How would you best characterise Haim?
An indie rock band from Los Angeles, great. A trio of talented siblings, awesome. A girl band? well, only if you wanted to insult the trio with such a “medieval” description.
“Growing up, there were a lot of girl artists like the Spice Girls, Aaliyah and Destiny’s Child,” says the 22-year-old multi-instrumentalist. “But none of them really played instruments and I would always look up to Stevie Nicks and Blondie – they are dope female musicians. So I just see us as a band. When people call us a girl band, I take it as an insult – being a girl in a band shouldn’t be a thing. It seems so medieval.”
The gender rejection arose in regards to a question about Haim’s male touring drummer, Dash Hutton, who handles the band’s skin-thumping duties on the road after some parental guidance led Haim to their current instruments of choice.
“Dad was adamant that he didn’t want us to become drummers because he didn’t want us to lug all our shit everywhere,” reveals Danielle Haim in the same Telegraph interview. “So I just see us as a band… being a girl in a band shouldn’t be a thing. It seems so medieval.”
Papa Haim, along with his wife, actually helped the Haim daughters cut their musical teeth as a travelling family band before the parents became estate agents and the two older sisters – Danielle and 28-year-old Este ‘bass face’ Haim – spent a spell in a manufactured tween group called ‘Valli Girls’ in the mid-oughties.
Having played together for so long, they say there’s no real sibling rivalry within their ranks. “Well, we fight – but only little fights here and there. We grew up together – we know what will push people’s buttons, and we love each other. It’s not worth it to fight – we’re so fucking stoked about what is going on.”
Last in Australia as part of the Laneway Festival 2014 tour, Haim are actually the latest from the indie festivals’ strong female lineup to offer their stance on the gender divide of the male-minded state of today’s music industry.
Last year, New Zealand’s 17-year-old sensation Lorde wrote a sophisticated and striking anti-sexism editorial about her swift rise to fame, following closely after Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry wrote a touching opinion piece about the ugly misogyny she regularly faces fronting the Scottish synthpop band.
More recently, singer/model/actress Sky Ferreira also tackled the “vile, sexually abusive” comments she regularly experiences in a public outcry ahead of her debut Australian show earlier this month, while closer to home, Sydney-via-LA producer and performer Anna Lunoe grilled lazy music media for their borderline sexist approach, after the “lost it” at a journalist for comparing her to Miley Cyrus; all adding to an ongoing (and arguably much needed) industry-wide discussion.