Whether you are an ’80s fanboy stuck in the past or someone excited to see a female team of Ghostbusters, chances are you have an opinion on the recent reboot of the classic franchise. Personally, I wish they had connected it better to the earlier films in a timeline. I hate when Hollywood wipes the slate clean and starts fresh with a new Spider-Man origin movie with an all new cast every few years, for example. That said, the actresses they chose are all funny and talented people. While the general public might be split on the film, one thing most folks agree on is the post-credits punky version of the Ray Parker Jr. “Ghostbusters” theme is a lot of fun.
No Small Children are the L.A. based power poppy all girl trio, a band of veteran punkers who spend their days as teachers in a San Fernando Valley elementary school and their nights controlling rowdy rock crowds. Not so much different from ghostbusting!
“Four years ago Lisa [guitar, vocals] and I started this band and we convinced Lisa’s sister Joanie [bass] to move here from Boston,” offers friendly drummer Nicola Berlinsky. “She was ready for a change. I had stopped playing for 20 years and started seven years ago again.”
As soon as the trio solidified they played over 50 shows in L.A. in their first few months. “We said yes to everything,” Nicola says. “Now we are more selective with L.A. shows as we book bigger nights and don’t want to over play the area.”
It is cool that L.A. has some great bands right now for indie pop and punk from Peach Kelli Pop to Death Valley Girls. “There are so many places to play that you can play a different place almost every night to a new crowd,” Nicola affirms. “We found New York City hard. We played twice there and in order for it to be on our radar it has to be really worth it.”
Hence the band is making a tour stop at The Anchor in Kingston on Tuesday, Aug. 9, because Kingston is, honestly, at times more happening than New York City. There just aren’t that many rock clubs in New York and if they are already booked up, good luck. Heck, while it sucks the Big Apple is having somewhat of a rock drought (with even the celebrated Acheron closing recently in Brooklyn), it bodes well for our growth as a little city that could between Gotham and Albany.
So how did the band get to do the cover song for one of summer’s biggest movies? A Halloween party led to the band covering the song on a lark which then had fans encouraging them to record it. It just so turned out one of the parents at the school the band are all teachers at was a composer working on the film, so they boldly passed it along to him.
“So much music had been submitted and we didn’t hear anything but six months later in the final week of post [production] we were told they would find a place for it,” Nicola says, obviously still buzzing about it. “The horns on it were all played by our guitarist Lisa. We’d love to play with a brass band on a larger stage someday, but Lisa did the multi-tracking. She also recorded the band and has engineering experience.”
Hear that, mancave trolls? In 2016 — women can not only be Ghostbusters but they can produce their own records.
“Bob Marlette did do the mixing,” Nicola says. “He was great to work with and has worked with Filter, Tracy Chapman, so many people. Lisa did most of the engineering but he sprinkled some fairy dust on top of it.”
The results have found the band with a new music video for the song with choice scene cuts from the film included, as well as a feature in the L.A. Times and a recent invite to the premiere.
“That was a blast,” an enthused Nicola says. “That was a completely new experience for us. People were so kind. The music supervisor Erica and the director Paul have stayed in touch and we are releasing the video within hours of you and I talking today. The night of the premiere we met the sound and post people as well as some of the actresses and actors. Everyone was celebrating a lot of hard work that night.”
While the band doesn’t have the same soulful hair as Ray Parker Jr., they more than make up for it in campy, bubblegum indie-punk fun and infectious energy. I forgot to ask Nicola why they are named No Small Children but I am guessing it is because they deal with kids all day at school and so don’t want to extend that babysitting into their rocking hours. Ghouls, ghosts and rocker types are more than welcome, however, and this here column highly recommends you hightail it to The Anchor for the show, even if Chris Hemsworth is no Annie Potts.