Pom Pom Squad
What Mia Berrin has created with Pom Pom Squad is self-proclaimed quiet grrrl punk that, as FADER stated, is “a cute descriptor that doesn’t reveal nearly enough about the multitudes contained within.” It’s complex and intense and, more than anything, the type of controlled chaos you want in your ears. We chat to Mia about early beginnings, playing a birthday show on a rooftop and their recent cover of ‘Crimson + Clover’.
Words: Renette van der Merwe
Tell us a little about yourself. Where the name came from, how long you’ve been going for and anything else new fans would want to know.
Hey I’m Mia and my project is called Pom Pom Squad. I’ve been a music fan forever but only started playing seriously when I was eighteen. I moved around a lot when I was young, and ended up spending all four years of high school in Orlando, FL at this very competitive, very all-American prep school. I’d only been to public school before then and it was kind of a culture shock. It’s like everything I thought only happened in movies was right in front of me – there were cliques and uniforms, and there was a new social hierarchy. It was horrifying. But cheerleaders, for some reason (probably because I was a latent gay) became this iconic presence in my life. They were these powerful, scary feminine figures that seemed to occupy a version of femininity that I couldn’t/can’t. I think, for me, the band name represents the distortion of that archetype.
In the throwback of all throwbacks, can you recall your very first memory of music?
My family used to take really long road trips from New York to Florida when I was little. Often, we’d drive through the night and my parents would wait until my siblings and I were asleep to put on the “adult” music. My first memory of music is pretending I was asleep so I could stay up and listen to Prince and The Smiths!
Who’s on your wishlist of artists that you’d love to collaborate with and/or open for on tour?
I would looooove to open for Mitski on tour. That’s probably at the top of the wishlist. Also, if there’s ever a Hole reunion tour…
Speaking of live shows, what’s your favourite story from a show so far?
We played a show for my 22nd birthday on the roof of this place in Brooklyn called Our Wicked Lady. My birthday is in July so it was scorching hot and the place was PACKED – I think it just sort of unlocked this chaotic energy in people. We did a cover of ‘Sweater Song’ by Weezer and everybody freaked out. It was one of the most enthralling, energetic shows we’ve ever played. Also, my bandmates surprised me with a cake and everyone sang to me. All in all, a very wholesome evening.
“Plucky fingerpicked guitar and thrashing rock riffs, with Mia Berrin’s voice at the center, adding glimmering force.”
You released (and produced – congrats!) a cover of ‘Crimson and Clover’ for Juneteenth. Was there a particular reason for choosing this song?
Thank you! I think that song had just been rattling around in my brain for a while. I moved in with my partner in December and for some reason all we listened to for months were songs from the 50s and 60s. They have such a particular texture – saccharine to a degree that almost sounds sinister. I love Crimson and Clover because, ultimately, it’s a love song but it’s so bizarre and unsettling. I also was thinking about Joan Jett’s version which played a huge part in my acceptance of my own queerness, so it felt right.
Settle an argument for us (and the rest of the world) pineapple on pizza?
I think the fuck not.
Rising to the challenge, Pom Pom Squad have put together an electrifying collection of songs that best encapsulates the artists and music that inspire them as a band.
Share this via:
You may also like
FEATUREAn interview with Famous Last WordsFeatureLong time fans of Famous Last Words might know that the band have not only become a staple in the metalcore scene, but they've in part done so by fully embracing concept albums. Each one of theirs have told a story...
FEATUREAn interview with MirrorsFeatureWith only a week to go until The Ego's Weight hit the 'shelves', we chat to Aussie metalcore band Mirrors about recording, lyrical content and the beautifully atmospheric spin they've put on their new material. There might only...
Introducing:Incase We CrashFor Fans Of: The Story So Far / Stuck Out / State ChampsWith the evolution of pop punk warping the genre into something a little more radio friendly nowadays, it's refreshing when a band comes along sounding fresh, but still appreciating how...