoHo. We love our fabulous folks in NoHo. We love our artists who call North Hollywood home. So when the NoHo Arts District dot com team came across three teachers who love rock music, sing songs about everyday things that everybody knows about (“Drunk Creepy Guy,” “Salad,” “Let it Go” are some of our faves), and have a powerful sound that is loud, melodic and irreverent, we must let our readers know. Meet the rad rockers of No Small Children.
Who is No Small Children and why the name?
No Small Children is made up of Lisa Parade on guitar and vocals, Joanie Pimentel on bass and vocals, and Nicola B. on drums. We are kick- ass, rockin’ chicks by night and devoted elementary schoolteachers by day. We named our band No Small Children for many reasons. With no young children at home, we can give our energy and time to our band with little compromise. We adore kids, but we like having time that’s just with adults, too. We’re not exactly young children ourselves…
How did you decide to come together and form your band?
Lisa and Nicola worked together at the same school in North Hollywood for more than ten years. They always supported each other’s music, and one day on yard duty realized they should try playing together. After a few months they had completed a small east coast tour and were ready to record an album. Within six months of starting, Lisa’s sister, Joanie, moved to L.A. from Boston, started teaching at the same school, and joined the band. Soon NSC was playing two to three shows a week.
Tell us more about your first ep/cd/album Dear Youth?
We recorded “Dear Youth” mostly to help us get gigs in the beginning and it soon took on a life of it’s own. Most of it was tracked in The Blue Room Studios. We didn’t have all the songs ready to record in the beginning, so we built them as we went. For the artwork, we had some photos that we loved (taken by Kristen Madrigal) and huddled around Joanie’s computer to get all the graphics just right. Joanie designed it.
Around the time we began writing these first songs, Lisa was doing a Medieval Faire with her students. She came in one day saying, “What if we tried this medieval melody over a drum beat? Lets make a song about wenches”…and that’s how “Wenches and Bitches” was born. “Salad” was conceived over lunch. “Mystical” was written by Lisa’s old bestie, Jilly Blackstone who passed away a few years back. Lisa sang it at her funeral and says performing it “keeps her alive”. “Irritated” is about rising above stuff that is always gonna suck. You can bust on people, or just try to be good and hope someone notices and maybe feels better and tries to be good too. “Dear Youth” is a song going out to ourselves before we knew we should to listen to our own voices.
One of the NoHo team’s fave songs: “Drunk Creepy Guy.”
When is your next ep coming out and what can we expect?
We are recording a ten-song LP right now and are planning for a January release. Five tracks are done and five are about half way done. This new recording will be a step up from our last, as we have grown drastically over the past year as a songwriters, producers and musicians. We are working with an amazing photographer for our artwork. We haven’t decided what the title of the record will be yet, but it will likely come from one of our song titles or lyrics. We CAN”T WAIT to release it!
What other projects do you have planned for the new year?
We are talking with a film maker about our next video (with some very cool cameos), we are heading to South by Southwest in Austin this year, and we have a couple of tours being set up (Northwest and Northeast). We also hope to be working with a new manager soon, as our momentum is continually growing.
What’s each of your favorite songs? (Our team has our own)
Nicola: I love playing the groove of Might Get Up Slow and Wenches and Bitches most of all. Honestly, it’s hard to choose.
Lisa: Tough question, I think I like playing “Irritated” because it helps me rise up… Moving on and looking back at the same time…singing it reminds me that I can.
Joanie: It’s tough to pick just one because there are some that I love for different reasons. ‘Back to Bed’ comes to mind first. I really love the arrangement of the song and how the vocals sound together on the chorus. I also love ‘FU in Any Language’. They lyrics are great and I really get to belt it out in my rocker voice.
What advice would you give to other uber talented 40 something musicians?
This question implies that you feel we are one of those people so first of all thank you for the compliment. We have learned that we have so much more to learn. There is joy in that process that is integral to how this band functions. The lesson here for us is to be open. Great things tend to happen when you do.
Our experience has taught us that although talent is a great starter, hard work makes a much better fuel.
As musicians, we’ve come to see our status as a 40-something as an asset. We feel like we’ve found the sweet spot in age; we’ve lived long enough to have lots of life experiences to write songs about and we’re still young enough to enjoy playing them. We admit that there are days when the gear feels heavier than it did the day before….but then we remember that we were smart enough to bring a dolly!
Self-doubt starts as a quiet whisper but the more you listen to it, the louder it gets. Try not to listen to it or any other voice that tells you you’re too much of this and not enough of that. Let the confidence in your potential be the louder voice.
Lastly, chase your joy and nothing else.
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