Interview by Belinda Cai
Photographs by Josh Anderson
How did you all meet/what is the story behind Palberta forming?
Nina: We’re all from NYC, and vaguely knew of each other growing up in one way or another– I saw Lily perform her solo acoustic guitar/singing set a couple times in high school, Lily and Ani kinda knew each other, we all went to the same shows. But we really met at Bard College. Lily and Ani were living in the same house, and I knew Ani from music classes we were in together. One day I decided to set up a show of solo performances, and asked Ani and Lily to each perform their projects– Ani played accordion and sang, and Lily played guitar and sang. I also asked our good friend Paco to play a set (this is the same Paco Cathcart who has recorded all of our albums, and goes by the name The Cradle). I performed a solo set as well. After the show, Lily came up to me and suggested that the three of us jam sometime. So, the following summer, the three of us met up at a practice space in Brooklyn and jammed! And we continued to meet up to jam, and through a kind of unspoken understanding we became a band.
Friends first, music second, right? Do you hang out outside of playing/practicing? In what ways?
Nina: We’re best friends! sisters! We became really close friends through playing music together, since we didn’t know each other too well beforehand. Our dynamic as a threesome kind of developed instantaneously, pretty much from the first time we jammed together. I don’t really have a memory of how or when we became friends– it just kinda happened. When we were all living in Upstate NY we spent a ton of time together, whether it was hanging out or jamming. But with Ani living in Brooklyn, me in Philly, and Lily between Upstate NY and Brooklyn, we haven’t had the same ability to hang out together outside of playing shows. That being said, we talk on the phone all the time, and when we tour together we really don’t spend a moment apart. We share the same plate of food, sleep in the same bed, generally nonstop talking and laughing, sensory overload, constant experiencing of extreme emotions.
You’re a pretty unclassifable band (in the best kind of way!). How would you describe your sound and aesthetic?
Ani: Our sound is a little bit of everything from rock music to friendship vibes to things we like to think and talk about like cats , food , etc. We like having a good time! If that’s an aesthetic than that’s what it is. Friendship , good times , jamming.
What is your favorite music video you’ve shot and how did you conceptualize it?
Ani: We’ve never shot any of the music videos but our friend recently shot a video for us where we are dancing to upside down by diana ross and I think that video’s gonna pop. We are also in the process of making a special video with dolls and shhhh I can’t say anything more.
What are your future plans for the band?
Lily: We intend keep rocking forever and to never part ways! Eventually we will live in three beautiful farm houses 20 feet away from each other. In the short-term future, we will write the 4th album and make some sick music videos.
It seems like you’re getting a lot of media attention lately. Is this exciting for you?
Lily: It’s an amazing feeling to get praise for our music. We have been working hard for 4 years and I feel like now is the best time for this to be happening. We have really developed an understanding of how to operate in a full time band while allowing time for other projects/ jobs. We hope to continually take Palberta to the next level.