Mobina Galore are a punk rock two piece from Winnipeg, Canada consisting (photo FLTR) of Jenna Priestner (vocals/guitar) and Marcia Hanson (drums/vocals). Milo from Radio Radius spoke to them after their performance in the Zukunft at Obenuse Fest IV on May 5, 2018. In this interview, they talk about their album Feeling Disconnected, Winnipeg’s music scene and more.
Milo Schärer: Hi, thank you so much for doing this interview with Radio Radius!
Marcia Hanson: Our Pleasure!
Jenna Priestner: You got it!
Milo: This is actually the third time I’ve seen you play. I saw you play at Hafenkneipe almost exactly a year ago and also opening for Against Me! at Dynamo. Which of your performances in Zurich, including today, has been your favorite?
Marcia: I had a blast today. It was one of the sweatiest shows and I was very cramped on that stage, but there was something about being so close the audience when it’s a smaller stage in a smaller room. Everybody was singing along, so I’m going to say tonight.
Jenna: I think I would have to agree. It was probably my worst performance of the whole tour, I fucked up so many things.
Marcia: You’re allowed to be sloppy in a small venue.
Jenna: I was getting hit by people, but it’s one of those things where you just roll with it, it felt like a basement show. So, tonight!
Milo: Well, it was literally in a basement. I’d briefly like to mention the other bands that are sharing the stage with you in that basement. Jenna, you sang a bit on the new Cancer Bats album The Spark That Moves and you’ve also played with Propagandhi many times before. Are we going to see you come on stage at all during their sets?
Jenna: I don’t know. This is our first time at this venue and I pictured the stage being a big stage. I was like: “There’s no way I’m going on this big stage because I don’t remember the words”. But now, this vibe, I think I could get into it. I don’t know, we’ll see.
Marcia: Are you just going to run up and grab the mic or have you been invited?
Jenna: I have not been invited. So, I do not think I will be gracing the stage.
Marcia: Let’s see what happens.
Jenna: Only time will tell.
Marcia: It was cool while it lasted. Whatever.
Milo: Almost all of the bands playing here are Canadian bands like yourselves. Could you tell us a bit about the music scene in your hometown of Winnipeg?
Jenna: I think Propagandhi kind of speaks for that. Everyone knows Winnipeg from Propagandhi if you’re in the punk rock scene. There’s a ton of punk rock bands there, just not a lot of them tour, so a lot of people in Europe wouldn’t know who they are, but there are so many good bands and there’s long cold winters so people just hang out inside writing music and creating art, so it’s a really good city to be in to be part of a music community and for some reason people love punk in Winnipeg, so we fit right in.
Milo: Since you said these bands aren’t really known in Europe, could you maybe give us some names of good bands in Winnipeg worth checking out?
Jenna: Yeah, definitely. One of faves are our buds in a band called Union Stockyards. There’s a band called Clipwing. I’m drawing a blank on other bands now.
Marcia: It’s like: “Who did we play with?”
Jenna: Check out those two.
Milo: For people who do not know Mobina Galore yet, how would you describe your band in five words?
Jenna: Vocally aggressive power chord punk.
Marcia: Whoa! She nailed that!
Jenna: I already came up with the tagline. I didn’t know it was only five words though.
Marcia: This is you nailing it.
Milo: You’re a two piece, which is a slightly unusual constellation for a punk band. For instance, there’s only one other two piece besides yourselves playing here at Obenuse. How did you get together as a band in this formation?
Marcia: It just happened naturally. We met in Fernie, British Columbia, when we were both living there years ago. Jenna had a whole jam space set up in her house that she owned there, with drums, guitars, vocals and keyboards. I had never seen one person own all this stuff, so I was like: “This is so cool! Let’s jam!” So, then we had some beers and started jamming. And we kind of just never met someone that wanted to play with us.
Jenna: That sounds so bad.
Marcia: Someone that wanted to play music when we were open, you know, figuring it out? Nobody was playing music, and then we just kind of got into a groove and we were comfortable. It became very easy, to the point where we couldn’t imagine having a third person and taking a space in the band.
Milo: Alright. Which bands or artists have influenced your music?
