Behind Punk is a D.I.Y. punk blog/fanzine/record label based out of Moscow

We need to focus on positive change in the world, and it starts with our scene and the people within it. More hugs, less shrugs!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Interview with Mimi of NONA

NONA is the newest band From West Chester and they rock! 
Mimi, Ed, Pat are awesome. The vocals are gorgeous, free, and really carry this EP.  Even though there's only so much I can say about a 7 minute album, I can only say nice things. I really enjoy NONA, and this was a great start for them.
This is their first EP and it’s full of awesome!! YES YES YES!!!
they are-recorded 4 of the 5 demo songs and you can download it 
HEREBest EP of the year!

Hey there! how are you doing? How's West Chester?

Hey Vanya. What's up. I'm great. West Chester is great. Beautiful time of year here. 

Right then, first things first, please introduce yourselves and members of the band:

Ok. Well I'm Mimi, and I sing and play the guitar in NONA. Our bass player is named Ed. And we got a Pat on the drums. Pat sings a little too. 

 So, tell me how NONA originally came together? And how did the name come about and what does it mean?

Ah, the story of NONA. NONA originally came together in the spring of 2009. Pat expressed interest in starting a band with Ed and I, with me on guitar/vocals, and that was cool cause I always wanted to sing and play guitar in a band. So we got together and wrote some songs and played 2 shows then it fell apart before summer came around. We got it started again in Winter 2011, but Pat started to get pretty busy with his other band (spraynard). So then we got our friend Sean to play drums and we recorded the demo with him and played shows throughout the spring/summer. Took a little break but now we are back in action with Pat back on the drums. Classic NONA. 
Nona Mecklenberg is a character on the 90's television show Pete & Pete. She is a really cool girl. Pat came up with the idea of calling ourselves Nona after her. We started writing it in caps cause it looks cooler. NONA 

What does NONA mean to you?

It  means a lot to me. I  love being in a band with Ed and Pat. They are my friends. I have a lot of fun with them. NONA means friends and fun. It's everything i've ever wanted out of a band. 

I love your demo! Are you happy with it? Is it what you intended it to be?

Yeah, totally happy with it! It's far from perfect but that's what demos are all about. It was super fun to record. Some of the most memorable few days/nights of my life. 

I’ve heard that you’re working on new material and that it’s pretty special. Can you tell me a bit about it? Will we get to hear it soon?

Yeah! We've been writing new songs. We have only recorded two of them but we will hopefully be playing them all on our east coast tour at the end of October. We re-recorded 4 of the 5 demo songs and a new song for a tape that our friend Zach from Boston  is putting out. It will be our first official release. NONA RELOADED. It's on our bandcamp....NOW! And yeah we recorded another brand new song that's not going on the tape, but it will be out on something sometime. It sounds REALLY awesome. 

Covers are all the rage these days, granted usually in live setting. You covered Green Day - Basket case. What other songs have you been known to cover or would you like to cover in the future?

That was actually Spraynard who covered Basket Case, but they had me sing on it. Green day is Pat and I's favorite band. So it was really fun to sing that with them. That was an awesome show. Spraynard played a set of Green Day covers, and NONA did some very last minute Third Eye Blind covers. Good times. DOIN CRYSTAL METH WILL LIFT U UP UNTIL U BREAK
I'd like to have at least one cover down really well at some point. I would love to cover J.A.R. by Green Day. Or just any good song that was popular at one point or another that people know the words to. Covers are only fun if everyone is able to sing a long. 

 If you could do a split with any band that's currently together, what band would it be?

I love this New Jersey band called Big Soda.  They don't know who I am but I am seriously a Big Soda superfan so It would be way cool to do a split with them. Or The Lemonheads, cause then i'd get to meet Evan Dando <3 <3. Or No Age. Or Pinhead Gunpowder. Or Fugazi duh

What are your thoughts on the current state of the punk/hardcore scene? How do you react to the increased coverage and notoriety that many of the artists - including yourselves - are receiving from the press, fans, etc.?

