Big Nils Gets Not So Serious

Photo by Adrienne Deeble

Coco Moore, Lilly Daiber, Zoe Wardlaw, and Sen Morimoto. Together, the four under-21s form a chopped-up and edgy punk-rock group called Big Nils.

Yes, Coco Moore is Thurston Moore’s daughter. No, she does not want to talk about her feelings regarding the media’s coverage of her parents’ recent split.

Big Nils started playing music together as a sort of pre-party activity one night while hanging out at Moore’s house in Northampton, Massachusetts. The teenagers realized things clicked, and that music and performing was something they loved and needed. Add a band name that references a German punk arsonist, and a musical genius (Bill Nace) as acting manager, and you get Big Nils.

“A band like Big Nils that has very raw and youthful energy blended with such distinct focus is really rare to see…especially when you’re rolling tape,” comments Big Nils’ producer, Justin Pizzoferrato. “I wish my high school bands would have been that cool.”

Big Nils recorded its debut album, Sibling, live in 2011 in Moore’s basement with Pizzoferrato’s reel-to-reel equipment and recording expertise. The band has stuck with Pizzoferrato’s assistance for its release of an upcoming 7″ titled Bitch Guts, which, according to the group, was recorded electronically in order to allow more mixing options. The three-track record is in its final stages before its release in the near future on Abscess Records.

“Oh, and we’re not on Geffen. That was a joke on our Facebook page. We should probably change that…hm,” comments Zoe Wardlaw about Big Nils’ Facebook record label details stating the band is signed to Geffen Records.

Big Nils seems to frequently use such humor–likely a product of the group’s age, but it’s nevertheless refreshing. For example, when asked what the highlight was of the band’s show with YUCK, the band replied:

OH MAN. FUNNEST SHOW EVER!!!! So after the show we asked Yuck if they’d like to play basketball with us. They were like “hell yeah” so we drove to a basketball court and hung out until four in the morning. A few of our friends showed up as well. They’re the nicest people ever. Daniel’s insane and awesome. The only Yuck member that knew how to play basketball was the drummer Jonny cause he’s from Jersey. Mari was second best. Daniel had a huge dangly earring and told us that it was his “brain.” We still talk to them sometimes and want to play another show with them so badly!!! Since they were on tour and didn’t have that much time to surf the web, they had no idea how much they’d blown up. The basketball court was also next to a huge swing set so we also went on the swings. It was a magical night.

The band’s enthusiasm is evident; hopefully the group won’t lose its youthful charm. Three members of Big Nils are graduating high school this spring and all members are planning to go to college either this coming fall or the next…they’re just hoping to schedule some decent tours that won’t be interrupted by educational calendars.

“We haven’t really toured–we’ve played a ton of shows in Boston and some in New York, but it’s hard for us to schedule a tour cause three of us are still in high school. Hopefully we will tour this Summer, though,” they explain.

One touring obstacle is that Big Nils can’t find enough all-ages venues in its vicinity of Western Massachusetts. The band says that the Northampton area has a “thriving scene,” but that beyond the occasional collective or basement space, there aren’t enough places for people under 21 to enjoy live music. So the four members instead make frequent treks to Boston and New York City.

“Sen or Lilly usually do the driving. We don’t let Zoe drive cause we’d all die. Sen has a fucking sick cadillac and it’s huge and awesome,” says Moore.

The end of high school also means the members of Big Nils are legal adults with the right to vote in the upcoming 2012 election–a topic the group’s particularly candid about:

Yeah we’ll all be able to vote. Obama of course! Mitt Romney is a fucking idiot. Ron Paul is a crazy fuck head. Kids are all about Ron Paul, but they don’t realize that he’s against abortion, he wants to repeal the Civil Rights act, he’s against public health care, he thinks global warming is a hoax, he’s against the minimum wage, he’s a gun nut, etc etc.

All members of Big Nils also have a distinct taste of music within their own genre and beyond. The list is as follows:

Coco loves: The Runaways, Mudhoney, Patti Smith, Be Your Own Pet, The Cure, Joan Jett, and Magik Markers.
Lilly loves: Bikini Kill, Devo, Talking Heads, Yuck, The Saints, and Pitbull.
Sen loves: Wilco, Lil B, Neil Young, The Ramones, The Rolling Stones, and Whirl.
Zoe loves: Leatherface, Jawbreaker, The Mountain Goats, George Harrison, Sugar, Fugazi, Neutral Milk Hotel, Pixies, and The Marshes (Zoe’s dad’s band).


–Jen Brown and Monika Lauch


  1. […] 3. “Gimme More” ▬ Big Nils ▬ Sibling ▬ Massachusetts, United States ▬ TBJ article with Big Nils 4. ”Canada Day” ▬ Emperor X ▬ Western Teleport ▬ Los Angeles, United States […]