Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

Zambri: An Interview with the Cool Girls

Written by Nicola Golberg

Zambri22.jpgChristi Jo and Jessica Zambri are like the cool girls you might have been a little afraid to approach in high school – impossibly stylish and impressively confident. Zambri's music, however, is so warm and fun that you can’t help but want to be a part of it. The sisters’ haunting voices and irresistible beats make listening to their album House of Baasa, out on April 10th on Kanine Records, like being invited to the best slumber party ever.


Christi Jo and Jessica Zambri are like the cool girls you might have been a little afraid to approach in high school – impossibly stylish and impressively confident. Zambri's music, however, is so warm and fun that you can’t help but want to be a part of it. The sisters’ haunting voices and irresistible beats make listening to their album House of Baasa, out on April 10th on Kanine Records, like being invited to the best slumber party ever. 

Nicola: The first thing people tend to write about your band is that the two of you are sisters.  What about your childhood do you think influenced you as musicians?

Zambri: We have a lot of siblings, and we are the youngest of the bunch. We would often venture off on our own and create our own games to play for hours, like many kids do I suppose. We have been comfortable being imaginative together for a long time. We know each other very well, and we can go into a world just the two of us when we'd like. That adventure influences our music.

Nicola: How did you start making music together? 

Zambri: We both wrote a lot and did our own thing. I was very young, so I'm not sure I can pinpoint the moment. It's likely that we came together because we both really loved to sing. We would sing harmonies and learn songs together. We liked to impersonate other vocalists, and we would put on shows for our parents and family fairly often. We did a lot together; we shared a room and were best buds.

Nicola: Are there unique benefits or challenges to making music with a family member?

Zambri: Benefits are easy. . .We're in each other's head a lot of the time. We know what we like, and we can get in the same world very easily, as I mentioned earlier.  We compliment each other really well because of these things.  Of course, for any artist, it can be difficult at times because we are so close, and every now and then you want to venture different directions for a minute. With that said, we know how special it is when we work together. 

Nicola: A quick google search reveals that Zambri has a pretty unique aesthetic: feminine, surreal, edgy, full of color. What is the relationship between that aesthetic and your music? 

Zambri: I'd like to think that the music takes you to a surreal place that you can relate to on some levels. It's interesting you should bring up color, as Jess and I have actually discussed the colors the mood of the music evokes in our own heads. It sort of takes us to a purple-ish black place a lot of time, with some orange warmth on certain songs. Each song has a color for sure. I also sometimes imagine a sort of grey world with hopeful colors floating through. 

Nicola: You’ve created some fairly buzzed about remixes of bands like Arcade Fire and Does It Offend You, Yeah? How do you go about choosing which songs you want to remix, and what is the remixing process like?

Zambri: We realize how special it is to have the opportunity to touch Arcade Fire stems, so having their sounds to create new ones was a very awesome experience - Easy decision. DIOYY remixed us, actually. We did a "Hooray For Earth" remix, where we created all of the chords with Noel's voice. It was meticulous because we didn't pitch-shift anything; we found him singing every note somewhere in the song. "The Oh No Ono" remix we did was the first we ever released. I think we like to do it to experiment and have a fun trippy time. You know someone else is going to handle the dance floor mix, so we don't feel obligated to produce that. 

Nicola: What have been your favorite experiences as a band? 

Zambri: Live shows. We love messing with that high adrenaline.   

Nicola: What are your dreams as a band: where would you most like to perform? With whom?
 
Zambri: We hope to continue making music and art of sorts, and we'd like to travel with it.   With whom? Richard D. James, Chris Cunningham . . . hmmmm. . . Outkast . . . to name a few.

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