Written by Matt DeBenedetti
The Moms are a band based off of beer, punk rock, and a DIY work ethic- in the last year, their name has grown to new heights as they have been on multiple self-funded and booked tours and have shared the stage with plenty of national acts (like Big D & the Kids Table for example). I previously had a chance to see them at the Stanhope House, a small North Jersey venue, opening for The Menzingers before I even knew who they were. So when I heard they were playing in a basement in New Brunswick a few months ago, I naturally jumped on the chance to interview them and see what they were really about.
Unfortunately, their set that night was terminated by police before they even began, and the band as well as everyone who attended the show was in a bit of a frenzy, so I had a tough time getting the answers to the questions I really wanted to ask. Finally, I am happy to say I got another chance. So, without further ado, here is my follow up interview with the Moms’ Donny Saraceno.
Last time I talked to you guys you didn’t even have a release date for your newest record, Buy American, and now it’s right around the bend set to be released on Paper + Plastick in September. How excited are you?
Donny Saraceno: Yeah man, I’m pretty excited. Once we finally solidified a date it all kind of got real, and I’m just excited that now I can give people who have been asking about it for quite some time an answer. It’s always good to see how excited they are and that we’re both excited for it to come out. Ive had the record since we finished it in the studio so I’ve gotten to listen to it a bunch, so hopefully it’ll be as awesome to other people as it is to me.
PB: Cool, I’m pretty excited about it to be honest.
DS: Cool, thanks man.
So what can you tell us about the sound of the new stuff, compared to your last release, Blow Me?
DS: Blow Me, The EP itself is actually made up of the songs that we decided not to release on the full length, so as far as the sound goes the songs that you hear on Blow Me were what we basically decided were gonna be the b-sides. So you’ll be listening to what we think is better than that. Sonically, it’s gonna sound awesome too. It’s a really cool mix, actually Stephen Egerton from The Descendents did the remaster, which we’re really excited about. It’s more…
DS: Yes, better selections of The Moms.
So you guys just got home from being on the road, and you played with PUP? It’s really cool to see a band with their sound getting so big so fast.
DS: We were with them in Asbury at the Lanes on the August 7th, that specific show was on a Monday night and they killed it. We had a great night and there were really a lot of kids there for a Monday. It was pretty crazy.
So what was your favorite show on the tour?
DS: Well we got to do some dates with our friend Matt Deis who’s actually our tour manager, and he lived in a small town in up state New York, and it doesn’t seem like they have too many rock and roll shows up there, so we kind of threw one at a bar his brother works at and I think it was like one of the few times that they had ever had loud, loud bands and it was just crazy. I think there were over a hundred kids or something like that and they were all Matt’s friends and excited to be there and the energy was insane… That was the also the last show on the tour so it was a really good feeling to end the tour like that.
You got to disturb the peace one final time.
DS: Exactly, that’s exactly what it was!
So you guys recently signed with Paper + Plastick. Have you noticed any difference in the attendance at shows, or the size of your overall fanbase since you guys made the jump?
DS: I think that being on Paper + Plastick has definitely opened some doors for us as far as getting into certain places that we couldn’t contact on our own. The fan base has been cool, it’s always growing and I noticed especially on this tour that there wasn’t a bad show and I think that Paper + Plastick’s doing an awesome job of kind of pushing us to the outlets that they can and stuff like that. I think it definitely helps all across the board, not just with getting fans. To be a band in this day and age you have to kind of just do whatever you can to be on the road as often as you can and as long as there’s some kind of support, it’ll always grow. Our band is still a small band and we kind of consider ourselves a “slow burn”, where we can use the internet to promote and all that stuff, but we definitely pride ourselves in our live show, and that’s where we feel like we win our fan base over. And this label allows us to tour as much as we want, which works out for us.
That ties into my next question, you guys have the reputation of being a “DIY” work ethic kind of band. You guys went on tour so many times before you were even signed. What kind of advice would you give to an up and coming band knowing what you know and having done what you did to get where you are?
DS: I would say a couple of things. You can’t ever get discouraged. You’re gonna book a tour, and if you want to tour you’re gonna send out a thousand emails, and you’ll only get 200 replies, and 150 of those people saying “no.” It’s really important not to get discouraged. You gotta get your band in that city, you gotta network while you’re there, you gotta work hard and meet the right people. And it makes no sense to say “You have to meet the right people,” because how do you know who the right people are? The point is, you have to meet everyone and that’s how you meet the right people. And you don’t have to do that just to further your band… You’ll meet really, really cool people out on the road that become fans of your band, and it just works two-fold by talking to as many people as you can wherever you go. And I would also suggest that when you’re out there you really gotta take care of yourself, it’s really easy to slip into a very heavy drinking binge and fast-food eating, not-deodorant wearing habit. Take care of yourself. Basically, the reason I say that is because we just came off a three week run where we went pretty balls-to-the-wall, we did a lot of short drives for once, which was awesome, and we hung out with a lot of friends for once, which was awesome, and it’s really easy to get… silly. You get home and you really need to take a few days to kind of get your head on straight. Other than that, don’t do anything stupid. Read all those things on the internet that describe lists of things your band shouldn’t do, and make sure you aren’t one of those bands. Keep honest expectations within yourself and your band.
Cool. Last, anything you would like to say to friends, fans, family from you and the rest of The Moms? What can we expect from you guys in the coming months?
DS: The record comes out September 23rd on Paper + Plastick. They are running a pre-order on their website. The record is gonna come in two styles, red white and blue with white splatter (limited to 700), and half red half blue with white splatter (limited to 300). They’re both awesome. We’re also gonna be at fest again this year, we’re stoked about that. We currently have both electric and acoustic sets planned and we’ll be touring pretty much until thanksgiving, so that’s gonna be a big run. That’ll be the whole U.S. with Everything Ever. And yeah, thanks to everyone that has helped us thus far, and we look forward to making you all proud with the release of the record.