HAIM Has 'Something To Tell You' About Sisterhood And Songwriting After four years, the pop-rock trio released its sophomore album. The sisters say it was inspired by tricky relationships, time on the road and close family ties.

HAIM Has 'Something To Tell You' About Sisterhood And Songwriting

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HAIM: (Singing) On the way down.


That is the band HAIM, three sisters from California who've been making music together pretty much their whole lives. They started playing instruments at a few months old and played with their parents in a family band. Since then, they haven't stopped. Their latest album is called "Something To Tell You."


HAIM: (Singing) Tell me how you feel. Tell me how you feel. 'Cause I've got something to tell you, but I don't know why. It's so hard to let you know...

KING: Four years ago, their debut album, "Days Are Gone," launched the sisters into rock stardom. And since then, they've been touring the globe. With all that time together, they've become so close that they say they share a weird mental connection.

ESTE HAIM: It's like weird sister - it's like I could be in my house in the Valley, and I can feel that, like, Alana or Danielle is, like, not having either a good day or, like, they're having a great day. And I'm like, I need to call these two. What's going on? Something's off.

KING: This time around, they're singing about relationships with lovers, with each other and with themselves. I had a chance to talk to two of the three Haim sisters, Este and Danielle, and asked them what their record was all about.

E. HAIM: I think when we were writing this record, we were three girls in different stages of their 20s. And, yeah, I think we've all gone through relationships. I think there's some songs on the record that touch on being a woman in a touring band and having to deal with men's egos and your partner's egos. You know, I think it's also us growing up. And, you know, with "Want You Back," it was definitely us taking a step back and maybe realizing that sometimes you have to realize that you have a part in a relationship that's maybe gone sour. And, you know, I think it kind of just deals with those feelings.


HAIM: (Singing) Just know that I want you back. Just know that I want you back. Just know that I want you. I'll take the fall and the fault. And I'll give you all the love I never gave before I left you.

KING: Danielle, I read this interview with you. You said this thing about your writing process that really stayed with me. You said, I don't fully understand my feelings until the song is done and it's out in the world. How - I mean, when you're listening back now a month later, do you feel a change? Do you say to yourself, oh, that's what I was talking about? That's what I was doing. Like, does it help you process?

DANIELLE HAIM: Yeah. I think for some songs, definitely. I think it kind of differs with each song, but yeah. There's times where I'm like, wow, I was really feeling some type of way...

E. HAIM: That day.

D. HAIM: ...That day. Like, sometimes, I don't fully understand some of the words. I mean, I also think some of the time too, we're very - when we write, it comes melodically first. And sometimes, we'll just be jamming on something. And I'll kind of speak, like, gibberish or something. And it will kind of turn into a line. And then that will kind of inspire the rest of the song. I think we kind of...

E. HAIM: And also, like, a lot of these songs started with, you know, we're all drummers. Our dad's a drummer. That was always our first instrument. And we started a lot of these songs just from drum beats. I don't know if you can hear it on the record, but everything's very percussive.


HAIM: (Singing) Oh, and now you're saying that you need me, baby. Right now, right now. Oh, now you're saying that you love me, love me, baby. Right now, right now.

D. HAIM: The physicality of playing drums is also just so fun. There's like videos of us, like, banging on pots and pans at, like, 7 or 8 months. And I think that my dad...

KING: (Laughter) Seven or 8 months?

D. HAIM: Yeah, yeah, literally, like, babies 'cause our dad would have like a '60s drum set in the living room from the time that we were born basically. And I'm only assuming that my dad was playing drums almost every day since we were born because when we were older, that's - those were some of my, like, most vivid memories is just coming home and my dad playing drums.

KING: Well, it's interesting because you can still - I mean, you hear the discipline today. You guys play the instruments. You write the songs. You play the daylights out of every show. Like, that discipline is obviously really still there. There's one song from the album, a last song that I want to play and ask you about. It's "Night So Long." Let's take a listen.


HAIM: (Singing) I say goodbye to love again. In loneliness, my only friend. In loneliness, my only fear. The nights end.

KING: It's so beautiful.

E. HAIM: Thank you.

KING: And it's so intimate. And it's about loneliness. And, Danielle, that's you singing. Can you tell me what that song is about that is - it's just so vastly different?

D. HAIM: Yeah. We wrote that song actually a long time ago. And it was just this - it's just basically a verse repeated twice. It was about, you know, touring and kind of after you play an amazing show, you just go straight back to your hotel room and you're all alone. And sometimes it's just that juxtaposition is kind of intense.


HAIM: (Saying) Then I say goodbye to love once more, no shadow darkening the door. Until your memory is gone, the night so long.

KING: And in the end, I mean, despite that sense of loneliness that you convey so powerfully, the fun of touring, the fun of being on stage, it still outweighs the dark nights?

E. HAIM: Oh, yeah. And, like I said, like, also, the song is like - in loneliness, my only friend. I think there's also a little part of me that even though there's like this deep sadness - it kind of almost feels like maybe I'm crazy - but sometimes it feels like a warm blanket. It just kind of feels like, oh, I - it's nostalgic in a way. I don't know. So it's not, like, horrible. I just think it's - I don't know.

D. HAIM: Sometimes you get bummed. Sometimes you're on the road and you get bummed. But the good news is we have such a good time 99.9 percent of the time that it makes it all worth it.

KING: That sounds like a good way to live, ladies.

D. HAIM: It's fun. We have a great time.

E. HAIM: I hope that makes sense. I don't know, I'm still kind of...

KING: It does make sense.

D. HAIM: No, it does makes sense.

KING: It does. It makes a lot of sense.


KING: That was Este and Danielle Haim of the band HAIM. Thank you guys so much for coming by and talking to us.

D. HAIM: Thank you.

E. HAIM: Thank you for everything. That was really fun.


HAIM: (Singing) You've got to give me just a little of your love, babe, and I'll try. You've got to give me just a little of your love, baby, and I'll try. You've got to give me just a little of your love, baby, and I'll try.

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