Interview: Jenna Priestner of Mobina Galore

Winnipeg-based punk duo Mobina Galore were set to tour Europe on April 15 in support of their latest LP, Don’t Worry. And then the world shut down.

The band, comprised of Jenna Priestner (guitar/ vocals) and drummer Marcia Hanson, like just about every other band across the globe that make their living playing shows, had to completely access what was next and adapt. As luck would have it, with everyone stuck at home for the foreseeable future, the band has a documentary about the making of their latest album set to premiere on YouTube April 11.

You can check out the trailer here for the documentary, titled Sorry I’m A Mess: The Making of Don’t Worry, here. 

Priestner spoke with New Noise recently about the movie, what they have been doing in self-isolation, and how you can help the band.

So, how did the idea for Sorry I’m a Mess come about?
The original idea is a bit fuzzy, but I recall sending Marty (LaFrenière, Looksmart Video) an e-mail asking if he had time and interest in coming into the studio with us and filming us during the process of recording Don’t Worry. I knew he had recently started full-time work in film/audio but had flexible days depending on when he was shooting.

So, I thought it could be motivating for us all to be working on something none of us had done before. We hadn’t taken any footage in the studio ever other than the odd Instagram post over the years, so we figured no better time than now! When he asked what end product we were looking for, I honestly didn’t have an answer, but I think that’s what made it so interesting and fun for us once the studio time was done—we had to decide what to do with the hours and hours of footage.

This was our third time at Private Ear Recording as well, so we knew we were going to be as comfortable as you possibly could be in the studio.

In putting the footage together, what stood out to you them most about that session?

Marty did all the editing, but watching back the footage really make me realize I am just as serious and weird as I thought I was. Seeing yourself going through all the emotions of the studio life after the fact is kinda of funny ’cause you can’t hide who you are.

Marty and us were casual friends before this all, but he said as soon as he started editing, he felt like he had known us forever and kept forgetting that it was a one-way street. We weren’t watching footage of him, but really, part way through the postproduction, we are now all great friends!

Where can people see it?
The documentary premieres on our YouTube channel, on Saturday April 11 at 1 p.m. CST/8PM CET. We wanted it to be watchable in both North America and Europe, since we have such a big fan base there. We were going to do a screening here in Winnipeg that day at Sookrams Brewing (an amazing brewery here in town, and the owner just so happens to be a big fan), but sadly, that never even got to be announced because of COVID-19.

The premiere works so that people can subscribe and get a notification a couple times when the screening is about to begin. You can go to the “watch page,” and within that, there is a chat, which we will be part of before, during, and after the screening! It’s about 42 minutes long, and afterwards we will be doing a few acoustic songs on Instagram Live.

Speaking of COVID-19, let’s talk about what you’ve been doing the past couple of weeks since this self-isolation have started? How are you holding up?
To be honest, life for me hasn’t changed drastically, since I’m self-employed and work from home 80 percent of the time, and the other time is me cleaning condos people have moved out of, so even in that situation, I’m alone.

We also decided to sell our house before this all got crazy, so once it got real crazy and no one could/should leave their houses, we were both actually working 12 hours a day on the house packing and getting it spotless, so that occupied a ton of time! Now that that dust has settled, I’ve bought a condenser mic, an interface, and I’m going to just play music and learn how to use said devices.

I know you’ve done at least one acoustic set online. Any plans for more?
We are doing a set of “Happy Any Hour” acoustic sets via YouTube every Friday in April. The times will vary to, again, work for both NA and EU. The first one was last Friday, April 3, and was about songwriting; we played songs that I recomposed a bit and talked about what the songs are about and the writing and recording process for them.

We will also do an influences week, a full play-through of Don’t Worry, and a session on all new, random stuff we’ve never really played before.

Most bands make their money nowadays playing shows and touring. Are you able to sell merch online or ask for donations via online shows?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this and trying to figure out what is best for us. We are certainly losing out a lot of income on cancelled tours (EU was meant to start April 15) and there was a States tour in the works for the summer, but without our P2 Visas (which I was going to apply for right when all this happened) and not knowing when the border will open up and when they will be accepting new applications for Visas, I’m certain that tour is doomed as well.

Hopefully, the U.K. August tour is a go, but I’m not hopeful. Merch is cool, but some people might be weary of it since it requires me going out, but I’ll ship as long as Canada Post is open! You can PayPal us “tips” directly as well.



Have you been writing any new material since this all started?  
Marcia and I have a couple new songs we’ve been working on that we each wrote half of the lyrics for, which is cool. I’ve got a ton of stuff I’ve been working on, but that was pre-crazy times. I imagine in the next few weeks, I’ll be going pretty crazy with the songwriting, whether it’s for Mobina Galore use or just personal use.

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