I’m Mark Ronson, and this is the FADER Uncovered podcast. In this interview series, I’ll be speaking with some of the most influential and groundbreaking musicians in the world, from genre defining stars to avant-garde trailblazers, about their lives and careers. Each episode will be rooted in these musicians’ iconic FADER cover stories, an institution that over the past two decades has told artists’ stories like no other. The podcast is a chance for us to talk about the past, present, and future, reflecting on their breakthroughs, diving into their lives when their covers hit shelves, and discussing what their lives might hold now. And it’s an opportunity for me to speak to some of the artists I most admire.
Today we’re doing a special two-part episode with my faves, HAIM, because once we got started there really was no way to put a cap on the deep, personal, and hilarious chat that ensued. I had a feeling it might go this way, but it’s even better than how it played in my head. HAIM graced the cover of FADER 86 in the summer of 2013, right before they dropped their wonderful debut album, Days Are Gone. They had already set the indie world alight with their debut single, “Forever,” and its follow-up, “Falling,” had people literally falling all over themselves to anoint them the next saviors of rock and roll, and deservedly so. They wrote great songs, they rocked live, they had a very unique sound: part Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, part Destiny’s Child. And they were so hilarious and witty in their interviews, you always wanted to know more about them.
Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength with their most recent album, Women in Music Pt. III, being one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the last year, entering the UK chart at No. 1 and being nominated for Album of the Year at this year’s Grammys. The very first time we met was because I was summoned by the girls to meet in the lobby of a London hotel around the time of this article. I wasn’t quite sure why, actually, but I thought they were cool and maybe they wanted to work with me. They did not. And, really, me being a Jew, these three Heeb sisters from the valley who rocked out and seemed this fun… well, what else was I going to do on a Wednesday afternoon in North London?
What began as a slightly awkward encounter that day has blossomed into a real friendship. We spent quite a bit of time in the studio together, and although we always have probably a little too much fun to actually finish a song together, we do have a tribute to Howard Stern and a decent cover of Ghostbusters on a hard drive somewhere. Perhaps, by the end of this interview, I can convince them to let me put both on SoundCloud. Baruch Hashem.
Mark Ronson: During the lockdown was there a time where you were all separated?
Este Haim: Yeah, it sucked. It was awful.
Alana Haim: Yeah, in the very beginning of the pandemic, I think we went to New York to play Jimmy Fallon, your favorite person. We went to go play the show. I think we played it on March 8, and that was the beginnings of the rumblings that something was going to happen, but no one was really like, “We’re going into lockdown.” And, then we were on this deli tour to launch our record. We were like, “We want to go across the country and play delis,” because why not? Obviously.
Is it an acknowledgement of the Canter’s, the origins?
Este: That’s where our first show was.
Alana: Our first show was at Canter’s. You DJ’d a party of ours that was at Canter’s.
That was where I was.
Alana: I think it was an impromptu DJ set.
Este: Yes, that was at Canter’s.
Alana: There’s so many delis across the country. We wanted to go to Australia. We wanted to do it in England. I’m like, “God, there’s so many delis. We should just play all of them.” We were on the deli tour, and we had gone to two delis. We had gone to Sarge’s in New York, and then we did Call Your Mother Deli in DC. In DC, I think it was March 13th, and that was the day that the NBA shut down.
Este: But also Tom Hanks.
Alana: Tom Hanks got it that day, and I feel like that’s when everyone also was like, “Wait a minute, America’s dad has coronavirus. We all need to figure out our lives.” Isn’t that what people call him, America’s dad?
Este: He is America’s dad.
I think he is America’s dad. He is America’s dad.
Alana: I think that’s what they call him.
Este: He is America’s dad.
He’s also Chet Hanks’ dad.
Alana: Yes. So, that night we were like, “Oh, we have to get home,” because at that point we were like, “I don’t even know if they’re going to let us home.” I was like, “I don’t even know what this means.” It felt like chaos time, and we were like, “We got to get home.” Since we were coming from New York, that was the epicenter at that point, and we were like, “Oh god, we really have to quarantine.” The CDC, I think, was saying, “You got to quarantine for two weeks.” And, we were like, “Why don’t we just make it more Jewish and quarantine for three months?”
Este: Which is what we did.
Alana: We were so neurotic about it. We literally didn’t see each other for three months.
