Sorry Mom: “We’re really proud to tell people that we are a DIY band.” (5/19 at MilkBoy)

Today NYC femme punk trio Sorry Mom dropped “Teeth,” the third single from their debut LP, babyface, out next Friday, May 12th.  The band kick off a US tour...

Today NYC femme punk trio Sorry Mom dropped “Teeth,” the third single from their debut LP, babyface, out next Friday, May 12th.  The band kick off a US tour in a few weeks, with a headlining show Friday May 19th at our very own MilkBoy and a super huge date playing Boston Calling, alongside the likes of Paramore, Queens of the Stone Age, and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.  I recently got a chance to chat with Juno Moreno, Taryn Gangi, and Kari Estes via Zoom, who gave me a pretty comprehensive and definitive history of Sorry Mom.

Izzy Cihak: I realize this is a huge question to start with, but I realized the band is kind of super new, so I’m curious what have been some of the personal highlights of the band for you, whether reactions you’ve gotten to the music or experiences it’s afforded you?

Juno Moreno: For me, personally, my favorite thing that’s come about because of the band is that very early on we got an email from a wrestler, asking to use our song as her walkout song.  And we ended up playing a show for this wrestler in the ring, and kind of becoming friends with this wrestling group, and now play their shows all the time.  And they’re like the weirdest little shows to do, but I think that’s my favorite.

Izzy: This is another big question, but is there anything you think is especially important for fans or potential fans to know about the band, whether relating to your background, your aim as artists, or even just your process of making music together?

Taryn Gangi: My first thought when you ask that question is that we’re really proud to tell people that we are a DIY band.  And, when we say DIY, we really mean other people don’t really touch what we do.  Juno writes the songs 100%.  Kari and I write our own parts, musically; Kari is our bassist, and I play the drums.  Kari was our recording engineer.  For our drum session, we had an assistant recording engineer, because Kari had planned for us to have like 19 microphones, so of course she needed help with someone else.  But other than that, genuinely one person, we record everything ourselves.  We’re doing editing together.  Kari’s mixing.  I’m mastering.  Juno designs all of the art for our merchandise.  Juno even sometimes hand block prints our merch, like actually rolls it on there and hand does it.  Everything is DIY.  We do all this ourselves, which is really cool.  And we’re super proud to be able to say that.

Izzy: You’re about to release babyface, your debut full-length.  How do you think the album compares to your previously released singles and EP, both in terms of sound and just the process of writing and recording it?

Taryn: Another super great question!  I love them!  In terms of the process of doing it, when we did our EP, we did not think anyone was going to listen to it.  We were a college band, we started off playing covers, and then Juno wrote a couple original songs, I thought they were some of the best songs I had ever heard.  I was like “We have to record this!”  And we had Juno singing, playing guitar, I Midi-recorded bass, I Midi-did our drums.  Those instruments were not live on our EP.  It was very low budget.  It was very like, ‘I’ll play it on a keyboard.’  I didn’t think anyone was going to listen to it.  Kari wasn’t even with us at the time.  And then it happened to blow up and we are very lucky and fortunate that we are actually able to go to a studio and do it ourselves.

So, on this one, the process was different in the sense that it was the three of us, whereas before Kari wasn’t there.  And, also, it’s all live instruments, which is really cool.  And our songwriting has matured.  Our playing has matured.  And, sonically, I think we’re in a much more classic punk/hardcore direction, which I think was the original vision of the band, but our EP definitely leaned a little more indie.  But we have a much more hardcore punk sound this time around, and I think having all live instruments also lends itself to that, at least from my perspective.  I know other people probably have their thoughts on it, too.

Izzy: You recently released a music video for “Hiccup,” which I really love.  How did the idea for the video come about?

Juno: I was kind of struggling to figure out what I wanted to do, and I just knew that I wanted there to be guts involved.  And, at first, I honestly had a much grander plan, and then it was getting down to the line and I just made my roommate stand in the tub, and I was like, “I’m just gonna pretend to eat you.”  And I filmed it in one night, a couple nights before it came out, actually, because I’m a slacker.  And yeah, it just kind of came together.  As I was making it, I was playing around with seran wrap and I just did like a thousand different shots of us throwing them up against the wall and eating them.

