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Danielle, Este and Alana Haim have been making music together pretty much their whole lives. Four years ago, as the pop-rock group HAIM, the trio released its debut album, Days Are Gone, which launched it into rock stardom.
HAIM spent a few years touring (including opening shows for Taylor Swift) and tossing around ideas with what seems like every big name in music (including Stevie Nicks). But the group also spent that time writing – and this summer, HAIM released its sophomore record, Something To Tell You. It's a record about relationships, one that's deeply influenced by HAIM's time on the road.
Danielle and Este Haim joined NPR for a conversation about how the new record reflects their tastes, their growth and their childhoods in a very musical family. Hear their conversation at the audio link, and read on for highlights.
On writing songs about growing up
Danielle Haim: When we were writing this record, we were three girls in different stages of their 20s, which I think is a very interesting time. I mean, I'm 28 – I'm still going through it! 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. It's also us growing up. With "Want You Back," it was definitely us taking a step back and realizing that sometimes, you have to realize that you have a part in a relationship that has gone sour.
On the bond between sisters
Este Haim: It's hard to keep secrets with these two. They can see it on my face — the second I get off a phone call, they're like, "What happened?" No matter how hard I try, or how much of a poker face I have. I could be in my house in the Valley and I can feel that Alana or Danielle is not having a good day, or they're having a great day and I'm like, "I need to call these two. What's going on? Something's off!"
On being from a musical family
Este Haim: Some of my most vivid memories [are] coming home and my dad playing drums. And I don't remember a time in my life when I wasn't playing drums. It was the same thing as when I came to the realization that not everyone was in a family band. Because I was in a family band from the time I was in elementary school, I just assumed that's what families did. And then when I would talk to my friends about it, I'd be like, "So, when's your rehearsal?" And my friends would be like, "For what?" And I'd be like, "When does your band rehearse with your parents?" And they would be like, "I'm going to the mall this weekend, Este." [Laughs.]