intro by Adam Cecil
Impose Magazine described The Rizzos’ last release, Worse Things, as full of “rock songs made for DIY garage dance proms.” The Rizzos crew lean into that aesthetic on their new release, No Parents, No Rules 2: Beneath The Planet of No Rules, a tape that could easily serve as the soundtrack for your umpteenth re-read of The Outsiders. If you never quite left high school, but in a romantic way and not a “holy shit you need to learn how to do your own laundry” kind of way, you should take a trip to the Planet of No Rules.
The Rizzos are Megan Mancini on guitar and vocals, Bettina Warshaw on drums, and Justin Ferraro on bass guitar and backup vocals. This release also features Josh Park of The Mad Doctors on guitar.
We asked the main Rizzos crew to give us their thoughts on the new songs on No Parents, No Rules 2, which you can find below along with the kickass video for “Prom Mom.”
Bettina Warshaw, Drums
By calling ourselves The Rizzos we kind of locked ourselves into a ‘50s/high school/greaser sort of aesthetic...and I'm not mad about it! We wrote this song so long ago that the exact circumstance of it is hazy (and we were probably pretty drunk when we wrote it [we had just become a band, we were excited]) but one thing that sticks out is how collaborative the lyric writing was. Not in Google Docs or throwing ideas around, but in walking and talking and trying things out. While the song is about "Megan's mom" (Very vaguely. Hi, ML!), a lot of it is made up and elaborated on. None of us actually got drunk instead of going to prom. Megan skipped prom and went to Six Flags. Betty and Justy both went to prom and have the regrettable pictures to prove it.
This song is about nostalgia and maybe a little regret, about looking back at those feelings of excitement and anxiety and frustration. And young loooooooove.
Justin Ferraro, bass guitar / backup vocals
This song started as an instrumental that we would just work through and slowly build off of. We never had a concrete notion of what the song should actually be when we originally recorded it. It definitely sounded like a departure from our usual stuff. It's dark and very spacious and so I decided it should be about something foreboding. If “Prom Mom” is all about memory and the past and “Suckitude” is about ambition and trying to guess the future, then “Antlers” should be about the tricks that the mind plays in the present and how one can get trapped. In short, “Antlers” is about nightmares.
The first part is based off a type of nightmare I'd have in which someone in my family would be mad at me to the point of hatred. That never had any bearing in reality but nonetheless I would feel a very visceral distress and sadness permeate my being to the point where I'd wake up feeling distraught and carry the feeling around for hours. The second half of at the song describes an extremely vivid dream Meg had. You could have a lot of fun analyzing the images but I think the scenes are poignant at face value. Both dreams paint a portrait of the unconscious mind, a maze we find ourselves in again and again, a puzzle that we turn over, looking for meaning, even as it distorts our vision of reality.
Megan Mancini, guitar / vocals
“Suckitude” has gone through many transformations since we’ve been a band. It started as “Butt Sweat,” then turned into a song declaring “I suck,” and served as our personal theme for Pizza Fests 2 & 3. We recorded this in one take at Converse Rubber Tracks and just went wild, Justin and Josh playing as grossly as possible. When it was time to set the lyrics in stone we decided to run with a theme of bad luck we’ve encountered as a band—last year we went on weekend tour and ended up owing $800 on a rental car for a scratch we didn’t make; our first order of Rizzos Tees were stolen from my apartment lobby. There are much worse things that can happen, of course, but it’s really those little things that can knock you down and make you wonder why you invest so much in a project that is purely for fun. But that’s exactly the point—it’s all for fun. This song has always been a moment to not take ourselves seriously, to scream and jump around and cut fucking loose.