Musicians We Love: No Nets
by Erin BagwellFounder of Feminist Wednesday
The first time I saw Sal Mastrocola, the lead singer of No Nets, play music was in a church basement in the Bronx. I dragged my good friend Ashley an hour and a half north of the city to see Sal play the guitar in the band The Astounding. After our extended travels Ashley and I arrived to the venue, which turned out to be an old Catholic church basement filled with high school punk kids. There was no bar, so Ashley and I passed our time waiting for the band to go on by giggling about how we were the oldest people there. We also ended up running their 'Merch Table' since we were the only ones who made the trek to see the show.
Overall the setting was pretty underwhelming for a rock show but The Astounding killed it anyway. Their energy and passion onstage is something the band’s remaining members still carry with them today. They jump, dance, kick, and rock out the entire time—no one is having more fun than them.
After a year or so after that show Sal moved out of the Bronx to Brooklyn and took some of the band members with him. They were scattered and unfocused for the most part, and I would read my book during band practice as they went through lead singers and worked out new singles. I remember going to a Fleet Foxes show in Philadelphia with Sal and talking about the band: how they needed a central focus and a lead singer that could really pull them all together.
At that time Sal had no intention of singing or being onstage as a front man. He didn't want the attention, and thought it was more fun to just get lost in his guitar. However, after not being able to lock in any lead singers that meshed the band (Walter on drums, John on guitar, and newly joined Johnny on bass), Sal did something brave—he started singing.
It was definitely a musical transition for him to find his voice. He struggled with figuring out how to mesh his vocal range with the precomposed songs and melodies he had already written. However after some practice he started writing songs that really combined his two instruments: guitar and voice. Now he is writing better music than ever, playing shows with his best friends, and truly owning his place as frontman onstage.
I am extremely proud of the creative journey and passion of my now fiancé. Sal, you have come a long way since that church basement and I can't wait to see the growth of your musical career. I love you, and am very proud of all the work and time you have put in to recording and completing your first album.
No Net's debut album, Affable and Ready for Small Talk, comes out May 20th with an accompanying record release show at Webster Hall on May 17th. I will be there working the merch table once again and I encourage my friends and fellow NYCers to come out and enjoy the show.
Click here to listen to Erin & Sal chat about feminism on Feminist Wednesday's podcast BeaverTalk.