Taryn: I think the idea of guts and blood and that kind of disgusting stuff, it relates a little bit sonically to what we’re doing, too.  Like, our first single I think the cover was like the way that blood would look under a microscope.  The second single cover, for “Shaving My Legs,” was literally a CT scan of Juno’s guts, from when they went to the hospital for something.  And then our next single, the cover’s a dental X-ray, so we’re going very much with body parts with gross imagery.  And I think sonically that leans a little toward our hardcore sound.  We’re trying to have that sort of hardcore imagery as well.  And I remember anytime we would record like anything, we’d be like, “Alright, any feedback?” and Juno would always be like, “Can we make this more disgusting?  I want this to sound absolutely gross and horrible.”  So, I think that that lends itself to our imagery, too, and that’s part of where that imagery’s coming from.

Juno: Something cool about the “Hiccup” album art is that it looks like blood under a slide.  What it actually is is, I’m a preschool teacher, and we have little tiles that the kids can step on and make the colors move around, and I took a picture of it.

Taryn: I didn’t even know that’s what it was, honestly.

Juno: It’s just a tile that I put a filter on.

Izzy: Considering that this is your debut full-length, I’m curious if you have any favorite debut full-length albums from throughout music history, in addition to your namesake?  Feel free to like consult with your devices, if you’d like!

Taryn: First thing I did!

Juno: I like Guppy by Charly Bliss a lot.

Kari Estes: It’s not their debut, but I’m a big fan of Dynamite by Jamiroqui.  I’m a punk disco gal, so that’s one of my favorite albums.

Taryn: I’m gonna go with Sunchokes by Remember Sports.  I really love that album, and that’s a band that we started out playing some of their covers, and then were so blessed to be able to actually play some shows with them in 2022 in the summer.  And we just adore their music.  Really love that their first full-length was as strong as it was.  It was amazing, so I think it really hooks people in.

Izzy: I know that a lot of your material is inspired by like the existential traumas of suburban life in America – which I, unfortunately, can definitely relate to a lot – so I’m curious if you have any favorite works of art about the suburbs, from whatever medium?

Juno: For me, it’s definitely American Idiot.  That’s an album that I take a lot of inspiration from, especially with our new record.  It’s an album I grew up on.  I remember I wasn’t allowed to listen to curse words in music when I was a kid, but my older brother would let me listen to American Idiot when he drove me to school, and I was really stoked about it.  So, probably that for me!

Taryn: One that comes to mind for me, and I almost don’t know if I should say it, because I think the lead singer recently had some stuff happen.  But, historically, I always loved The Suburbs by The Arcade Fire…  and a very apt name, as well.  But, unfortunately, I think that band did some not so good things…

Juno: He’s a bad boy

Taryn: Which kills me, because the album is so good, and I think growing up in the suburbs, I’ve always been drawn to music that’s touched upon that experience, and now I can’t listen to it anymore.  But, historically, that’s one that I’ve always loved.

Kari: I don’t really have a work of art or album that comes to mind, but one big thing for me was Warped Tour growing up, because I felt like a lot of people who kind of had that same struggle and that same feeling and a lot of the bands who preached about that message were all able to come together in a community for that one day or weekend.

Juno: I was such a Warped Tour fiend…

Kari: I was, too!

Izzy: Next month you have an East Coast tour.  Are there any venues you’re especially excited to play, or just cities you’re especially excited to visit or revisit?

Taryn: Obviously Philly, but I’m excited for Washington DC because we’ve never been there.  I think it’s the only city on our tour that it’s the first time going there, so I’m really excited to go meet some people down there!

Juno: Yeah, Philly, and I’m really excited to play at The Press Room in New Hampshire, because we played our first show there, like our first show outside of our college campus and our first show with Kari, as the lineup that we are now.  So, I’m very excited to return.  And they were so nice there.  They gave me so many Modelos, put ‘em in a little fridge for me!  And they also gave me a hot dog, come to think of it!  Man, I can’t wait to go back!

