The soft morning sun shines through a New York apartment’s window while a newlywed couple gets ready to visit the graveyard.
It’s a soothing intro to a mournful subject. The new video for No Nets’ “Lucky One” is a tribute to frontman Sal Mastrocola’s mother, who died during childbirth. Though he never got to know her he feels that he “owes her everything,” as the song echoes throughout.
He tells BTRtoday he usually struggles when sharing this part of his life to people. “I’ve always felt a certain level of fear and guilt around burdening others with the information,” Mastrocola says.
Despite the subject matter, this isn’t an exercise in self-pity. It’s moving and warm, uplifting in a way that sneaks up on you. Though the band is known for their fast and dirty pop-punk tracks, “Lucky One” is melodic and spare. The bass and vocals bounce and dance in the verse before the band kicks in together for the chorus. The song builds in momentum until it explodes with grief and gratitude.
Mastrocola says “Lucky One” was never meant to be morbid. It’s simply a love letter to his mother.
No Nets is comprised of longtime friends Mastrocola (vocals/guitar), John O’Neil (guitar), Dave Hauenstein (bass), Waler Shock (drums), and Greg Gibaldi (keys/guitar). Make sure to sign up for their newsletter to stay up-to-date on what shows they’re playing, receive exclusive demos and birb memes.
Watch the video premiere of “Lucky One” by No Nets and read the full interview with Mastrocola below.
BTRtoday (BTR): So, how are you today?
Sal Mastrocola (SM): I’m exceptionally well at the moment, because I’m writing this from a hotel balcony in Hawaii. It’s my two-year wedding anniversary in a few days so we decided to go all out.
SM: Cool Birb Memes is my current favorite meme page. I had lots of birds as a kid, so I always knew they were hilarious. But now they’re getting the justice they deserve on the Internet and that makes me a very proud birb owner.
BTR: Onto the harder questions: Tell me about “Lucky One”—the tune is very melodic and somewhat upbeat, but the subject is very personal. Was it difficult to write about?
SM: This song was the most collaborative on our latest album, Bright Light. It happened in an almost magical way – Dave started playing the bass and we all just locked in on top of it. The lyrics started coming and I didn’t realize what I was singing about until a few hours after we left our rehearsal space.
The song is about my late mother, who I lost just hours after I was born. I didn’t know too much about her as a kid. As I got older my questions grew, so I started digging. When I was about 15 or so I found a box of mix-tapes she had made, some old yearbooks, a few seconds of video footage. Each new discovery was met with a deep sadness, but an even greater feeling of wonder and excitement. Each token of hers left behind made her a bit more real and revealed something new about who I was and where I came from. Even though I never really knew her, I feel lucky to know what I do know and I feel like she’s made a profound impact on me. (Hence the name of the song.)
BTR: Tell me about filming the video of “Lucky One.”
SM: My mom’s story is not something I talk about often. I’ve always felt a certain level of fear and guilt around burdening others with the information. Deciding to tell it through song and visual feels a bit easier somehow.
I knew making a video like this would put me in a vulnerable place, but on the other side of that fear was a chance to spend more time with this person I never knew. To be in her presence and feel a little bit of that wonder and possibility that I felt as a teenager rummaging through dusty boxes of her stuff. To tell her how much she means to me, paying tribute to the power of her love that I carry with me every day.
BTR: Why the name No Nets?
SM: I was about to graduate college, and a bit terrified of leaving my educational cocoon. I remember feeling like there wasn’t going to be much to catch me if I fucked up in the real world. I’m also a big fan of alliteration, so added bonus.
BTR: What kind of music did you listen to growing up?
SM: I loved punk music and consumed it voraciously. It started with California Warped Tour type bands – NOFX, The Ataris, MxPx, Blink 182, etc. Then I fell hard for DC hardcore – I found a record player on the street and started buying $10 Dischord Records. It then spun off into emo, screamo and indie rock.
Music is like meditation to me. It puts me in a state of flow where I lose track of time, of feeling, of consciousness. It’s an incredible privilege to have in my life and I’m thankful for it every single day.
BTR: If you could describe the sound and vibe of No Nets in one word, what would it be?
SM: Uneasy? That seems about right. The music can be volatile at times, but knows when to lock in. And lyrically it’s often me singing about personal anxieties and attempting to come to terms with them.