fbpx

For years, Nicola Berlinsky had been a fan of her colleague Lisa Pimentel’s music. A musician in her own right, Berlinsky — a fourth grade teacher at the Oakwood School in North Hollywood — had seen her friend perform live, which inspired her to dust off her drum kit. One Friday afternoon, just before Mother’s Day in 2012, the duo decided to join forces creatively.

“When you’re a woman of a certain age and work at a school, you’re surrounded by mothers and children enjoying the excitement of Mother’s Day, but it can also feel exclusive,” Berlinsky says. “We were on recess duty joking with one another about that, and we decided to form a band on the spot.”

“It was born out of a feeling we had in that moment.” adds Pimentel, the band’s singer-guitarist. 

The duo decided to call the project No Small Children, an ode to the fact they didn’t have young kids of their own. They also decided on a sound. “We wanted to be a punk band,” Pimentel recalls enthusiastically. “Then we just kind of went from there.”

Prior to her career as a music teacher, Pimentel was the drummer of Boston-based, all-female punk outfit Heidi. The band was signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2001 but, like many fledgling groups, their music didn’t find an audience and they were subsequently dropped. In the interim, Pimental, who had relocated to L.A. after the band was signed, decided to stay and apply for teaching jobs, eventually landing a gig as a music teacher at Oakwood.

Three years since forming, No Small Children — which includes Pimentel’s sister Joanie, also a teacher, on vocals and bass — have released three albums on top of continuing to teach at the private school. They gig consistently, even during the school year, and they manage their time tightly in order to squeeze in recording sessions at Pimentel’s home studio.

They recently released their third album, Hold Tight, I’m Flying, which melds the best qualities of dirty vintage punk and ‘90s alt-rock into an effortlessly catchy sound. Since they don’t have to to worry about their next paycheck, the trio’s laidback vibe allows them to soldier on making music as a “fun little project.”