Music instruments

Rock band No Small Children talks about music, instruments and “I Feel Better”


Teachers by day, rockers by night, this Los Angeles-based rock band features Lisa Pimentel (guitar and vocals), Joanie Pimentel (bass and vocals) and Nicola Berlinsky (drums). We interviewed Lisa about the band in 2013 and you can read the interview HERE.

No small children made a name for himself in the music scene with his single “Ghostbusters” featured in the recent remake of the movie Ghostbusters and released on RCA, another single “Big Steps” was featured in the Netflix original series “Santa Clarita Diet starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant, and they toured across the United States recently performing at the Unity Ball at the end of the Women’s March in DC. The band worked with producer Bob Marlette (Rob Zombie, Black Sabbath, Anvil and Filter) on their latest single “I feel better. “

Lisa, Joanie and Nicola introduced us to their music, influences, favorite instruments and more.

How would you describe your sound to people who haven’t heard your music?

We describe it as original rock with daring pop punk elements, heavy guitar sounds and melodic vocals… or more simply, a rock and roll band. We try to write the kind of music that makes people jump into the club or sing at the top of their lungs on the way to work in the morning.

What are your influences ?

We each come from a very different musical background, the influences of which you can hear in our music.

Lisa: I apologize for the long answer, but I find it very difficult to answer this big question in a short answer, so here is my long answer.

I started with the music my parents and grandparents listened to. There was a lot of Italian music, but the songs of Carol King, Elvis and The Carpenters definitely marked me !!! Watching them play instruments put stars in my eyes. When I started making my own musical choices, it was about me playing John Lennon as I sang in the mirror. My vinyl copy of “Meet The Beatles” has worn out because I played it so much. The broom that I used as a guitar too.

In 4th grade I started playing the saxophone and stayed there throughout college. I loved the band’s music so much and learned from my teachers, whom I loved. I really liked Miles Davis and John Coltrane at that time and I feel like music is an integral part of my job. I still listen to “A Love Supreme” every few weeks.

After high school I went to college and as a music major pretended to get into smarty music for four years. I learned a lot, but “UGH” !!!!! When I finally graduated, I couldn’t wait to get back into the Boston punk scene. I loved bands so much and I loved people too. Darkbuster was my favorite. “22 Songs You Never Want To Hear Again” changed my life. These years have made me appreciate the honesty and the true courage that music can have. Being part of this community put me in touch with a part of myself that I was always a little afraid to reveal.

When one of my RHS students introduced me to “Things Fall Apart” (The Roots), I couldn’t believe his genius and listened to it over and over again. I couldn’t believe that not everyone was obsessed with this record.

These are some of my go-to music, but there is so much more in between… way too much to name them.

Nicolas: Elvin Jones, John Bonham, and Stewart Copeland come to mind first.

Joanie: I’ve been a soul singer most of my life, so my influences come from legends like Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Sam Cooke, and Otis Redding.

How was your experience recording this new single “I Feel Better” with producer Bob Marlette?

Our recorded music is a good representation of the evolution / growth of our band and working with Bob was the next phase of that evolution. He really helped us explore new sounds and approaches to our music. We have learned so much working with him and are very excited about the release of this new music.

What’s next for you? Touring, recording, etc.

Yes, yes and yes. All!

Is there a band or artist that you’ve never seen perform live? Is there an artist you would like to collaborate with?

Lisa: Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, The Foo Fighters, Jack White. Plus all those other bands that we don’t know yet. We are surprised again and again.

Nicolas: I think it would be amazing to play with PJ Harvey.

Joanie: I’ve never seen Coldplay live and think I would really enjoy their show. Regarding collaboration, I am open to anyone interested. If you are reading this, call me.

I love to sing and play the guitar.

What is your favorite instrument?

Lisa: I love to sing and play the guitar. I also like to play the drums and the trumpet. I think I especially like instruments where the sound is close to the impact that makes the sound. I can play a lot of instruments, but I’m really bad at anything that uses a bow… the sound is too far from impact, lol.

Nicolas: Drums. When I listen to a solo acoustic instrument, I love the sound of the cello.

Joanie: Vocals are my favorite instrument, but since learning to play bass to be a part of this band, I’ve grown to really love this instrument and wish I had learned to play it sooner. Of the other instruments I play, the cello is my favorite.

Each show brings
Something new.

How long have you been playing live? What is the most memorable performance experience that comes to your mind?

Lisa: I’ve been doing shows since I was a teenager. We did some really cool shows with No Small Children, including The Unity Ball at the end of The Women’s March in DC. I also LOVE playing in small clubs, where you can see all the faces and party after the show.

Nicolas: I played when I was younger and in college, but then moved away for a long time to focus on teaching. The last three plus years with No Small Children have been a new performing experience for me. Playing our first big stage at the Tweed Festival in Vermont was fun, as was playing in a crowded little club in Ohio. Each show brings something new.

Joanie: I’ve been performing live since I was 16, my first “paid gig” was singing in the Boston subway. I have sung with George Clinton and P-Funk before. The concert lasted 5 hours and it was amazing.

The relation between
the public and
is totally symbiotic to us.

What kind of energy do you get from the crowd when you play or is there a particular energy that you are looking for?

If it seems like we’re having a good time on stage, it’s because we are. We always try to project the kind of high octane energy that attracts people rather than repels them. The relationship between the audience and us is totally symbiotic.

How do you balance working by day and rocking at night?

It would be easy to think of teaching as a day job or music as a hobby, but for us these are parallel careers. Both professions demand our best, so we need to be very organized and efficient with our time. We are in constant communication with each other, we adapt and adjust as necessary, and we try to make the most of every minute. Oh and coffee… lots of coffee.

Do you have any advice for emerging artists?

We would not pretend to think that we are expert enough to give advice to anyone. The only thing we can say for sure is that there is no substitute for hard work.

What is your favorite song and who is it from?

Lisa: Too difficult to choose a favorite song. Nope. I can not answer. Won’t do it. By the time this article comes out, I will have a new favorite song. Okay… Here are some past favorites… “Cheap Wine” by Darkbuster, “Dreaming” by Blondie, “Pursuance” by John Coltrane, “The Spark” by The Roots, “King Kunta” by Kendrick Lamar, and I love Les Shins right now.

Nicolas: It’s difficult. I’ve always loved everything about David Bowie, English Beat, Crosby Stills and Nash and Radiohead. Right now, “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin and “Old Man” by Neil Young come to mind.

Joanie: This is an impossible question to answer as it changes almost daily for me. If I had to answer, I’d say my favorite song is the next one we’re writing.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Lisa: Not sure. Too many decisions by then. It will be great, however.

Nicolas: Ideally, live off the grid.

Joanie: 10 more years.


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