Sisters Este, Danielle and Alana make up burgeoning pop-rock group HAIM (rhymes with time), which also happens to be the girls' last name. Over the past several months, the L.A.-born-and-bred twentysomethings have been making a name for themselves performing at festivals from Lollapalooza to Glastonbury, opening for the likes of Mumford & Sons and Phoenix on tour, and by being associated with the one and only JAY Z (they're signed to Roc Nation management).
But for HAIM, it's not about rubbing elbows or internet hype or who thinks they're the 'next big thing.' Simply, it's about the music, and considering the strength and versatility of debut album Days Are Gone (out now), the rest is just a really cool bonus.
HAIM stopped by iHeartRadio headquarters in NYC recently, where Este, Danielle and Alana opened up about everything from first kisses to their take on Miley Cyrus and JAY Z to drawing comparisons to Fleetwood Mac with their debut.
Check out Real Questions with HAIM below.
What do you think about all the buzz surrounding your debut? Is the hype a good thing?
Alana: I don’t really know much about hype. We kind of - especially when we were recording the record -we kind of hid away in a cave and didn’t really pay attention... we learned to be kind of afraid of the internet.
Este: Scary Place. You know what I equate it to? Having a baby and putting it on the internet and having people criticize.
Danielle: Like what’s up with his eyes?
Este: Like your baby’s eyes are cross-eyed. Your baby’s head is football shaped. It’s just a little nerve-racking, but the good thing is we made the record we wanted to make. We’re really proud of it, and we worked really f**kin hard on it, and had a really good time doing it.
What preconceived notions do people have about you that are completely wrong?
Este: That we’re not really sisters.
Alana: There's a rumor that we’re from
How old were you when you had your first kiss?
Este: Oh my god, so embarrassing!
Danielle: I was a late bloomer.
Este: I was a late bloomer too.
Danielle: I think I was 15.
Este: I was 15 also.
Alana: I think I was 14.
Este: I was pretty shy. I think I’m still pretty shy when it comes to that, you know. I never make the first move. Ever.
Alana: And we all had braces.
What band would you never admit to listening to (but now you are)?
Este: I downloaded the soundtrack to the Goofy movie.
Alana: Oh my God, that’s not embarrassing at all.
Este: No, I downloaded it now is what I’m saying. I didn’t download it when I was like 10.
Who is the weirdest person you’ve ever had a crush on?
Alana: I had a crush on Woody Allen growing up.
Danielle: That’s not that weird.
Alana: Is Steve Buscemi a weird one? I love Steve Buscemi.
Este: I had a crush on James Earl Jones as a kid. His voice is really awesome. He was the voice of Mufasa, I think that’s really where it comes from.
Has there ever been a love triangle situation between you guys?
Este: Well there’s one person collectively that we’re all in love with.
Danielle: If he ever came-a-knockin’ he would have to choose...
Este: We’ve made an agreement that we’d be okay with it, and his name is Drake. There wouldn’t even be a jealousy situation A because maybe he would become part of the family and we would hang out all the time.
Ever been invited to dinner with JAY Z and Queen Bey?
Alana: We got to meet him at a party, a Roc Nation party a while back. He was really nice and really excited that we were joining the company. I think we got pushed into him by accident. Someone literally like pushes us into him and we’re like, “Hi we’re HAIM” and he was like “Oh my God, you guys are awesome.”
Este: It was the best day of my life.
What was your take on Miley’s now infamous VMA performance?
Alana: Honestly, just do you. It didn’t really shock me. She came back, had an awesome comeback... I love “We Can’t Stop” - it’s just a really dope song. I love her on “Ashtrays and Heartbreaks,” the new Snoop Lion record. I think she’s just doing her. I say do you. Obviously she’s confident... I think she was just doing her and being a young girl, vibin’, dancing with a bunch of teddy bears – that’s my dream!
In fact, they love Miley so much that they covered her new song, "Wrecking Ball" for their BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge set. Check it out:
What is the last illegal thing you did?
Danielle: The first time I came here, actually I abided by the signs. It was my first actual
Este: I've gotten two jaywalking tickets in my life. In
Have you ever been fired?
Este: I worked at a clothing store and I asked for too many days off, and then was late the day that I asked for the day off. My boss was like. 'F*** this you’re fired.' But it's fine cause then the store closed cause there was a rat problem, so...
Have you ever cheated?
Este: I got freaked out because I told an audience a couple weeks ago that I cheated on my SATs, which I did, and I was scared that UCLA was gonna call me and be like, 'Your diploma is now revoked.' I had a nightmare about that.
What’s the last thing that really pissed you off?
Alana: Ohhh, I stubbed my toe. My toe nail totally turned black. That really pissed me off.
Este: The last thing to piss me of... when we were in G
Danielle: That was some bull sh*t.
Alana: That was some bull sh*t.