Este: Also, you didn’t mention that March 14 was my birthday.
Alana: We came back L.A. on Este’s birthday.
Este: The saddest birthday.
Alana: That was the first time we’ve ever not been together for her birthday.
Este: I made myself a sugar-free cupcake in my house.
Alana: With tears as frosting.
Este: It was really sad. I ordered myself balloons from the dollar store, and that was it, that was my birthday.
I was at your 30th birthday, and that was wild.
Alana: You DJ’d that too?
Alana: All impromptu DJ sets. I don’t think we’ve ever gotten the guts to actually ask you, “Will you please DJ our parties, Mark Ronson?”
Este: When you get there we’re like, “Just hop on the decks. Just hop on the decks.”
Alana: Please hop on the decks!
I think the Canter’s one, you asked me three hours before, so that would count as an actual booking.
Alana: Does it? Because I probably took four shots before asking you.
That was 2 p.m., so that’s baller. There’s something that you just said, that I really just have to ask before. There’s a deli in New York called Sarge’s? I feel terrible. Is there a Jewish deli that I’ve never heard of in New York City?
Este: In Midtown.
Alana: Okay well actually, this is a very funny story about how we got to Sarge’s. For Este’s 13th birthday? When did you go to SNL?
Este: No, that was for my graduation present when I was 18.
Alana: Este’s graduation present was to go… We could only get one ticket to SNL. Figured out through our doctor literally who knew Robert Smigel. That’s how we got to SNL. We all went. We stayed in Midtown because there was a deal. My parents are the funniest travelers. They’re travelers, they’re not vacationers. They’re all about getting a hotel room with a kitchen.
Este: With a kitchen, so that you can cook.
Alana: So, that we can make our own meals. They’re not about, “We’re going to go have a nice dinner in New York,” arguably one of the best places to get dinner. They were like, “No, we don’t want that. We’re going to go to the market.”
Este: We’re going to go to the bodega and get eggs.
Alana: We’ll make everything in-house. We’ll save money that way. And, when they find their place, that’s their place. I think around the corner from our hotel that we stayed at in Midtown-
Este: We were staying at the Ho Jo in Midtown.
Alana: Yeah, Embassy Suites or something, and they found this deli, and no one was in there. And, I think they took that as, “Oh, this is going to be our spot.”
And, that’s Sarge’s?
Alana: And, so every time we went back to New York, that was basically the only deli that I knew was Sarge’s.
Este: We also only really knew Midtown.
Alana: Yeah, we only knew Midtown. I had never branched out and tried to figure out where to go in New York.
Este: I don’t think we went to the Lower East Side or the Village until we were on tour.
Alana: Well, I went to New York the first time for real, and I had a full blown panic attack because I was just so caught off guard by the vibe of New York, was when we played…
Alana: CMJ, so I quit my job at Crossroads Trading Company. I was working at a thrift store.
Este: I quit my job at the counter, slanging burgers. I was a waitress.
Alana: We had decided we were going to go to New York for CMJ which was this week long… I’m sure you know about it.
Yeah, of course.
Alana: It’s the week-long South by Southwest of New York.
Este: You probably played CMJ.
I played the old version of it called the New Music Seminar. That was 25 years ago.
Este: Nice. That was 2008, 2009.
Alana: I mean, at least at my job at Crossroads Trading Company on Ventura Boulevard, they were like, “You can’t leave for a week. That’s crazy.” So, I had to quit, and I was like, “Oh my God, how am I going to make money?” I remember we only had enough money to get one hotel room for us and our whole band at the Thompson LES because it had two…
Este: It’s something else now.
Alana: Our friend was doing an activation there that was like, “I can get you a room.”
Este: One room.
Alana: One room, and we were like, “I’m down.”
Este: Take it.
Alana: It was maybe six people in one room.
Este: Me, you, Danielle in one room.
Alana: It was our band, and then all of a sudden Danielle’s friend was like, “I’m going to stay too,” and I was like, “We literally have no room. There’s two beds here, but sure, come party. We’ll all stay in one room,” because we had basically never really played outside of LA. I don’t think mom and dad were there.
Alana: We went by ourselves which I think I was 20.
Este: When you look back on it, we didn’t go without our parents.
Alana: Of course.
Este: I was 26 years old.