Jenna: It’s a range. I always find that question kind of hard to answer. Blink-182 were my all-time favorite band in high school, but I don’t listen to them anymore, but I’m sure that has some type of influence from when I started playing. Now all we listen to are the bands we tour with, because it’s three or four bands every night. I don’t really search out music all that much anymore, so it’s kind of a weird question to be honest. Against Me! is huge in our lives right now because we toured with them a couple times. Now even Cancer Bats, I’m super stoked about being on that one track, so I’m repping their new album. It’s just kind of about the people that we meet on the road and those bands that inspire us in life in general, not so much as a band, you know?
Milo: This next question I’m going to ask you is mainly so that one of our very good friends who is not so into punk will read this interview as well. When preparing for this interview, I saw on your Facebook page that you also listed Taylor Swift as an artist that you like. So, what is your favorite Taylor Swift album?
Jenna: That’s a tricky one. I would probably say 1989, but the new one’s really good too. There’s just a couple tracks that I don’t like on there.
Marcia: I really like Red too.
Jenna: There’s a couple of gems on that one.
Marcia: There’s a lot of gems on Red. But she was just much younger then, so it’s a little harder to relate to what she’s singing about maybe. So, I’m going to go with 1989.
Jenna: 1989, yeah. And Ryan Adams’ version of 1989 is…
Marcia: Very cool! If you haven’t heard that, check it out.
Jenna: We listen to a lot of pop music when we’re driving, and folksy music because all we listen to when we’re playing shows is punk, hardcore and metal. In the van, it’s just: pop it up! Beyoncé, whatever, all the mainstream. The gold mainstream, not all of it. Just the Beyoncés and the Taylor Swifts.
Milo: Alright. In February of 2017 you released the album Feeling Disconnected.What are your thoughts on it a little more than a year on?
Jenna: That’s a good question, we’ve never been asked that question before. So, kudos to that.
Marcia: I’m still very happy with it. I like the way that we recorded it. We went into recording that album thinking that we wanted to have it be more like our live shows; just the two, drums, guitars, both vocals; instead of the way we recorded our first album, which was more layering vocals, more layering guitar kind of tracks. I still think it sounds great, I love the guy who did it, J.P. Peters, who produced and recorded both of our albums. I love it.
Jenna: I’m just excited to record a new album, really. You listen back to your old stuff and try figure out what you can do to make it better. For me, my guitar tones, even though we spent so much time on them for the last record, I’m excited to tweak my guitar tones for the new record.
Milo: Now that you mention a new album, you did play one new track today. Could you briefly comment on it?
Jenna: Yeah, it’s called Fade Away and it’s the only track that’s complete that will be on the new record, so we’ll be releasing it as a single on May 18. So, we’ll post a video and a digital release as something in between before the new record comes out. And we’re super stoked about it, it’s kind of a mix between our first and our second record, so we’re very happy with it.
Milo: Now going back to Feeling Disconnected, could you each just say what your favorite track off that album is and why?
Marcia: Yeah. I love Start All Over, I think it’s the first track off that album. Jenna started writing that song, and she was like: “Come on, let’s try to write a song together, because often we’ll write separately. I was reading her stuff, and I was like: “I don’t like it” and just left. Then she came back with this track and it became my favorite one. Now I’m upset that I wasn’t a part of writing it.
Jenna: Maybe that’s why it’s so good. No, I’m kidding. That’s a tough one, but just off the top of my head I’ll say Spend My Day, which is a song that Marcia wrote. People love it. It’s a fun song to play, tonight people were singing along to it, so I like it.
Milo: Feelings of detachment, including while on tour, were a big theme on Feeling Disconnected. Having toured extensively behind the album, do you feel more or less disconnected now than before the album’s release?
Jenna: I want to say less right now. I suppose you also got us at a good time; great show, great weather, great city; where I’m having a really good time on the road. It’s not as stressful and tiring as it can be. I think at this moment, anyways, I’m feeling pretty good. It’s our third time here now, and you feel more welcome and more at home every time you come back. We’re meeting more people and making more connections in all these cities and countries. It feels good.
Marcia: I agree.
Jenna: That’ll be the pull quote. “I agree”, says Marcia Hanson.
