No Small Children To Kick Off The Third Annual Ride For Ronnie Concert
Meet the membership of No Small Children – Lisa Pimentel (guitar and vocals), Joanie Pimentel (bass and vocals) and Nicola Berlinksky (drums) – three elementary school teachers by day who are more than ready to rock and rage your world at all other times! One of these times would include their upcoming appearance this weekend, kicking off the Third Annual Ride For Ronnie Concert! Taking place on Sunday, May 7th at Los Encinos State Historic Park in Encino, No Small Children and other national acts such as Eddie Money, Rough Cutt, and Lynch Mob will be performing live with proceeds benefiting the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund. We caught up with the three ladies of No Small Children to find out more about their exhilarating band as well as their participation in the Ride For Ronnie event. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in No Small Children and how long the band has been together.
Nicola B.: Hello, everyone, we’re No Small Children, three rockers by night and elementary school teachers by day. The idea for our band came almost four years ago while Lisa, guitar and vocals, and Nicola, drums, were covering recess duty together. Within three months we were on tour on the east coast. Once back in California for the start of the school year, we started recording our first EP and invited Lisa’s sister, Joanie, to play bass and sing in our band.
No Small Children is based in Los Angeles. What is the music scene there right now?
Nicola B.: The Los Angeles scene is 24/7. There are great venues in every neighborhood, not just the Sunset Strip, and an audience ready to support live, local music. There are so many fantastic musicians out in LA who dedicate time to their passion and support one another. We truly feel lucky to be in such good company and receive lasting support from people we’ve met at shows.
Is there any story behind the band name No Small Children?
Nicola B.: Originally the name came from a feeling of exclusion. Elementary schools can be pretty tough places to navigate the Friday before Mother’s Day when you don’t have children. But whether you have children, or work with children, it’s important to create a time to let loose. So we’ve turned our shows into an inclusive experience for everyone to dance, yell out, and sing along.
How did you become involved with the Ride For Ronnie show?
Lisa P.: We have been life-long fans of Ronnie James Dio and connected to him through mutual friends. After Ronnie died of stomach cancer in 2010, Wendy Dio, Sheila Melody and a few other people, set up “Stand up and Shout Cancer Fund”, which is a non-profit set up in honor of Ronnie and is dedicated to raising funds for education, early detection and prevention. “Ride for Ronnie” is one of the many events they organize. We are happy to be part of this. You can find out more about “Stand up and Shout Cancer Fund” here: http://diocancerfund.org
What could one expect from your live show at Ride for Ronnie?
Lisa P.: An opening fanfare on the Trumpet, three matching dresses that are suited for a hot afternoon in the San Fernando Valley, loud, good sounding melodic music played with vigor, three ladies that are incredible psyched to be on the stage. We will also be there for the entire day and hope to meet you!!!
Select any two songs you may be playing at Ride For Ronnie and what inspired the lyrics.
Lisa P.: We haven’t 100% decided on our set list for Sunday, but I think we will probably play “Might Get Up” and “Radio”. “Might Get Up Slow” (but I’ll get up) is about getting knocked down over and over and getting back up. It’s about doing the best you can and not taking “no” for an answer. “Radio” is our new song about when we were kids…and how life seemed so simple. It’s a super fun song to play and this will be our first live show playing it! Also, Wendy asked me to play the trumpet to start off the show!
What is your favorite memory of Ronnie James Dio?
Lisa P.” When I think of Ronnie, I think of a beautiful and kind man that loved music and epitomized the spirit of metal. He was truly an incredible musician and human being and lets not forget he INVENTED the heavy metal rock and roll hand signal. Sheila told me an incredible story about Ronnie.
Ronnie was returning to LAX after a long European tour around the same time the LAPD showed up at Wendy’s house to tell her that there was a man hanging from a water tower in Hollywood threatening to jump and commit suicide. The LAPD said that he wanted to talk to Ronnie James Dio… Wendy immediately called Ronnie who had literally just gotten off a plane. He had the driver take him to the scene where he was hoisted up to the guy in a cherry picker and talked the guy down. I think that’s pretty fricken awesome.
With all three members being elementary school teachers, have any of your students heard or commented on your music?
Joanie Pimentel: Our school community, both faculty and families, are super supportive of us. We’ve had many parents come to see our shows and their kids have been known to show up the next day at school wearing a No Small Children t-shirt or hat. It’s wonderful hearing from an excited student that they love listening to our music. The kids are some of our loudest cheerleaders.
What was the experience like performing at the Women’s March in DC?
Joanie Pimentel: Prior to our performance, we participated in the Women’s March. Being surrounded by so many loving, passionate, and motivated people was a powerful experience. We were totally inspired. Immediately following the March, we had the great privilege of performing at the Unity Ball in Washington, DC.
What’s up next for No Small Children after Ride For Ronnie?
Lisa P.: We are getting more and more busy and it is so awesome. We have music that is recorded, partially recorded, written and partially written. We have shows all over the country booked, some pending and some just around the corner. We have a gazillion things in the universe and we are psyched to find out what comes back and smacks us in the face. It is all very exciting and we are so grateful. In the mean time, we will be at band practice.
Tell us about your new tour coming up?
Nicola B.: Three women, lots of gear, big stage dresses, many rest areas, one van; we’re fortunate to travel very well together. We have some busy months ahead, and we’re adding dates all the time. We’re excited to return to cities visited in years past and hit new places on the road…like Alaska! For all of our latest tour dates and venues please go to www.nosmallchildren.com.
(Interview by Ken Morton)