Mannon Smalley has been fronting local band Silence Kit for the past three-and-a-half years. The group has accomplished a lot in that short time, releasing the EPs Started as a Whisper and Kitty Kitty, the latter of which was recorded with producer Jesse Gander (Japandroids) and mastered by Noah Mintz (Broken Social Scene).
“To me, (our sound is) aggressive rock and roll,” Smalley says. “But we don’t fall into the tropes of it, really. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We have a sense of humour in what we do. The emotions are very dynamic. It’s not just like, ‘Oh, we’re badasses.’”
Smalley cites bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Kills as major influences on Silence Kit’s intense style of live performance.
“It’s very spontaneous, but purposeful … Just that fronted energy. Iggy Pop and all that, we’re all inspired by it. The live show is really important to us.”
In addition to her time recording and touring with Silence Kit, Smalley still finds time to study English, bartend at The Handsome Daughter and create visual art.
“I paint acrylic and oil paintings … but I’m more into pastels now,” she says. “I describe my art as ‘punk kids drawings.’ It’s kind of messy, but purposeful.”
Smalley and her partner have been in their home since May 2018, managing to balance her enthusiasm for antiques with his minimalistic aesthetic.
“My mom and I always go to the (Selkirk Ave MCC Thrift Shop). They always have beautiful furniture.”
More family furniture
“We absolutely do not (eat meals here). We just sit in the living room and watch Queer Eye. The two benches, my grandpa actually handmade (them) when I was a kid. They’re made for children. One is mine, and my brother allowed me to take his.”
“This is kind of my art room, where I have some punk art that I worked on. I’m inspired by Alison Mosshart. Her visual art is really cool. So many other ones (Sally Bourke, Emilio Villalba, Lewis Rossignol), I just know them through Instagram.”
“My partner is a big reader. Half of them are probably mine, but a lot are from school, or things people loaned me that I’ve never given back. I was very into Stephen King when I was younger.”
“Nick from Moon Tan loaned me Please Kill Me. I read it in high school, because I was obsessed with the ’70s punk rock scene … I totally forgot all these stories, and they really influenced me when I was young.”
“I’ve got some Margaret Price here which I really like. The Interpol one was gifted to me, which was sweet. And I have my own here, because why not.”
“For my birthday, my mom bought me this beautiful emerald wooden antique chair … They’ve got that antique store in Johnston Terminal, (and) we found this there. I loved it immediately.”
Eastern European instrument
“This is a guitar I found on Kijiji. I’m not a huge guitarist, but I only had one (guitar). It was a hollowbody, it was cool, but it wasn’t really my style anymore. So I found one for $300, this Czechoslovakian guitar. It’s so rare that you can’t really find it anywhere. It’s junk. It’s not great. But it’s just so cool, and I wanted to buy it. I call it Jolana.”
Published in Volume 73, Number 24 of The Uniter (April 4, 2019)