Haim We’d Be Taken More Seriously If We Were Brooding And Aggressive

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Haim We’d Be Taken More Seriously If We Were Brooding And Aggressive

Alana Haim needs a hug.

It’s five weeks into lockdown, and the youngest member of LA rock trio Haim is pining for the rest of her family.

“I’ve always loved being alone – but what I’m taking out of this whole experience is that I miss physical contact,” she says.

“The first thing I’m going to do when quarantine is over is literally jump into my parents’ arms. I just want to hug my mom and my dad. That’s all I want to do.”

“I just want to go dancing,” says her elder sister Este, joining our Zoom call from a separate part of LA. “That’s all. Go to a dance party and just go wild, let loose.”

“You can do that,” Alana goads, “but I’m going to go and be with mom and dad and I’ll be the favourite daughter.”

“Well, you’ve got some catching up to do,” replies Este, “because I’m mom and dad’s favourite”.

Sibling rivalry aside, family has been the foundation of Haim’s success.

Their mother, Donna, a teacher-turned-estate agent, taught them guitar; while their father, Mordechai, a former professional footballer in his native Israel, started them on drums.

Together with middle sister Danielle, the girls spent their childhood in a family cover band, Rockinhaim, performing at delis, street fairs and charity gigs around California’s San Fernando Valley.

“We played a lot of dorky songs,” says Alana. “A lot of Santana.”

Even though they ditched their parents to “go solo” in 2006, the sisters continued to write and rehearse in the family living room, fitting early gigs around Este’s degree in ethnomusicology and Danielle’s side-hustle as a guitarist for Jenny Lewis and Julian Casablancas.

It took the band several years to find their own sound (four early EPs will “never be heard” by the public, says Alana) but, eventually, they worked out how to fuse their sisterly harmonies with the warmth of 70s soft rock and their passion for Britney and the Spice Girls.

 

In 2013, months after releasing their debut single, Forever, the band topped the BBC’s Sound of 2013 list, and went on to top the charts with their first album, Days Are Gone.

Fast forward to 2020 and they’re Grammy-nominated festival headliners, poised to release their third album – Women In Music, Pt III.

The title came to Danielle in a dream. “It made me crack up, so I told my sisters,” she recalls.

“And I was like, ‘Wait a minute, that spells WIMPIII. That’s even better!'” laughs Este. “That solidified it.”

But there’s a serious undertone to the title: Throughout their career, Haim have been dogged by the hackneyed question “What’s it like to be women in music?”

Shutting that down was “our evil plan,” says Danielle.

“We thought the title was a pretty big wink to the journalists to say, you know, we don’t want to be asked about that. And so far, it’s worked.”

Pay dispute

It’s a hard-won attitude from a band who’ve seen the inequalities of the music industry first-hand.

“Every time we walk into the studio, the engineer is a man,” Danielle told the BBC at the 2018 Brits. “There’s no equal opportunity.”

https://www.bbc.com

“We’ll go to alternative radio stations in the States and there won’t even be a girls’ restroom,” Este added.

Worse still, they’ve seen their abilities as musicians dismissed – despite the fact they could play most bands off the stage.

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“I feel like because we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we do choreography in our music videos, sometimes the rock community doesn’t take us seriously,” says Danielle.

“I feel like they want us to be more… I don’t know…

“Brooding and aggressive?” suggests Este.

Haim We’d Be Taken More Seriously If We Were Brooding And Aggressive

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