Interview with Jenna Priestner and Marcia Hanson | By Renaldo Matadeen | Photos by Alan Snodgrass
Winnipeg’s Mobina Galore have been blowing up the scene for eight years, with guitarist and vocalist Jenna Priestner and drummer and vocalist Marcia Hanson proving what aggressive power chord punk rock should be about.
With two full-lengths, 2014’s Cities Away and 2017’s Feeling Disconnected, under their belt, the duo released Don’t Worry on Sept. 6 via New Damage Records. It unpacks years of touring, supporting bands like Against Me!, Pennywise, and Propagandhi while rocking out at festivals such as Montréal’s Pouzza Fest, Punk Rock Bowling in Vegas, and Groezrock in Belgium.
Below, Priestner and Hanson both take a moment to discuss the new album.
Don’t Worry is a banger, as expected. What changed from the last album to this one, and how did that influence the stories being told?
Hanson: We were both dealing with heartache while writing the songs, so they ended up very sincere and personal. At first, we didn’t know if we wanted to be playing these songs all the time, because the feelings were so raw, but after a while, we decided they were too good to hide away.
Priestner: There’s also been hundreds of shows under our belt since our last release, so the need for some change musically for our live show was necessary!
Melodic punk bangers are Mobina Galore’s thing for sure, but “Back to the Beginning” has a ’90s vibe like The Offspring meets Hole. Could you elaborate a bit more on this track?
Hanson: That ’90s grunge [thing] was definitely the vibe we were going for, and it sounds like we nailed it. [Laughs]
Priestner: The song started out on acoustic with a different composition, and in fact, [it] took quite a long time to get to where it is now. I hit a wall with it and thought it was not even on the table anymore, but I always loved the lyrics and singing style, so we just chopped it all up and put it back together in a different fashion. It’s a classic structure for the most part but has that don’t-give-a-shit feel and tempo. I get admittedly sad and restless in the wintertime—living in Winnipeg doesn’t help—and that’s when this song was written.
To that point, Don’t Worry is a pretty interesting, albeit simple, title for the album. Seeing as quite a few of the track titles seem like we should be worried [laughs], could you explain the thought process behind it? What are the messages on the record?
Hanson: Most of the songs are about hurting someone you love, getting hurt by someone you love, and feeling stuck inside a thick pain and trying to talk yourself out of it. Because the songs are so personal, we thought naming it Don’t Worry would be like a wink to our friends and family to tell them, “I know we might sound like we’re not doing so well, but we’re OK.”
Priestner: The first thing my dad said when he heard the full album was, “Should I be worried?” [Laughs] So, I think the title couldn’t be more perfect!
[Laughs] He must have heard “Sorry, I’m a Mess.” Any chance of Mobina even going harder and angrier someday, maybe even more skate punk? It felt like some influence from this arena did pop up here and there on songs like this.
Priestner: I would love to be in a super-fast ’80s hardcore or ’90s skate punk band, but I don’t have time for that! As for Mobina, we think a lot about the live performance, and vocally, it’s draining to scream every song, which is why there’s such a variation on this new record. Some of these harder, faster songs are a tough sell for Marcia, because she doesn’t relate to my complainy lyrics and aggression; she’s a much nicer and kinder person than I am [laughs].
This is where songs like “I Need To Go Home” stand out. It’s one of the best tracks on the record, so could you explain what it’s about?
Priestner: There’s quite a lot to this song, in fact, musically and lyrically, from first aid kit references to Winnipeg shout-outs that no one would understand but me. It’s a woe-is-me song about comparing your pain with others’, which isn’t generally a fair thing to do. Some of the lines are quite literal, and we all fuck up in life, but the main idea and takeaway of the song is that your best is yet to come!
Just how tough was it making this album and living up to expectations after the reception of Feeling Disconnected?
Hanson: I don’t know that we were thinking of anyone’s expectations; we just wanted to make a record we loved [laughs].
Priestner: Feeling Disconnected was received OK on the small scale, but I’ve always had greater goals for us than what that got us, so I certainly had high expectations of myself to create something bigger and better. There are a few songs on Don’t Worry I didn’t even want to put on [there], because I was sick of singing about the same shit in all these songs, but at the end of the day, that can be what makes a great album: emotion, a theme, and relatable content. So far, these songs are fitting in well with all of our older songs as well!