Interview: Avery from Night Palace
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I work part-time at an opera house, and so truly most of my waking hours are music-oriented; I have to really try to find time away from it. In non-music moments, I try to remember to take walks at dusk when the neighborhood cats come out and all lay in their yards so I can pet them, I love some occasional pastel sketching, some very very light graphic design, reading before bed. Those activities allow for a quiet moment, which does often illuminate some little inspiration or melody or something that’s been hiding through my busier times.
How long has your band been around?
I started writing songs in 2014 in Athens, and by 2016 had settled into Night Palace as a project.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We’re based between Athens, GA and New York; if I hadn’t started in Athens, I’m not sure if I would have been brave enough to start sharing songs. It really took seeing people all around me writing and making music and seeing my friends share their songs, and music being so present on every street every night in Athens. I was shy about writing and asking others to play my music, but I think the immersion into the existing scene, especially places like Go Bar where you could quietly get on the bill if you wanted to, made it possible for me to feel comfortable enough to do so. And of course it was thrilling going to college in Athens and looking across the bar and seeing members of my favorite Elephant 6 bands, and all the musical legends who live there, floating around town.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
A show that definitely pops out as one of our most special was when we were asked to play a fashion show for our friends, early on, maybe in 2018. It was a collaboration between a few wonderful Athens community members– some of our best friends had put together the looks, some were doing hair, and some were walking in the show. The disco ball was spinning and everyone was sparkling, and we got to accompany them as they floated down the makeshift runway at Caledonia.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
This is too difficult, but off the top of my head here’s one of many versions of my dream show: Sufjan
Stevens, Cecile Mclorin Salvant, Belle and Sebastian, and Beverly Glenn-Copeland.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Don’t be too precious with things, it’s okay and great if you make something and then change and make something totally different and maybe don’t love everything you’ve ever made; that’s how it works– how nice to have an evolution.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
The process is a bit shapeshifty, and kind of molds to whatever my life looks like at the moment; at the beginning of the pandemic I was driving out to big parking lots and recording voice memos on my phone in the car, to be outside, but still privately. I get inspired when I spend long periods of time just listening, sometimes for months, and then I start to get ideas. I like to get these initial thoughts down in big brainstorms on long car rides, which I do kind of frequently, between Athens and NYC. And then I end up sitting down with one of a few keyboards at home and bringing bits and pieces together. When I feel like I’ve got something I can see clearly enough on my own to not be swept up in confusion or lose sight of it when I add more players to the mix, I’ll bring it to the band and we’ll play it together.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We’re releasing our debut record Diving Rings on April 1st, and we’re looking forward to following that with a late April/early May tour. We’re hoping to be on the road a couple times through the spring and summer, and then I can’t wait to start on the next. We put out a bouquet of music videos throughout our album release, but I’m looking forward to releasing a special lyric video by Enne Goldstein this spring, as well as some live videos.