Alana: I was in rocking high mode of my parents need to be with me always. We were staying in the Lower East Side, and we had to go to Brooklyn. This was before phones with navigation. It was full flip phone mode. First of all, we had all of our gear. We had a drum set, we had two guitars, a bass.
Este: All of our guitars, amps.
Alana: We had our whole stage setup, and we had to fit in a cab.
Este: One taxi.
Alana: One taxi because we could only afford one, one of those van ones. Getting one of those already-
Este: We learned.
Alana: We tried different tactics. First, we all of our gear on the street.
Este: And, then they just kept passing us.
Alana: Kept passing us.
Este: They were like, “Absolutely not.”
Alana: Taxis were like, “Hell no, we’re not fucking stopping for you.” Then we hid our gear.
Este: Hid everything.
Alana: And, threw Este out there like, “I don’t know, show your leg or something. I don’t know how to get a cab.”
Este: It was literally like the ’50s.
Alana: We finally got a cab. Este sat in the cab and was like, “This is our cab,” and then we just loaded everything into this one cab, and then we finally all scrunched in this cab. And, then he was already so annoyed obviously, and he was like, “Okay, where are we going?” And, we were like, “Can you take us to Brooklyn?” He’s like, “I don’t know how to get there.” Immediately, I have a panic attack because I’m like, “Okay, we’ve got to get to this showcase in Brooklyn.”
What was the venue, do you remember? Union?
Este: Was it Brooklyn Bowl?
Oh, Brooklyn Bowl?
Alana: I don’t remember. God, I wish I remembered. I wish I had a diary that had it all.
Este: I feel like it might actually have been Union. No, it was an art gallery.
Alana: Oh yeah, it was an art gallery. It wasn’t even a venue. So, we’re in the cab, and we’re like, “Please take us to Brooklyn, kind sir,” and he’s like, “I don’t know how to get there. You need to tell me how to get there.”
Este: Also, isn’t that not legal?
Alana: Well, this was how many years ago?
This was before Brooklyn was a little more gentrified, and cab drivers really had a hard time. You rarely saw yellow cabs in Brooklyn back then. It’s not legal, it’s not fair, it’s not right.
Este: We just wanted to play our show.
Alana: So, Danielle and Este took the reigns.
What year was that, 2011 or 10?
Este: Yes. 2011.
Alana: I think it was 2011. Este and Danielle took the reins on the whole situation, somehow figured out how to get us to Brooklyn, how to get us to this art gallery. I’m silently having a panic attack because I feel like the pressure of the world is on my shoulders because I’m like, “We’ve got to get to this thing. I don’t know how to get there. Are we going to be lost? Can we even afford a cab if we get lost?”
Este: We had never been to Brooklyn.
Alana: How are we going to pay for this cab? It might just go around in circles, and we might not ever find this gallery, and then we have to spend all this money, we have all this gear, and we’re going to be fucked! We finally get to the gallery, and I literally remember vividly opening the door and just bursting into tears. I just burst into tears.
Alana: And I was like, “I can’t do it guys.” No, I literally was like, “I can’t do it.”
Este: No, Alana had an existential crisis.
Alana: I was like, “What they say about New York and Californians, it’s true. I’m too faint of the heart of this. I can’t deal with this. No one’s helping us. I’m going to have a panic attack.”
How old were you then? How old were you in 2011?
Este: Alana was 19.
Alana: I think I was 19 or 20.
Este: No, you were 19.
Alana: Again, the only time I had been to New York was with my parents and it was in Midtown. I had no idea.
Este: I don’t think I had been to Brooklyn either.
Alana: No, that was the first time I had ever gone to Brooklyn.
Este: We’d never been to Brooklyn. We’d barely been to the Lower East Side.
Alana: I was like, “I can’t handle this. I can’t do it.” It’s taken me years because every time I go to New York… I mean, I hate even saying this because it’s such an eye roll, but coming from LA when you’re lost, you can ask someone, and they’ll be fine, and then in New York they were like, “Fuck you, get the fuck away from me.” I was like, “I’m too nice for New York. I’m too nice.”
I feel like it’s just wherever you grew up because I would feel much more comfortable asking someone in New York. Yes, there is the stereotype, “Yeah, you know what, get bent.” I know what you mean, though, and it is stressful. How was the show that night, do you remember? Did you rock the borough of Brooklyn?
