Nanaimo’s Moonshine Mollys – guitarist Kaylie Russell, drummer Jona Kristinsson, bassist Maddy Thomas, keyboardist Sydney Needham and vocalist Cassandra Smith (from left) – are working on their debut album. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo’s Moonshine Mollys – guitarist Kaylie Russell, drummer Jona Kristinsson, bassist Maddy Thomas, keyboardist Sydney Needham and vocalist Cassandra Smith (from left) – are working on their debut album. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo’s Moonshine Mollys headline Nanaimo Child Development Centre telethon

Country rock group at work on first album of new material

Nanaimo’s Moonshine Mollys are at work writing their debut record and hope to have their first single recorded by the end of November.

The country rock band – drummer Jona Kristinsson, keyboardist Sydney Needham, guitarist Kaylie Russell, bassist Maddy Thomas and vocalist Cassandra Smith – say the new material is characterized by a party attitude. Kristinsson said the statement they hope to make is “girls rock.”

“There’s not a whole lot of all-girl country bands. Usually it’s like, with the Dixie Chicks, it’s the three of them out there and then a backing band of dudes,” Russell said, adding, “I think a lot of the subject matter of our songs is about strong women.”

Kristinsson said the band’s first single, Country Girl on Fire, is about “a sweet home country girl that in the daytime is working with dad on the farm and then when night comes and dad’s busy eating his TV dinner and watching TV, she crawls out the window and goes to the bar where everybody knows her as this dancing queen.”

The song was written by area musician and band friend Sharon Franzen, with music and modifications by the Mollys. Needham said the song was partly inspired by watching people in their audience.

“Playing lots of cover shows, there’s always that one person where you’re like, ‘This is your night out, you are on fire,’ and you just watch that one person who dances. You can’t take your eyes off them all night long,” Needham said.

Another new song, Saturday Night, is the story of “a mom that has dishes piling up and kids running around everywhere with snot in their noses and lazy dad, kind of redneck-y, hanging out in the second room with his friends drunk, playing cards or poker, and she just wants to go out and have some fun,” Kristinsson said.

The band hasn’t settled on a name for the new record yet, as they are still too early in the writing process.

“It’s like when people don’t name their babies until they meet the baby. You don’t name the album until you meet the whole thing,” Needham said.

The Mollys have a busy schedule ahead. In between writing the new album and recording a demo reel for shows and festivals, the band plays three concerts in three nights from Sept. 21 to 23, culminating with a return performance at the Nanaimo Child Development Centre telethon, where they will wrap up the event.

“We’ll be playing before and after they reveal the final amount that has been fundraised, which is exciting,” Kristinsson said. “Last year we were in just a side spot and now we’re in the head spot.”

Last year the eight-hour telethon raised more than $160,000 for the child development centre’s services and programming.

WHAT’S ON … The Moonshine Mollys perform at the Queen’s on Sept. 28 at 10:30 p.m., tickets $10 at the door, and Sept. 29 at 8 p.m., $12 general admission, $10 for those under 18, $5 for those under 13. The Mollys also play the Nanaimo Child Development Centre telethon at the Port Theatre on Sept. 30, which starts at noon. Free admission.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

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