Este: We were outside taking pictures with fans, people at the festival just taking pictures, and this guy just came up – like sort of, I heard like screaming, I was like that’s weird, and I then I kept getting closer and closer and closer, like his battle cry, and then he came like over to me and just poured water on my head. And its water like I don’t give a sh*t – but it was the fact that he did it maliciously. Like if someone had spilled water I wouldn’t care, but he did it maliciously. But then Alana went into mommy mode and took her bottle of water, ran after him, and poured her bottle all on his head.
Alana: As I should.
You guys are often compared to Fleetwood Mac. Growing up, who got to be Stevie?
Danielle: I think I really connected to Christine McVie. I feel like when you listen to Stevie, it’s out there and you feel it, and Christine has a more subdued voice and I always felt like I did too. I think I connected to that.
Alana: You’re the Christine and Este’s the Stevie. Can I be the Lindsey?
Danielle: Yeah you can be the Lindsay.
Este: You can be the Lindsay. But then I also get to be Mick Fleetwood.
What do you wear to bed last night?
Danielle: Definitley not socks.
Este: You can’t wear socks to bed. You need to let your dogs breathe.
How often do you shower?
Este: Everyday, sometimes twice a day. On tour it gets really hard...
Alana: The worst is festival season because you don’t know what you’re walking into when you walk into a festival shower.
Danielle: Especially on Sundays.
Alana: Yeah. We’ve had a Sunday festival where the toilets and the showers are, it could actually take your breath away how awful it is.
Este: Sometimes you know I’ll just say I’m gonna wait till tomorrow.
Have you ever peed your pants?
Alana: Duh! I think one time Este made me laugh so hard I pissed my pants. I’m sure that happened. Este makes me laugh more than anyone in the whole universe.
Este: I definitely peed my pants in the last ten years. Definitely had that situation. I think I was a little tipsy and a little bit out of it...
Danielle: It’s okay it happens.
Este: You can’t be perfect all the time.
What’s the meanest thing you’ve ever said to your manager?
Alana: At the party where we met Jay-Z, it was really hard to get into – there were like two different rooms.
Danielle: Oh yeah it was kind of like the gamble. Which room is Jay-Z gonna end up in?
Alana: So we all picked one room and of course Jay-Z went to the other room. We didn’t know what to do. The food was in one room, and obviously we go where the food goes. And so we were eating and we see everyone just bum-rushing this one door, and I see all the security gaurds and literally you see like Beyonce, Rihanna, Miguel and Jay-Z basically walk into the room. I was like, 'Alright let’s just go try and get in.' So we’re literally aiting forever and forever and forever. Este uses her diabetes to get in for the first time. Este goes, 'I’m diabetic, I left my insulin in that room – I need to get in' and they're like, 'Okay fine.' Este gets in so now it’s just me and Danielle.
Este: This is insanely preposterous first of all. It’s like me saying I left my pancreas in the other room. But the guards don’t know that so I got in.
Alana: Este was like it’s do or die – I’m going to meet Jay-Z. So then Este’s in and then all of a sudden I’m just like talking to someone and I’m with my friend Savanha and we’re like just talking then all of a sudden we’re like where did Danielle go and then someone was like your sister just like walked in with a huge group of people and I was just like what?!
Danielle: Sometimes when you see your chance you just gotta take it. You know what I mean. You can’t hesitate. I didn’t hesitate, I wanted to be in that room.
Alana: So literally, one HAIM down and out of all three HAIMs I’m the WORST at getting in places by myself. I cannot do it, I have no poker face. Everyone knows like this girl’s not allowed to be in this room. And so I was like Oh my god like literally in my head I could see the future like Este and Danielle are totally gonna meet Beyonce and Jay-Z and I’m gonna be stuck out here actually crying and so sad so I like texted my manager who was also in the room and I was like “if you meet Beyonce and Jay-Z without me I will never talk to you ever again.” And then the next text was “I’m not kidding.” And then all of a sudden he got me in the last ten seconds. I literally walked in and then got pushed into Jay-Z.
What’s the most shameful thing you’ve ever spent money on?
Este: I definitely bought a topsy turvy.
Alana: (Laughs) That is pretty shameful!
Alana: The topsy turvy is a tomato grower.
Alana: There’s an infomercial for it.
Este: I didn’t want to pay for the shipping and handling so I bought it at CVS. The infomercial makes it look like it’s the easiest thing in the world to grow tomatoes. I was like I don’t want to spend money on tomatoes at whole foods so I’m gonna make them organic by myself. And I did and it was great but I bought a topsy turvy.
What’s the last thing you lied about?
Alana: I told my parents I was gonna go to sleep but I went out. I’m also 21 and should probably not be telling my parents that I’m going out, I should probably just do it. But they came to New York to see us and we were like exhausted but I think it was like after our show we were so exhausted and they’re like you should go to sleep and I was like I’m totally gonna go to sleep, then I went out. Lie. Sorry Mom and Dad.
Listen to tracks from HAIM's debut album, Days Are Gone, below.
"If I Could Change Your Mind"
"Honey & I"
"Don't Save Me"
"Days Are Gone"
"My Song 5"
Photos: Shelby Case