Although The Not Its! have been around nearly eight years, we didn’t discover them until we got Sirius XM Kids Place Live and heard their song “Busy”. When we first heard “Busy”, the lead singer reminded us a lot of Velocity Girl, one our favorites from the 90s. After a little research, we learned that it was indeed the same lead singer, Washington DC’s own Sarah Shannon! The Not Its!, based out of Seattle, are the definition of Kindie Rock. Their new album, Are You Listening?, will be released on February 19th, and while our official Full Van Fun review isn’t quite ready, our initial opinion is that this might be their best album yet! So enjoy the free download of “Washington D.C.” below and have fun with our #8isEnoughQuestions interview of The Not Its!
For this #8isEnoughQuestions interview, each of the following questions was written by one of our Full Van Fun family members and answered directly by Sarah Shannon, Danny Adamson, Tom Baisden, Jennie Helman, and Michael Welke of The Not Its. Enjoy!
1. What is your favorite dance in real life?
MICHAEL-My favorite dance would have to be the Windmill. I guess that’s more of a single breakdance move than a dance. I basically spent 5th and 6th grade on a piece of cardboard, in a my parachute pants and Michael Jackson Thriller jacket trying to learn this move. I would practice in my living room, on the playground, in my backyard, at my neighbors house. EVERYWHERE! I’d like to tell you that I finally mastered this move but I am sorry to report that it just never happened. However, I can do the worm like none else!
2. What is the difference between The Not Its and any other bands you’ve been in?
TOM-We love that most of the concerts are during the day! That means we don’t have to unload a bunch of gear in the dark and the rain. Well, sometimes in the rain, but very rarely in the dark. It is also amazing to play rock music for small people (and their parents) that aren’t too cool to rock out! Adults without kids, as we all know, are often too cool to rock out.
3. What are some of your favorite outside games other than Freeze Tag?
TOM-We love skateboarding! We love kickball! We love soccer! Really, we love them all. Being outside having fun is where it is at!
SARAH-Badminton, Bocce Ball and of course hide and seek
4. Inspired by your song “Busy”, how do you manage everything so that you still have good quality time with your families?
JENNIE– Our motto is to work hard – and play hard. School, sport, home, work – the calendar gets full quick! The Not-Its! families often go along to the concerts together and rendezvous at someone’s house after. We like impromptu parties! With or without the band get-togethers, family dinners are key. Involving the kids in the getting the work done at home and throwing ‘family dates’ on the calendar to ensure they happen help feel like the calendar isn’t controlling our worlds, i.e.: park picnic, game night, hikes, road trips! And lastly, checking up on email and social media before the kids get up or after they go to bed so we can be most present during the here and now – they grow up too quick!
5. What led you to write a song about a Motorcycle Mom?
DANNY-Motorcycle Mom was inspired by my wife, Rebecca, who is usually the one who sells merchandise at our shows. When I met Rebecca she rode this very cool, old 1960’s Honda motorcycle. The kind that is super cute, covered in chrome and everyone on the street stops you to ask you what year it was made. She’s very involved with our neighborhood school, the PTA and still has the motorcycle and rides it around the neighborhood-hence the song!
6. How was it to work with John Goodmanson on your new record?
DANNY-Working with John Goodmanson was great! He has recorded many bands we like and respect, so that alone made it exciting. He really dialed in the live rock and roll sound that we strive for and managed to capture our energy in the recording. The end result is a very fun and rockin’ album that we’re super proud of!
7. Did you ever receive a haircut you didn’t like? If so, is it why you wrote your song Haircut?
MICHAEL-Oh yes, without a doubt. However, at the time of this particular haircut, I thought I liked it. I thought I was All THAT! But when it comes down to it, a perm-mullet (aka hockey hair, aka Kentucky waterfall, aka soccer hair, aka business on top/party in the back) just wasn’t as cool as I thought. But that didn’t stop me from repeating this crime against hair-manity multiple times over. Fortunately, no, my poor choice of hair fashion was not the impetus for HAIRCUT. The song was created as an homage to a few kids we know who were rocking the long locks and didn’t want to get them cut, no matter how unruly it was. And really, in their hair defense, it’s just hair. It doesn’t define the child. So I say LET IT GROW!
8. Do you like cookies?
JENNIE-Cookies, COOKIES anytime, anywhere – especially when served hot out of the oven! During our last recording we had some fans make guitar shaped cookies colored pink, black and white. We shared them with everyone at the studio that night. It was super cool that a family took the extra time to make us something special for all our hard work!
Thank you The Not Its for a rocking #8isEnoughQuestions interview! Be sure to check out some of our other #8isEnoughQuestions interviews with artists like Mike Phirman, Danny Weinkauf of They Might Be Giants, Turkey Andersen, Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis, Bryan Vander Ark of The Verve Pipe, Play Date, Recess Monkey, Andrew and Polly, Greg Page (Original Yellow Wiggle), Rissi Palmer, Jim Cosgrove, and Tim Kubart.