Milo: I’d like to ask a few questions about some specific tracks that we especially like. Could you tell us the story behind Vancouver?
Jenna: Yeah. That was a song where I wrote the verses and I just couldn’t come up with the chorus. Then Marcia wrote the chorus later. There almost opposite from each other, lyrically and the way they’re performed. I was having an anxious moment so I wrote all the verses in a very anxious state of mind. Then we wanted to make the chorus kind of big and happy, and sing-a-longy, Marcia ended up coming up with those lines when we went to Vancouver to work on the Feeling Disconnected Record. We spent quite a bit of time there throughout the year. We went there to finish up songs, and I think that’s when you came up with the chorus. The juxtaposition of the song just kind of worked. That’s what that song’s roughly about.
Milo: I’d also like to know about the song Fourth of July, the bonus track for Feeling Disconnected, because it seems like there’s a specific story behind it. So, could you tell us about that?
Jenna: Sure. Do you want to?
Marcia: Sure. We were on tour and we had a day off, and it happened to be the Fourth of July, which in the states is America’s birthday or something, so it’s a big party. Independence Day, I think? I’m not American, so it’s ok that I don’t know this. It’s a big deal over there and we had that day off and we were driving through Omaha, we were going to spend the night in Omaha. I happened to say to Jenna: “Hey, isn’t Conor Oberst from Omaha?” Conor Oberst [of Bright Eyes] is one of her favorite Songwriters. So, I started googling Conor Oberst, and it turns out he owns a bar in Omaha. I was like: “Jenna, I know what we’re doing tonight for the Fourth of July, we’re going to Conor Oberst’s bar. Maybe he’ll be there.” She’s like: “Yeah, right. He won’t be there, but let’s go.” We walk in and he’s there, but nobody else is. It’s just him with eight of his friends and the rest of the bar is empty. Jenna and I were both excited, so we both sat at the bar, had a couple of drinks, and watched him out of the corner of our eyes. We never got the courage to actually say hi or anything, but you know, he’d come up and ask the bartender for a glass of wine and I’d watch what bottle he’d pour from and be like: “I’ll have one of those.” So, I like to say that we shared a bottle of wine. Actually, we shared a few bottles of wine.
Jenna: We wrote the song while we were sitting in the bar. We knew there was something about that night that we had to commemorate. When we recorded it, it just didn’t quite fit with the vibe of the rest of the album, but we really liked it, so we wanted to put it on as a bonus track.
Milo: That’s a really cool story. I’d also like to ask about one song off your first album, Cities Away. What’s the story behind Skeletons?
Jenna: To be honest, I don’t even know if I can answer that question. There’s some songs where you almost just blink and somehow, you’ve written a song, and it’s gone from wherever the bare bones of it was to where it is now, but people love it. It’s a simple, kind of Ramones-y vibe, guitar riff. I don’t even know, we were living in Vancouver at the time as well, when I wrote that song, but I don’t think I even have an answer for that one.
Marcia: I think that is an answer, that you don’t really remember.
Jenna: Some songs just kind of happen.
Milo: We met your friend Joe Vickers, who opened for you last time you played in Zurich, when he played a show at Cartel Burrito recently, and I told him that I was going to do this interview and he suggested I ask this last question, so this is all thanks to him.
Jenna: Oh my god…
Milo: If I remember the story correctly, you adopted the practice of using a fanny pack from him. What items in your fanny pack are absolutely essential while on tour?
Marcia: Let’s go through it.
Jenna: Well, we don’t need to go totally through it.
Marcia: Oh, sorry. Maybe there’s some secret items.
Jenna: I always have a Sharpie. I have a miniature floss, which I don’t think I’ve ever used.
Marcia: But just in case.
Jenna: Just in case. You always need money. I’ve always got lip chap and GeloRevoice, which is a German throat lozenge specifically for singing. So, I usually have those in here. My keys? No, my keys aren’t even in here usually. My earplugs. I’d say earplugs, lip chap and a Sharpie are all essential in the fanny pack of Jenna from Mobina Galore. That is so funny. Joe Vickers…
Marcia: Great question. He’s also a hilarious guy.
Mobina Galore Links:
Interview: Milo Schärer / Foto: Dwayne Larson