Perfection was never the goal for a group of five moms from Milton when they decided to start a rock band about a year ago.
“We just did it,” said Joanna Weiss, guitarist for the band. “And when you put yourself out there, strange and unexpected things can happen.”
The band, called the Lazy Susans, began as a mid-pandemic project for Weiss and longtime friends Leila Mitchell, Heather Shaw, Martha Kennedy, and Imge Ceranoglu. Some of them had never picked up an instrument before. Now, the women are having a moment on national TV, appearing on an episode of “The Kelly Clarkson Show” that aired Monday.
The episode is part of Clarkson’s “Rad Moms Week.”
“It was very unexpected,” Weiss said of the band’s recent trip to Hollywood. “Something we couldn’t have imagined a year ago, about the time we started this band during a pandemic lark.”
The women of the Lazy Susans are busy moms. They’ve spent the past 18 years driving kids to music lessons, concerts, and performances, and many of their husbands are in bands, too.
“We’d half-joked, every so often, about how we ought to play music ourselves,” Weiss wrote in an essay for Boston Magazine in February. “But who would want to hear that? And besides, there was never time.”
But when the pandemic hit, they decided to go for it, officially starting the Lazy Susans in April 2021. Weiss, a writer and magazine editor at Northeastern University, knew a few guitar chords from lessons she took in her 20s. Shaw, a dean at Lesley University, decided to pick up the bass, and Kennedy, a book jacket designer, had always wanted to play drums. Ceranoglu, an environmental scientist and farmer, was classically trained on the piano, and was ready to handle the keys. The group of friends decided to put a date for a gig on the calendar and work backwards, signing up for Milton’s Porchfest, which was a mere six months away.
Come September, after months of practice in Weiss’s basement, the Lazy Susans were ready for Porchfest, and brought hundreds of people to their feet performing covers like “My Doorbell,” “Goodbye Earl,” and “We Got the Beat.” After Weiss, a former Boston Globe writer, wrote about the experience for Boston Magazine, the story caught the attention of Clarkson’s producers, who reached out about coming on the show.
“It happened to be a night that we were all rehearsing at my house,” Weiss said, adding that the women immediately sent the producers a selfie, and got on the phone with them that night. A few days later, the Lazy Susans were on a flight to Los Angeles.
“It was surreal,” Weiss said. “It felt like someone else’s life for a few days.”
Weiss said a “giant highlight” for her was getting to perform with Clarkson’s guitarist Jaco Caraco and music director Jason Halbert.
“These guys who have won Emmys and Grammys and played with Kelly Clarkson and Miley Cyrus are like, ‘Hey let’s start with two bars of E, what do you think?’ And I’m like, ‘You’re asking me?’” she said. “We got to play for about a half hour with them, and it was unbelievable.”
Weiss said the Lazy Susans have had too much fun performing to stop now. They have an upcoming show Saturday at the Midway Cafe in Jamaica Plain, and they plan to do Milton Porchfest again in the fall.
She said it feels a bit like they’re “cutting the line,” recognizing the many longtime local musicians who haven’t had such an opportunity come up.
“We do recognize this is weird,” Weiss said. “But I think this ties into the idea that if you want to do something, you just have to do it. Take the risk. Unexpected and strange things can happen when you put yourself out there.”