Lemonade are an electronic three-piece from San Francisco consisting of Callan Clendenin, Ben Steidel, and Alex Pasternak. And from the moment you walk into their Williamsburg loft, one thing is clear: these boys are from California. The open spread is convivially worn and one of the walls bears a floor-to-ceiling mural of the California coast. Yet, despite their visible fondness for home, the three friends were eager to leave the west coast for the promise of Brooklyn’s young, dynamic music community. In the ensuing years, their space has transformed into a “flop house for musicians,” becoming a temporary home for artists of all stripes, including the Twitter phenomenon and inventor of seapunk, Lil Internet. Ben, Callan, and Alex were kind enough to show us around and dish on the perks — and the pitfalls — of being bandmates in Williamsburg.
Why’d you decide to move here?
Callan: We felt like we could put up with the lack of sound privacy and we like the location and the price is exceptionally reasonable.
Ben: We all just were ready to leave San Francisco. On a personal level, we were all just ready for a change. And that has more to do with it than ambitions for the band, even. We were all in the band and we decided that if we wanted to pursue it seriously, New York was the only place to go. We all had the bug already and it made sense with the band too.
Alex: We were 26 and had never lived outside of California. But California’s awesome. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna retire and die there.
Callan: It just wasn’t that much fun to be in a band at that time in California. But it was instantly so much more fun to be in a band here. The shows and the crowds are so excited.
What’s your favorite thing about the apartment?
Callan: I can say honestly that my favorite thing about the apartment is that it’s never really been a place for regular life. We don’t all have day jobs and we don’t all just wake up and take our showers and go to work and come home and then go and sit in our rooms. There’s no real pleasure in being in your room. It’s just open and you have this big open living room. That’s the best thing about it. I like that, and I like the skylights. Windows are excellent, but when you don’t have windows and you have skylights, in the morning they beam light down. It’s really optimistic.
Ben: I’ve lived in apartments where everyone retreated to their bedrooms. It’s hard to build a space that is conducive to sharing. Mostly due to Alex’s social nature, this place is always full of people walking in and out all day. That’s cool.
Callan: It’s a good place to cook, even though that stove is charmingly small and we don’t have a table right now. It’s a great place to have people over. It’s not like you’re in a weird little room.
What’s your least favorite thing?
Callan: Sound privacy. There’s thin walls or no walls.
Alex: The stove, because I like to cook a lot. It’s tiny, so you can only use one big pot at a time.
Callan: There’s a lot of horrible things about the apartment, now that you mention it. There’s a very small amount of hot water. You don’t want to be like, ‘Can we have a new hot water heater?’ because then they might raise your rent.
Alex: The bathroom — I’m pretty sure the vent doesn’t go to the outside, it just goes into a little vent in a bedroom. So it’s impossible to clean the shower.
Callan: This apartment is kind of like a flop house for musicians.
What are the first three things you would save in a fire?
Alex: Everything we’re borrowing. There’s a lot of expensive equipment in the studio that’s not ours.
If you suddenly received a windfall of cash, what changes would you make?
Alex: How much cash are we talking?
Ben: Clearly a new stove and a hot water heater.
Callan: We don’t have a table right now, so it’d be cool to have a table.
If you could move the apartment/block/neighborhood to another city, which one would it be and why?
C: It would not be in America, for me.
A: Maybe Barcelona.