Kari: They gave me french fries!  So, I think we’re both really happy campers there!  I think The Press Room is the one I’m most looking forward to, as well, in addition to Philly!  Also, Boston Calling, because I went to college in Boston, and I never managed to make it out to Boston Calling.  So, I’m excited to not only go to the festival for the first time, but to play it!

Juno: I forgot we were playing that!  I’m gonna change my answer!

Izzy: While we’re talking about that, is there anyone that you’re especially excited to see at Boston Calling, if you get the chance to wander around?

Kari: For me, Foo Fighters.  They are one of my favorite bands, and I know that that’s a controversial subject in this band here.  We’re not all Foo Fighters fans.  But I’m from Seattle and I saw them play there – it was kind of a hometown show – and it was the best concert I’ve ever been to.  So, I’m really excited for that.  I’m also excited to see The Linda Lindas.  I’ve never seen them live and I love their music, so I’m excited for that!

Juno: I’m super excited to see The Lumineers and Alanis Morissette.  We actually cover a song by each of them, so we thought it was really funny when they were announced as headliners the other night, because we play one song by each of them all the time.  But I really love The Lumineers and I love Alanis Morissette, and I’m excited to go!  It’s very danceable, and I love to dance!

Izzy: Do you have a particular type of setting you most like to play, whether it be barrooms or DIY spaces?  Or, is there something for you that makes a venue especially enjoyable to play?

Juno: We don’t play much of them anymore – we just did recently, which sort of reignited my love for this – but a really, really good house show I think is the best kind of show to play, for me.  We hadn’t played a house show in a couple years, and just recently we were out in Michigan and got invited last-minute to play at the house of someone who was running the show, on campus.  We got invited to play in her basement.  We were like, “Of course, of course!”  And it was so much more fun for me than the actual show that we played on a big stage, with a much larger crowd.  I think there’s something really special about house shows.

Taryn: I feel like we have not had the opportunity to do this a lot, but I’ve always really liked playing outdoors.  I don’t know if that counts as a venue…

Izzy: Yeah, totally.  I mean, there are cities that seem to have more outdoor venues than others…

Taryn: We were down in Austin for SXSW this March and one of the venues we played was outdoors, and I was like, “This is really cool!  I like this!”  So, I’d love to do that again.

Izzy: What can be expected of the live show when you play MilkBoy in about a month?

Taryn: All new songs.  I guess we can’t spoil the setlist, but I think we’re probably going to play through the whole new release, which will be really exciting.  We tried to set it up in a way that would translate well to a live show.  Like, the actual order of the songs on the album, we were like, “If we were to play this album live, what order would we play the songs in?  And what type of experience and story would we want to tell with the order?”  Maybe I did just leak it [laughs].  I think we’ll probably play through the album, and we’ve toyed with bringing some fun covers in, but definitely you’ll hear all of our new songs when you come out to see the show.

Izzy: And finally, what’s next for the band, after these dates wrap?  Is there anything coming up that you’re especially excited about… whether relating to the band or not?

Juno: I don’t know if we’re allowed to say this, but we just found out today that I think Crash Bandicoot is gonna give us shirts, so I’m like unreasonably stoked on that…

Taryn: The little video game fox that runs around and causes chaos?

Juno: He’s a bandicoot!  He’s not a fox!

Taryn: Sorry!  He looks like a fox…

Juno: His name is Crash Bandicoot!

Taryn: I thought that was just his last name…

Juno: He jumps and he’s a bandicoot.  Those are his only two traits!

Taryn: Is that an animal?

Juno: Yeah!

Taryn: No, it’s not.  That’s not an animal.

Juno: Yes!  It’s an animal!  He’s a bandicoot!

Taryn: You’re actually right!  He’s a marsupial native to Australia and New Zealand.

Juno: That’s why he’s Australian in the video game!

Taryn: Wait, for real I thought he was a fox…

Kari: Musically, we’re going to hop right into writing more, not to change the subject…  But we’re gonna hop right into writing more music, and then hopefully release it when it’s in a good place.

Taryn: Yeah, Juno’s sort of always writing, so there’s always stuff on the horizon.

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.