For big fans of Canadian punk rock, we probably don’t have to introduce Mobina Galore, but for you who aren’t up to speed, let us help with that! We previously featured this quickly-rising duo just last month with our premiere of their recently-released single “Dig Myself Out” off their newly-released full-length record Don’t Worry (stream/purchase here), unveiled to the masses two weeks ago via New Damage Records, and Gunner Records which is handling distribution in Europe.
The duo, consisting of vocalist/guitarist Jenna Priestner and drummer/vocalist Marcia Hanson, have concocted their own signature brand of aggressive power chord punk rock, a chemistry that is born out of their close, ten-year-old friendship. Don’t Worry carries on the power and momentum the duo has been building since forming in 2011 with its heavy, dynamic and emotional songwriting that explores all the highs and lows of modern living. Consisting of twelve new tracks, Don’t Worry is a memorable collection of sing-along anthems that makes sure to pay its respects to the ‘90s west coast skate punk rock and first-wave midwest emo that helped inspire its sound and spirit.
Don’t Worry was written at a period of hard times for both Jenna and Marcia as they were suffering from broken hearts for much of the time it took to write and produce the record. It’s this which is most responsible for the record’s honest tone and lyrics. The album is preceded by a number of releases from Mobina Galore, including 2012’s debut Skeletons EP, 2014’s Cities Away EP, 2016’s Singles & B-Sides, 2017’s debut Feeling Disconnected full-length, 2018 single “Fade Away”, and February 2019 single, “Zoë (It Ripped Me Apart).”
To truly take a plunge into this exciting Canadian duo, we spoke with Mobina Galore singer and guitarist Jenna Priestner just prior to the release of Don’t Worry to discuss the new album, Canada’s punk rock scene, being a female punk duo, and how their unique sound came to be.
Might as well see what the hullaballoo is all about, right? Straem Don’t Worry here:
Canada has a pretty decent music scene to its name, with many metal bands, in particular, coming from the country. Does it have a large punk rock scene?
Jenna Priestner: “I personally find Canada’s music scene to be very regional so depending on where you are there’s either a decent punk scene or only a couple bands struggling to find a show. For us Winnipeg has a great punk scene, the problem with it is that no one knows about it because so few bands based there tour. (laughs)”
With a few notable females in the scene such as Siouxsie and Brody Dalle, have you found acceptance in the punk rock scene easy or difficult?
Priestner: “If people like your songs they like your songs, and if you are confident and passionate in what you do that will get you further then whether being “male” or “female” in this industry has a part in it. It’s an annoying conversation that everyone wants to ask every female artist, it should be the male artists that get asked what they’re doing to make women feel accepted in the scene.”
Is it tough to be a female punk rock duo, or do you find it easier now compared to when you first started?
Priestner: “It’s tough to be in a band regardless, yeah maybe it’s easier to be a bunch of dudes as it is in every aspect of life, but that’s not how we look at being in this band. We’re just a band.”
How challenging is it to perform with your unique duo dynamic with drums, guitar and vocals?
Priestner: “It’s all we know and we love the connection we have when we write songs and when we perform them live so it’s not challenging it’s just fun and what we know.”
No idea how I’ll “Dig Myself Out” of this punk rock infatuation...
Your third studio album sounds like it is going to be explosive! What was the catalyst for this latest release (i.e. what was pushing the power behind the sound)?
Priestner: “We were both dealing with some heartache during the last couple years of writing this album and it comes through very openly and honestly in the lyrics, so that drove a lot of the theme to the album. Musically I was very interested in diversifying and adding more dynamic to my playing style so I spent more time than normal working on playing style and tone.”
Your lyrics are extremely powerful and full of emotion. From where do you draw inspiration for these epic songs to be written?
Priestner: “Inspiration comes from our lives and the lives of those closest to us. We don’t tend to hold back on expressing ourselves lyrically and I think ‘Don’t Worry’ is the best and most extreme example of that, honesty is relatable and we want our songs (as personal as they are to our specific scenarios) to be relatable and helpful to people going through similar stuff.”
Mobina Galore is very distinct and edgy punk rock. How did you sound come to be? Was it bands, location, upbringing, a concert, etc. that influenced you to create this group?
Priestner: “I always wanted to have vocal rasp so that was perhaps the start of our ‘sound,’ if a song has my vocal style in it I feel like it has our sound. Being a duo we needed to work at filling various frequencies live so fucking around with different amps and pedals, snares and cymbals were important to us. We always wanted a driving beat and lots of distortion so that’s where it began, then from there over the years we’ve been working on creating a more dynamic and evolved sound that still stays true to the rawness of our live set.”
The album Don’t Worry was released on September 6th, 2019, via New Damage Records (worldwide) and Gunner Records (Europe):
You finished off your tour in the UK at the end of August, before embarking on your Canadian leg. How much fighting did you have to do to get into the Canadian show circuit?
Priestner: “Canada is so big, you start fresh with every city you go to. When you tour in Europe everything is much closer together it’s easier to build a fan base… assuming people like you from the start… and we’ve lucked out with that. For example, Western Canada is good for us (well, six to seven of the cities) but Eastern Canada is still like pulling teeth and we’ve been touring for eight years. But we hear it’s like that for most bands unless you’re big so it is what it is. We constantly ask ourselves why we keep going back to places where our fanbase doesn’t exist and then realize it’s because you have no choice but to pass through so many cities in Canada if you want to get to the one that does care about you.”
The title on your new album “Don’t Worry” and the song “Zoe (It Ripped Me Apart)” sounds extremely intriguing. I would wager there are backstories behind these as inspiration; are you willing to share them with us or will it all be explained in due course?
Priestner: “I wrote the song ‘Zoë’ for my cousin Brooke and her family who lost their baby when she was eight months pregnant. It’s a story I tell each time I play it because it’s very personal to me and I feel so honoured that Brooke has given me permission to tell her story through this song all over the world. All Bandcamp purchases are being donated to an organization she’s working within Regina called Twinkle Star Project that helps families who have gone through similar situations. As for ‘Don’t Worry,’ we wanted the title to let everyone know that we’re okay since the lyrics might make people think otherwise.”
Mobina Galore has an awesome “Escape Plan” that involves punk rock!
When inspiration hits you, what do you do? Do you get your notebook and guitar/drums and take a methodical approach, or do you just jam it out? For example, you get the idea for the melody and work lyrics around it perhaps?
Priestner: “Marcia writes a lot of lyrics on notes in her phone and gets back to it when we’re at home and she’s had just enough wine, and for me it’s all about time and place. I won’t feel inspired but force myself to the jam room with my acoustic and all of a sudden I’ve written a song in 20 minutes, so it’s really all over the place. It isn’t until the two of us jam together (usually with a fifteen pack of beer and some whiskey) that we really get things going.”
After the third studio album, where will you be taking Mobina Galore next?
Priestner: “We will have to see where the album takes us, I don’t think it’s up to us at this point. It’s up to the listeners and people in the industry. For the time being, we just keep doing what we do; writing, touring, recording, touring, repeat...”
Upcoming Canadian Tour Dates:
09/19 - Sherbrooke, QC - Le Murdoch
09/20 - Vankleek Hill, ON - Beau's Oktoberfest
09/21 - Vankleek Hill, ON - Beau's Oktoberfest
09/25 - Toronto, ON - Cherry Cola's
09/26 - Barrie, ON - Foxx
09/27 - Hamilton, ON - The Doors Pub
09/28 - London, ON - Probably House
09/29 - Newmarket, ON @ The Goat
10/06 - Winnipeg, MB @ The Park Theatre