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"I have not been looking for that thing," Kenyatta continues. "If it truly, really exists, when it hits me, I feel I won't be able to deny it. Because if it's really there and it's really the way some people describe it, I won't have a choice. For me, that hasn't happened yet. I don't think I'm fighting anything; it just hasn't gripped me the way some people seem to be gripped. So I'm not gonna make something grip me because somebody says I should, or because my family is or my friends are."
At this point in the conversation, Tana has a suggestion: "Let's just start our own church."
On a Saturday night in late February, NunZilla is sneaking into a certain studio/rehearsal space on the west side for what they call "guerrilla practice." They're really not supposed to be there, but they're cool with some people who actually pay to rent a rehearsal room in the building, which sits inconspicuously at the dark end of a street, amid construction workers' lights and industrial buildings.
NunZilla "borrows" the space to practice whenever they can. The deal is that they can use the renters' access codes, space, and PA system, provided they don't break anything, and they leave some beer in the minifridge.
The band brings plenty of beer. Most of the rehearsal is spent drinking, laughing, talking, and teasing each other. The vibe is more like a spontaneous jam among old friends than a serious, studious, buckle-down vibe. There's tons of giggling and no bickering. "We're all great friends," Kenyatta says. "It's awesome. We don't get together because we have to, we get together because we want to."
"There's no fights or drama," Tana adds. "It's just like, whatever. Very easygoing."
The band's easygoing attitude is reflected in their "songwriting process" as well, which is not really a process at all, but again, more of a jam. "Someone will come up with a riff, we lay the riff down, and layers progress from there," Tana says, before pointing at Taryn. "You whip shit out of your ass all the time."
Speaking of which . . .
"Hey, I've got a new riff," Taryn announces, strumming it out on her guitar.
Kenyatta stands in front of Taryn with her bass and listens, then begins figuring out and mimicking the chords. Then Jason starts thumping out a bass drum rhythm behind her. This is how all NunZilla songs were born, right down to improvised lyrics that nobody bothered to write down until it was time to record their debut album, which the band recently completed.
"We recorded at one of the most awesomest studios in Phoenix, Full Well," Tana says.
NunZilla cut the record with local producer Mike Bollenbach (The New Romantics, The Impossible Ones), who was so taken with the band that he wanted to have a dinosaur stage name, too. So now he's "Bollbasaur."
"This [recording experience] was just glorious," Jason says. "Mike was all energetic and crazy and just rockin' out."
The band plans to self-release its 11-song CD, titled Killing Faith, in April or May, as soon as the mastering's finished. "We're very proud of our work," Tana says of the album. "We did [it in] six days. Six long days, but we did it. We're happy with it."
As for the band's plans after they release the album, they have no grand delusions about being a Top 40 act or playing arenas. "I'd just like to point out, first of all, that we're dressed as three nuns and a priest, and we write ridiculous songs that are really loud and fast," Jason says.
"Plans?" Tana asks. "Well, we're gonna keep living life. And, uh, if someone would like to donate a van to help us haul our stuff, we'd love that."
They've been talking about shooting their first video with Andy Hartmark (probably for their theme song, "NunZilla") and plan to play more shows in Phoenix, Flagstaff, and "maybe L.A."
But their greatest desire is their simplest. "We want the CD to help spread the gospel," Kenyatta says.
And as NunZilla fans know, there's nothing like the gospel of a Godzilla to the groin.
Give me a break! I know punk and this isn't punk. Total Chaos would crash on my living room floor when they still lived in their mama's houses. This has no edge, ergo is not punk. Got an idea for a new name (and gimmick) for you guys. Paul Shaeffer and the Housewives. Better fit. Y'all ain't even half sexy enough to pull off Nunzilla. And Taryn, Digital Underground called. Humpty Hump wants his nose back.
Love The Article, Love Nunzilla. They are just great down to earth peeps. The School Yard Scrappers LOVE Nunzilla ;)
Please Nuns and Father Stone Come to my town and show these people how to have some fun. I must say however the scene is very tight and holy. These guys just need a little loosening up a bit. I remember hanging out with Father Stone back in the day of jumping fences to skate empty pools. The kids here need to worship NunZilla.