With the easing of COVID-19 capacity restrictions, local bands are beginning to perform, practice and record music with some degree of normality, and MOSA is one of them. Between rescheduling a postponed show and preparing for an album release, the local four-piece grunge band is firing on all cylinders. The Manitoban sat down with rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist Hannah Palamer to chat about the band and what the future holds for them.
MOSA began performing in 2019 and consists of four members: Staci Nault, who covers lead guitar and vocals, Rachel Burns on bass and vocals, Eric Jaworski who plays drums and last but not least Palamer herself.
Their namesake is the mosasaur, the largest dinosaur ever found in Manitoba, which is apt considering MOSA’s loud and energetic sound. Influenced by bands such as Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana and the Kills, MOSA’s music often speaks directly to the personal experiences of its songwriters.
MOSA traces its beginnings to Palamer and Nault, best friends since kindergarten.
“We started jamming together and writing and we just realized […] we worked really well together, so we’re like, hey, we need to focus on making this a true thing and so […] we started playing together and playing shows and getting serious about it.”
After recruiting Burns and Jaworski, songwriting within the band became even more collaborative, which Palamer believes is healthy for their music.
“I would have songs and they [would] kind of just be like a skeleton of a song, and then Staci would add lead and we’d kind of work on structure,” Palamer said.
“And, for a long time, I would sleep on songs and be like […] I don’t like it anymore, I’d be kind of annoyed with it.”
It was during slumps like these when collaboration among the group was key.
“I would bring it to the space and Rachel, who is amazing at structure and composing and having different ideas. And she just totally changed some of the songs and made them more dynamic.”
MOSA recorded its first full-length album, Words in Red, at Private Ear Recording last July and is preparing to release it in late April or early May. The album’s 10 songs were inspired by “sex and sadness” and include three previously released singles.
Although Palamer had been nervous to record, she was thrilled with the results.
“We had a time crunch because we recorded our album in like five days,” Palamer said.
“You think that that would create like a lot of tension or there would be people getting frustrated, but it was so easy breezy. It was just like, ‘Let’s do this. Let’s try this.’ And it just happened so nicely and organically and […] it didn’t feel stressful.”
Since they had a show postponed due to COVID-19, MOSA is looking forward to playing live again in the near future. In addition to this rescheduling, the band is planning an album release show at the Park Theatre to accompany the release of Words in Red this spring.
“I’m itching to play,” Palamer said.
“I can’t believe it’s been this long that we haven’t played, and we were just playing shows so consistently before.”
“To be onstage and singing and just performing something creative, that’s my happy place, that’s where I want to be.”
You can check out MOSA’s official Bandcamp page and stay tuned to its official Instagram and Facebook pages for updates on shows and the upcoming release of its album Words in Red.