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NONA: Writing Songs That a Punk Kid With Studs on His Jacket Would Love.

May 22, 2014

Nona2014Small02Text by Derrick Krom. Images by Jessica Flynn.

There’s a lot on NONA’s plate at the moment.

In a literal sense, the South Philadelphia punk rock trio fills their plates tonight with a full helping of home-cooked barbecue, mashed sweet potatoes and salad while managing to avoid the overly salted asparagus.

But NONA is also in the process of preparing for an upcoming tour – which includes a stop at SXSW – and the re-release of their first full-length LP Through the Head on 6131 Records this July, all while managing to balance part-time jobs to pay the rent.

Going on their fourth year as a band, NONA is also used to a good amount of change. Singer/guitarist/founder and sole original member Mimi Gallagher moved to Philadelphia from West Chester, bringing the band and its aspirations along with her.

“It’s been a revolving cast of members,” Gallagher says, “just because it’s hard to find people I’m on the same page with.”

While bassist Nick Harris slaves away in the kitchen and the  “Drive” soundtrack spins on the turntable, Gallagher and drummer Pat “Dos” Ware sit down to talk about life in NONA, what the future might hold and Gallagher’s pivotal move to Philadelphia.

“A big shift was definitely Mimi moving to Philly,” Ware says. “Because before, NONA was a West Chester thing. Now it’s definitely a Philly thing.”

“It feels more like a band now than it ever has,” adds Gallagher. “We’re all musically on the same page and writing songs makes more sense than it ever has.”

According to Ware, finding the right cast of characters for NONA involved a good amount of alcohol.

“A big drunken mistake,” he says with a laugh. “That’s all we are.”

Ware decided to join two years ago, when he and Gallagher met on tour in a New Hampshire bar. Harris, on the other hand, joined without even seeing the band play live.

“I heard Through the Head when it first came out and I loved it,” Harris says. “It was a drunken night, probably 6 a.m., and I just said, ‘I’ll do it. I’ll play bass in your band.’ The next day I bought a bass online.”

It seems as if this current lineup is the lineup that’s finally here to stay. All in their early 20s, the three members of NONA interact as if they have always been lifelong friends.

“We’re three people who are very, for the most part, comfortable in our own skin with the decisions we make,” says Ware. “The only thing that’s different about this band than any other band I’ve ever been in is that we don’t really limit ourselves to anything.”

This limitless stance doesn’t only apply to music. While currently modestly dressed in jeans and sweatshirts, NONA alludes to a few questionable clothing choices in the past after Ware mentions a Phillies beanie Harris stole from Gallagher’s parents.

“We’ve gotta get Nick a new hat,” Ware says. “It’s the only hat Nick’s worn all year and everywhere I go, I see five older gentlemen wearing that hat.”

Along with arguing against the idea of wearing sweatpants on stage, Harris brings up a show in Cincinnati where Ware played the entire show wearing a mesh Goth shirt.

“Like a pinnie from gym class with no undershirt,” Harris adds.

“Everyone at the show proceeded to throw one, two, three hundred beer cans at me,” Ware says. “It was fun that night.”

With Gallagher painting Harris’s nails and Ware attempting to eat the aforementioned salty asparagus, the members of NONA finish-up their dinner and begin talking about the future.

“It’s kind of scary to think that far ahead,” says Gallagher. “We want to take every opportunity that’s given to us. Obviously, in five years, I would love it if some form of this could be what I was living off of. That would be the dream.”

Now that Through the Head is on schedule to be re-released sometime in July, NONA is looking forward to writing new material and booking shows for the upcoming summer.

“I feel like we’re ready to start writing songs that a punk kid with studs on his jacket would love,” Ware says. “But songs that his mom would love, too.”

  1. Anonymous permalink
    May 23, 2014 1:41 am

    Nick Harris is gods gift to the bass guitar.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    May 23, 2014 1:42 am

    have you seen Nick Harris’s hair? its to die for…

  3. Anonymous permalink
    May 23, 2014 1:43 am

    I wish I knew what Nick Harris was doing right now…. humphhhhh

  4. Anonymous permalink
    May 23, 2014 1:43 am

    Fun Fact!!!! Nick Harris Loves Guided By Voices!!!!!

  5. Anonymous permalink
    May 23, 2014 1:45 am

    Fun Fact!!!! Nick Harris LOooooooooves Guided By Voices… and long hugs… he so dreamy with that hair…

  6. Anonymous permalink
    May 23, 2014 3:58 pm

    I think Nick Harris changed his last name. I’m pretty sure it used to be Pitt.

  7. Anonymous permalink
    May 26, 2014 8:17 pm

    I wonder what the hell a guy Like Nick Harris does for Memorial Day??????

  8. Geo permalink*
    May 27, 2014 10:34 pm

    Nick Harris sounds pretty awesome.

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