Pat and I were just talking today about how punk fans are the most unforgiving music fans. It's essentially a really good thing. A punk band can be so incredibly popular, but the minute they say or do something that throws people off, something offensive or uncomfortable, something that may make their fans think "hm maybe this band isn't so cool after all", they become extremely at risk of losing a majority of their following. And most of the time do end up losing a majority of their following. It's not like that in other genres of music. 
A band's character is definitely just as important to me as their music. That seems to be the case for a lot of people who are into punk/hardcore. We are critical of a band's actions just as much as we are their music. I think that helps make the scene a more special and safer place.
The second question is hard. Coverage and notoriety is always cool. I like seeing my friends' bands talked about on the internet and in magazines. 

How do you think the West Chester DIY punk/hardcore scene is looking right now? Do you have any local bands that might not get a lot of attention from that area you'd suggest checking out?

The West Chester scene is looking pretty good, Vanya. Pretty damn good. Spraynard is famous. Plow United is back together. Matt works at Fennario. But on the real, we have been pretty determined the past few years to get West Chester to be recognized as having a solid music scene/ hang out scene. And we are slowly seeing it happen. Bands on tour are starting to seek out shows in West Chester and there are now several spaces where we can book them. West Chester rules and we have fun all the time. 
Our good friend and West Chester native John and his music thing called Failed Attempts At Facial Hair is always deserving of attention. He is the greatest songwriter in the world. Blows my mind. Ed is soon putting out a FAAFH 7" that will feature some full-band songs as well as acoustic. Look out for it. Also, the Slin Cells. No introduction or description is needed for this band. 

How does your city influence you?

My favorite food is cereal. Raisin bran with extra raisins, if you want specifics. 

What are your favorite recent music releases/Movies?

Me and Ed saw Our Idiot Brother a few weeks ago. It was so great.I am a huge Paul Rudd fan. And going to the movies is so awesome. Especially in the early afternoon on a weekday. Why not. That was a great day, wasn't it Ed? I'm also super into this new Philadelphia band called Scarier Area.  Nick is in it and Nick wins the best guy in Philly award. Laugh It Off  is another new Philly band that i'm very excited about. They are really good. Laugh It Off. Tenement's new full length is absolutely insane. 

What's your biggest gripe with the punk/hardcore scene?

There's a lot of criticisms you can make about the current punk and hardcore scene. There will always be things that we can be doing better. Like making sure everyone feels welcome and comfortable. I definitely have a gripe with elitist bands that put  people down and single them out for wearing a non-punk band t-shirt at their show. That kind of stuff makes me uncomfortable, even being an outsider. I can't imagine what a victim of something like that must feel like. No one should ever take pride in ruining someone's day.  But I tend to think positively about everything. There are a lot of incredible bands and people involved in punk right now that are really pushing it forward. I think it's important to keep that in mind, and focus on continuing in that direction. In general, I think we're all doing a decent job at being good people. If we weren't, none of us would be here.

And last but not least, it’s autumn. Are you a autumn person? What is this autumn going to be all about for you?

I LIKE THIS QUESTION!!!!!!!!! My favorite season is definitely summer, but October is probably my favorite month. Once October is over I start to hate life until April. So I guess you could say I'm an early-autumn person for sure. 
Ok so there is an apple orchard right behind my neighborhood. So I always pick apples this time of year. Apples are great. I'm putting bananas on the back-burner for the next few weeks and apples are gonna take the place of my number 1 fruit. Just for now, though. I'm also planning on reading a lot this autumn. I had such an awesome day yesterday. I went to the book store and got a new book and then went to Everhart Park, best park in WC, and read for a while.  Lol!!!! Reading is funny but i'm into it right now.  Pat and I joined a book club last night. Well Pat reluctantly joined, but still. Autumn 2011 = reading and apples. We're also going on tour with Great Cynics at the end October. That should make this Autumn an Autumn to never forget.

‘Demo’ is awesome so thank you for finally giving us the music! And THANKS for taking time out to talk with me! Anything else you'd like to add/share? Any last words/wishes

Lemme real quick share something that i'm getting started called the West Chester Tape Cult. It's gonna be a bi-monthly subscription. Each month will focus on a different band (not just wc bands). Members will receive an exclusive tape of unreleased songs for that month's band, along with a zine and some other stuff. Anyone interested can email . EUROPEANS WELCOME!!!!
Vanya, you're the best. What your doing is really cool. Thank you for the interview. We really appreciate your support.

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