- Words Notion Staff
- Photography Cooper Winterson
New York rockers Momma chat about their Jack Black friendship hopes, musical misconceptions and biggest irrational fears.
Welcome to Fresh Face, a quick-fire interview series spotlighting the best rising talents in today’s youthful music scene. From biggest pet peeves to party tricks and death row meals, we’re stripping things back from the formal Q&A format. Think of it like speed dating, but with some of the freshest music makers worth discovering.
New York city band Momma have been working hard to get to this point. They’ve had to shoulder the difficulty of finding their big break with the album ‘Two of Me’ – their second, after 2018’s ‘Interloper’ – during the pandemic, where the joy of playing live was mostly restricted.
The band may have just reached that tipping point, though. They’ve signed up to the prestigious tastemaker label Lucky Number, and are heading on tour with Snail Mail in August and September this year.
Proving that their great leap forward is no fluke, the band have just put out the new single “Rockstar”, announcing a new era of dynamic ambition for the quartet as they delve into the complicated experiences of becoming dependent upon a loved one. It feeds into their big album release, ‘Household Name’, which is coming on 1st July: a twelve-song collection of vulnerable, bombastic alt-rock that sums up everything Momma can do.
To celebrate their well-earned success, we sat down with Momma’s Etta and Allegra to chat about which fashion trends they would revive, what inspires them out of music and current obsessions.
The biggest misconception about being a musician?
Etta: I guess when I typically think of musicians, and the ones that I look up to, I always assume that songwriting is easy. I accept the idea that there are no rewrites, no previous versions, just a crafted masterpiece that came right from the artist. However, most of the time, I think I’m just fucking around on guitar until I land on something that sounds interesting enough to motivate me and Allegra to finish the song.
Allegra: I think the biggest misconception about being a musician is that writing a song is always natural, and that songwriters are constantly overflowing with ideas that they need to immediately get down on paper. For me, that’s not the case. Sure, there are sometimes when I’m going through something painful in my life, and the second I pick up a guitar, the song just writes itself. But most of the time it doesn’t work like that. Songwriting is trying, and it takes a lot of effort.
If you could revive one fashion trend, which would it be?
Etta: Shutter shades are the first thing to come to mind.
Allegra: Leggings. I love leggings, they’re comfortable and awesome. In elementary school we were all wearing leggings or gauchos and then we would layer like three or four tank tops on top of each other.
Three things that inspire you outside of music?
Etta: My kooky family whom I love dearly.
Kathy Rose’s “Pencil Drawings” Animation.
Allegra: Scott Heim the author.
True crime documentaries.
My mom and all of her wild stories.
What are you currently obsessed with?
Allegra: The Wolfgang Priklopil/Natascha Kampusch case. Reading about it has been keeping me up the past three nights.
What has been your biggest pinch-me moment so far?
Etta: Getting in touch with Louise Post of Veruca Salt.
Allegra: Yeah, we recently texted back and forth with Louise Post and that was way too surreal. She is one of both of our idols for sure. There’s a couple other pinch me moments that I don’t know if I can talk about yet. But the fact that we’re going to the UK in May to play music is way too cool. We were listening to so much Britpop when we were making this record. If anyone has any recommendations of pubs to play pool in Glasgow, Manchester, London, Brighton, or Leeds, let me know.
What’s your party trick?
Etta: We can sing the shit out of “Ballroom Blitz” by The Sweet.
Allegra: Yeah, when we karaoke “Ballroom Blitz” no one ever really gets into it but we always lose our voices from screaming so loud.
Are we alone in the universe?
Etta: Hell no. Look up the Voyager’s Golden Record.
Allegra: Definitely not. I believe in aliens but I believe in ghosts too. I also kind of want to believe in witches and mermaids and stuff like that but that’s because I’m obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Which celebrity would you love to be friends with?
Etta: Hands down, I know I would be best friends with Jack Black.
Allegra: Same. I want to listen to music with Jack Black. His energy reminds me of my dad. I want to write with him too. He’s awesome, he loves going to arcades and playing games.
One goal for 2022?
Etta: Make some more animations.
Allegra: Write better songs. I also want to direct or co-direct a music video for us. I have no credentials or experience, but a lot of ideas.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Etta: Definitely some type of rice dish–I feel like it’s the most versatile base.
Allegra: A really yummy and light caesar salad with grilled chicken and delicious fresh sourdough croutons and lots of lemon and parm and fresh black pepper. Yummy!
Biggest irrational fear?
Etta: I have a phobia of snakes, which I guess some may call irrational?
Allegra: Having to pee but not being able to. I won’t go in an elevator if I really have to pee in case the elevator gets stuck. If I’m on the train and really have to pee, I’ll get off a stop or two early because I start freaking out that the train is going to get stuck underground and I won’t be able to pee and I’ll get a bladder infection. Or being in a car, having to pee, and then getting caught in really bad traffic on the freeway. That’s happened to me before and I had to pee in a McDonald’s soda cup. Maybe that’s TMI but I think about it all the time. Shit’s scary.