First/Last – Spinning Jenny

August 3, 2016

“Spinning Jenny was formed in 2011 after playing their first gig at a family reunion. Thanks to the kindness of John DiCarlo, frontman of the U.S. Kids, Spinning Jenny was then asked to open for the U.S. Kids at a benefit show held in Steubenville, Ohio. That became not only their first public gig, but the launchpad of nearly three years of playing and making music. Spinning Jenny is proud to say they are a family, with the group consisting of Dr. John Balzano and his three daughters, Julia (18), Talia (15) and Angelina (13). Dr. Balzano passed on his musicianship and love of music, particularly rock-and-roll, to his three daughters from an early age. Before long, the girls learned how to play guitar, drums, bass and keys, and that foundation led them to officially starting Spinning Jenny. During their live shows, audiences can expect to hear a wide variety of music genres — including old-school rock-and-roll, the latest hits on the radio and alternative rock hits — ensuring that there’s something for every age to enjoy.”

Spinning Jenny is a a Mingo Junction, OH based alt rock band made of of three sisters and their Dad. They recently released their latest EP entitled Weightless and are playing a handful of dates in August, including this Saturday (8/6) in Sharon, PA at the Bavarian Fun Fest. I want to thank Julia Balzano (Guitar/Vocals), Talia Balzano (Drums/Vocals), and Angelina Balzano (Bass/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • First album you ever bought?
  • Julia Balzano: Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. Still inspired by all the lyrics.
  • Talia & Angelina Balzano: Bad Blood by Bastille.
  • Your last album bought?
  • Julia: Disintegration by The Cure.
  • Talia: MUTEMATH by MUTEMATH. They’re my favorite group right now.
  • Angelina: Vitals by MUTEMATH. Saw them open for twenty one pilots and loved them.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Julia: Impossible to pick a favorite, but Bon Iver by Bon Iver is definitely one of my most listened to. Every song, start to finish, is so raw and beautiful.
  • Talia: Threeway tie! Bad Blood by Bastille, Vitals by MUTEMATH, and Vessel by twenty one pilots. I’ve listened to each album countless times front to back and really connect with every song.
  • Angelina: I really, really love Blurryface by twenty one pilots, but MUTEMATH’s and Marina and the Diamonds’ work is incredible as well. All three of us love the classics too! We’ve been especially into 52nd Street by Billy Joel lately.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • Julia: I used to be a big fan of Kelly Clarkson, but I haven’t been thrilled with her newer, poppier stuff. Hopefully she gets back to her edgier roots soon.
  • Talia: Monsters In The Closet by Mayday Parade. I thought I would like it, but a lot of the songs are really repetitive and a little too busy for me.
  • Angelina: I’ve never listened to a full album, but I’m not a fan of Taylor Swift’s music.
  • First concert attended?
  • Julia: Rush at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh when I was 14.
  • Talia & Angelina: The Aquabats in Pittsburgh a couple years ago.
  • Last concert?
  • Julia, Talia, and Angelina: We saw twenty one pilots back in June in Pittsburgh. We’re all huge fans and it was one of the best nights ever.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Julia: I would say the Aquabats for sheer fun factor. We were right in front of the stage so I really felt their energy and got to see their talent up close. I jumped and danced the whole night.
  • Talia: twenty one pilots. They’re such a huge musical influence for me and it was so incredible to see them live. Their live show has also inspired me to work on making our own shows really great.
  • Angelina: Bastille a couple years ago. They’re one of my favorite bands and at one point the singer, Dan Smith, walked through our row and I got to hug him. Pretty amazing moment for me.
  • Least favorite concert?
  • Julia: That’s a tough one. I’m pretty particular about what concerts I go to, so I don’t go if I don’t enjoy the artist. I’ve pretty much enjoyed every one I’ve been to so far.
  • Talia: Me and Angelina went to see the Wonder Years, but I didn’t enjoy the atmosphere at all. It was way too cramped and the crowd was really rowdy.
  • Angelina: I agree with Talia. Way too many people in a tiny space!
  • Favorite thoughts/experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • Julia: One of my favorite experiences was performing on Walnut Street in Shadyside. Pittsburgh is a really cool, artsy city and I felt like we could connect well with such a hip crowd.
  • Talia: We’ve seen all of our favorite concerts and shows up there, so I have a lot of good memories associated with the city. One of my favorite recent ones was getting to perform our original song on WDVE. My parents grew up listening to that station, which made the experience even cooler.
  • Angelina: I love the bohemian vibe of the city. I’ve always enjoyed going to the museums, and hanging out and shopping on the South Side.

Thanks, gals. It is really great to see you rocking out at so young of an age. I say this because I cannot wait to see where you go with your career and hopefully be seeing you for years and years to come.