The three members of No Small Children are trying not to use their day jobs as elementary school teachers in North Hollywood as too much shtick. But it does sometimes pay dividends — like hooking them up with puppet masters for the Jim Henson Company for the group’s new video for “Radio,” premiering exclusively below.
The rock trio met director Russ Walko and some of his Puppet Garage cohorts earlier this year during a fundraising benefit and going-away party for the principal at the school where they teach. “We played a punk rock version of ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’,” recalls singer-guitarist Lisa Pimentel, a music teacher by day. “They were doing a skit at the fundraiser, too, and they called us after and said, ‘We want to make a video with you.’ Of course we said yes; (‘Radio’) was the first song we finished for our album (What Do the Kids Say?) and we knew it had a good video in it. We were just waiting.”
The clip features Pimentel, her sister Joanie Pimentel on bass and drummer Nicola Berlinsky cavorting with, fighting and ultimately befriending three Muppet-like puppets the Henson crew created especially for the video. “It was so much fun, the whole thing,” Lisa Pimentel says. “You just don’t think of someone having a career as a puppeteer, but (the video) really showed us how they have this whole wide skill set — comedy, acting. They’re into building fabrics, toys, things like that. The comedian part really came out during the shoot; We were laughing so hard all day long and just had the best time.”
Between the video, the album — which came out during August — and a recent appearance at Riot Fest, No Small Children is seemingly starting to get its legs as a band. “Radio,” which was produced by hard rock hitmaker Bob Marlette, is indeed getting radio play and has been featured in other outlets, while the group’s remake of the Ghostbusters theme was featured in the 2016 all-female sequel and another track is featured during the closing credits for the film Simple Favor.
“We’re trying to have our identity as a kick-ass rock band,” says Pimentel. “It’s starting to feel like, ‘Whoa, what’s actually happening now?’ We didn’t really set out to do anything except be creative, which is what teachers to every day, right? We ARE a band of teachers, but we’re trying to become known more as a rock band that teaches.” No Small Children is “always working on new music,” according to the guitarist, but with the album still young there are no future release plans set in stone yet.
“We’re just writing songs right now,” Pimentel says. “We find that when we do a whole record it almost takes too long, so maybe we’ll do an EP or a short record or start releasing one song at a time. There’s a lot you can do to put music out right now, so we’ll see.”