Mona D can tell you what to do in Reno - L Swain
One of the greatest joys of People Who Work Here is introducing you to our newest employees in a timely fashion. These interviews are — let’s face it — great reading for you, but they’re also a useful and powerful tool for Sub Pop staffers to get to know our new coworkers so that we can commence harassing them in better, more effective ways much more quickly than ever before. Mona D is our newest addition to the Sub Pop radio promo staff and she’s a nice little thing who is paying way too much for a studio apartment in Capitol Hill. Mona has only been in Seattle since January, and I think she’s a vegetarian and I know that she likes to drink vodka sodas. Let’s meet Mona!
L: Mona, welcome to Sub Pop! You have been here for about two months now—how do you like it? What is the most surprising thing about working here? (This can be anything from ‘I had no idea you guys worked in cubicles’ to ‘Who knew that people in Seattle were so racist!?’)
M: I think Seattle is actually hell of rad (you can take the girl out of California…). [I always thought it was ‘hella’. I guess you get to church it up a little if you have a Masters, though. –ed.] There are a ton of good record shops and bars here, and the weather is actually kinda nice these days. The most surprising thing about working here? To be honest, I wasn’t expecting such a high percentage of the staff to be married or own a house or have kids or all those adult things…I was more expecting to walk in on people doing hell of drugs in the bathrooms. I’m definitely not disappointed that it’s babies over blow here, just a bit surprised. [For the record, most of the staff does drugs with their babies at home, not at work. –ed.]
L: What have you been doing in your free time? How do you find Seattle? Do you pretend you live in England on account of the grey? That’s what I do….
M: I’ve pretty much been doing here what I do in every town…chain smoke, listen to records, and wander around town (Ballard and Capitol Hill both seem pretty awesome so far). I’d like to start DJing again soon, ‘cos that’s pretty fun too. Seattle reminds me a lot of San Francisco but without all the pretension. Sometimes I do pretend it’s England though, and I say ‘cor blimey’ and ‘bollocks’ a lot…until I get punched in the face, and then it’s not fun anymore. [You should lay some of that cockney shit on Richard the Scotsman—he looooves it. –ed.]
L: Please tell me about Mona D in high school. I see you have some Souxsie and the Bashees stuff at your desk—were you goth? Would you consider yourself goth presently? Wait, fuck it, what’s your favorite band?
M: Mona D in high school was pretty goth if you consider a Robert Smith hairdo, 20 eye docs, and black lipstick ‘goth.’ I never wore a cape thankfully, but I did used to recite poetry with my best friend at midnight on the weekends…it was some next level loserdom. I don’t think I’m still goth (do I still seem goth?), [Sure, a little. –ed.] but I still love all that music…Bauahaus, Christian Death, Virgin Prunes, Sisters of Mercy…so good! My favorite band? The Smiths…hands down. Best band of all time. Though I’ve been obsessing over Richard Hawley for a while now too. [He’s really great—you should check him out for sure. –ed.]
L: Tell me about the first show you ever saw—mine was Bob Dylan and Tom Petty at the Southern Star Amphitheater with my mom and dad, followed shortly thereafter by The Monkees reunion tour where Weird Al was opening for them. Do you think that your first musical experience shaped your life in any fundamental way or was it just blah?
M: My first show was Thompson Twins and Cyndi Lauper at the Lawler Events Center in Reno, NV. [It’s too hot to wear a cape in Reno! –ed.] I was in the 1st grade and my sisters dragged me out and made me wear INXS cycling shorts, that were in fact pants on me ‘cos I was so short. I don’t remember much of it, but I think it definitely shaped my musical tastes…I still love a good synth track any day, and I still wear cycling shorts all the time…especially when I go to shows.
L: You used to live in London—what were you doing there? Did you pretend to live in Seattle on account of the grey? I hear you have some hot shot British boyfriend—lay it on me, sister.
M: London is where I got my Masters and worked at a bunch of radio stations. [Well la ti da! Look at the big brain on Mona! -ed.] BBC 6 Music was my favorite station I worked at, ‘cos at the time it was super new and the DJs got to take a lot of risks…it seemed to kind of have this John Peel ethic where they’d play loads of stuff from all different genres old / new that weren’t heard on other stations…like you’d hear Lord Kitchener into Gang of Four into the new one from Futureheads into Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band into Half Man Half Biscuit. It ruled!
L: You are from Reno and I am going to Reno in the near future. What should I do for fun?
M: Dude…where to begin!? You must stop by Pneumatic Diner they have some really tasty vegan/vegetarian treats…try the Princess Erin Shake: it’s a ridiculously delicious drink with chocolate, coffee, espresso bean, and ice cream goodness). Um…Recycled Records is pretty cool and my favorite casino to gamble at is the Atlantis…might I recommend the Double Double Bonus Poker machines…play nickels, 5 credits at a time and play slowly so you keep getting free drinks before you lose all your money…if you are lucky you might even win and get paid to drink…pretty exciting stuff. (Note to editor: If you and your dude wanna skip the fancy wedding you have planned, you can do a quick one at the trashy chapel downtown called White Lace and Promises …you can call it White Lacey and Promises if you like.) [Oh, I like! –ed.]
L: Please tell everyone what the day to day life of a college radio promoter is like. Are you going to stay with radio or would you like to do something else?
M: My days are always different, but they usually include stuff like talking to music directors …setting up studio sessions…putting people on ‘the list’ for shows…mailing out records…bringing joy to people’s lives one day at a time. I’m basically a pusher, but my product isn’t gonna cause anyone to lose their day job, or their teeth. I’ll probably stay with radio for a while…I wouldn’t mind being an astronaut either. [Is that what your Masters is in? Astronautism? –ed.]
L: What is the worst injury you’ve ever had? Do you do drugs?
M: I’ve been pretty lucky and haven’t had any crazy inuries…I did land on a rock once when I jumped into a lake and had to get stitches in my knee. But that wasn’t too bad. Why would ask if you I do drugs? I don’t. Do you? Is that the right answer? [You seem a little paranoid, Mona. –ed.]
L: Can you tell me a good joke? If you had to sum up Mona D in one word what would it be?
M: Here’s a joke: Why are indie boys so bad in bed? They’re always lying about their 7 inches. [I don’t get it. –ed.] Mona in one word? Razzmatazz.
L: And finally, is there anything you’d like to ask me?
M: Can I have a lollipop now? [No, but there are a TON of Wonka products in the kitchen if you want some! –ed.]