RockBandMommy

Making music was one of the farthest things from their minds when Durant residents Amy Hood and Norman Powers, founders of the up-and-coming rock band Mommy Please Stay, first met in 2001.

Instead, the subject was water filters.

Hood had recently purchased a bum filter and was trying to get a workable replacement. Enter Powers, referred by a friend of Hood’s as “an honest salesman who could help me.”

“I still thought he was just this pesky salesman,” laughs Hood, “but then we talked on the phone a couple of times, and he seemed very nice.”

Powers came over to Hood’s to install the new filter, and as he was finishing up the job the conversation strayed to music. Powers mentioned he wrote songs and had played guitar in three local bands.

Unbeknownst to him, Hood was also a songwriter.

“I was skeptical about telling him,” she says. “I had just moved here from Los Angeles, and everybody in Los Angeles does music or writes or dances. It seemed so cliché for me to tell him I do music, too. But I’m a total ham, so I told him, and he seemed very interested”.

“She was really bold,” Powers recalls. “She took out all of her lyrics and just started playing songs. I was really impressed by how outgoing she was. A lot of people will tell you they write music, but then they’re really protective of their stuff. She had all this nerve and I thought, this is what I need — a singer like this, who feels confident in what she is doing.”

Powers had just quit playing with Yellow And White Guitars, a popular Durant punk rock band, after a three-year stint with the group. “I was really burned out on that kind of music”, he explains, “and I wanted to play more melodic music and write more traditional kinds of songs.”

He asked Hood to “jam,” and after a week of playing together, they decided to form a band. “We connected on such a deep level,” says Hood. “It’s as if we were born to do this together. I really believe the thing about people being brought together, and this feels like that. We just go together so well”.

Although both Powers and Hood trace their musical roots back to the punk rock era of the 1980s, Mommy Please Stay’s tuneful sound is more reminiscent of modern rock bands. Hood is the band’s lead vocalist, while Powers sings harmony and plays guitar. “Unlike punk, our music is very pretty, but it has the honesty and anger that comes from our punk roots,” says Hood.

More often than not, their song lyrics are personal reflections on social issues, ranging from homelessness to the Holocaust.