As their daughter, Emily, was growing up, parents Billy and Lisa Pizza realized children’s music was too juvenile and mainstream pop was too risque.
They knew there had to be a happy medium in entertainment that adults and children could enjoy together.
Shortly after 2001, Billy and Lisa quit their day jobs, picked up their instruments and started performing for families across the country delivering music and a message.
“We used to call it the void between Barney and Britney,” Billy said.
The Laughing Pizza musical group is a family trio that centers entertainment on positivity and high energy.
The group is coming to The Salvation Army of Augusta Kroc Center, 1833 Broad St., on Sunday, Feb. 26 for a 3 p.m. performance.
Advance tickets are $10 children and $12 adults from www.laughingpizza.com/shop/augusta-tickets. Tickets will be $15 for children and $20 for adults the day of the show. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Georgia’s PBS stations.
Emily, 15, is an equal writing partner with her parents and co-stars. The group has performed at the White House and appeared on national television, while making a statement with neon-colored clothes and songs about school, sharing and spending time with family.
“We are definitely a pop band for families, meaning that it’s something that you can actually as a grown-up even enjoy,” Lisa said. “It’s kind of the all-ages rock-out experience.”
The name comes from an inside joke between Billy and Lisa, which they used to say when they were full-time songwriters in the music industry. If they had to walk into a serious meeting, both would look at each other and say “no laughing, no pizza” to keep it together, Billy said.
When they formed the band with their daughter, they knew they wanted both things to be involved.
Before they were Laughing Pizza, Billy and Lisa wrote music for names like Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen and other children’s shows.
After writing, Billy took a corporate job with IBM but re-evaluated his career when he was stranded in Boston for a week while traveling for business on Sept. 11, 2001. Soon after the 9/11 attacks, the family decided they wanted to spend more time together doing what they love, and Laughing Pizza was born.
The group will release a video documentary in May and is working on a television show about their experience. Until then, their focus is putting on a good show for their audiences and making music a family affair.
“Here you have a teenage girl who can still hang out with her parents, who likes school – it’s sending the message that we would like to send to our daughter,” Billy said.