Este: It was great.
Alana: It was great. I mean, all those festivals we played, I think Forever had just come out freshly.
Este: No, Forever hadn’t come out yet.
Alana: I don’t even know how we did it.
Este: Our EP wasn’t even out yet because our EP came out in 2012, and CMJ was six months before that, but we had been playing live as a band since 2007.
Alana: For seven years.
Este: At the time, we were just like, “We will play any parking lot. We will play wherever.”
Este: I think we played eight shows in that five day period.
Alana: Yeah, and it was a blast.
Este: And, it was so much fun.
Alana: After that initial Brooklyn meltdown, then I was like, “I fucking love New York.” It broke me, and then it built me back up. Now I’m a better person. I’m stronger.
It’s terrifying in that way, especially in a cab. I live in New York, and I’ve been stressed the fuck out trying to get to a gig in time in Brooklyn in some weird warehouse where I don’t know what it is, so I can fully empathize.
Este: But, then you get the three Jewish yentas in the car that are having existential crises and spiraling silently.
There’s always at least three Jewish yentas in my head at any time anyways.
Este: Exactly. You know how I feel.
Alana: Do they look like us?
Este: Are we just in your head?
Alana: Sorry, I feel like I just took over your podcast for this story.
No, this is fucking what we want. This is high-end shit.
I do want to talk about SNL because I was reading that article from May 2013 when you guys were on the cover of the FADER. It is really sweet because you say, “I used to want to be in the cast of SNL. Now I just want to play on SNL.” And, then I had no idea that you went, and that was your dream. Do you even remember who was on that time when you went for your 18th birthday or for your graduation present?
Alana: I don’t remember.
You got to remember.
Este: I don’t remember.
Really? I remember the very first time I went to SNL it was Ted Danson and Luther Vandross. I was 13, and I loved SNL so much.
Alana: Whoa, what a show!
Yeah, and I was such a huge fan that that is one of my most indelibly impressed memories. Because you played SNL on the first album. You probably played on every album now since, right?
Alana: Other than this.
Este: Other than this one.
Alana: We played twice. We really wanted to play.
Este: If SNL‘s listening.
Alana: Knock knock SNL, we really want to play.
Este: Yeah, we want to play again.
Alana: We played twice. I remember the first time a lot more. It’s your first time. Of course you remember your first time playing SNL. I vividly remember on the SNL stage, there’s exposed brick on the stage, and I remember I was playing… Did we play “Don’t Save Me” on our first one? I don’t remember which songs.
Este: We played “The Wire” and “Don’t Save Me.”
Alana: “Don’t Save Me?” I faced this brick wall, and I remember this show happening, and I remember looking at this specific brick, and being like, “Do not fuck up. Focus on this brick.” When we played SNL the first time, we showed up, and we had all of our gear. We were all great, and they were like, “Okay, where are your in-ears?” And, we were like, “Excuse me?”
Este: Our what?
Alana: What? In-ears? What are in-ears? What is that? And, they were like, “Oh, you don’t have in-ears?” And, we were like, “No, we play with wedges, with monitors.”
Este: With wedges.
Alana: They literally verbatim were like, “We haven’t had a band play with monitors since the ’90s.”
Este: Since the ’90s.
Alana: And, there was this whole chaos because they were like, “It’s going to feed back.” They were like, “We literally haven’t used wedges in years.”
We should just explain for anyone listening who might not know that in-ears are a special high-end, whenever you see Justin Timberlake in a concert it looks like he’s wearing iPods. Those are the special things that get the monitoring that you hear, so you have a great mix in your ear, but it didn’t start off that way. It used to be people would rock out with these big speakers at the front of the stage, and that’s how you heard everything.
Este: It’s the best feeling.
Alana: That’s why I have 50% hearing loss is because my wedges were so loud. Now, because of my hearing loss, I have to use in-ears, but again, chaos.
Este: It is a high stress situation in the Haim band.
Alana: I very much live up to my Judaism. I’m the happiest person of all time, and then immediately switch to a spiral. I’m going to have a panic attack, I’m in the hole, I can’t live. Whenever someone asks us, “How was is playing SNL?” The first thing that comes into my mind is this brick, this one red exposed brick. I still haven’t watched out SNL performance because I’m so nervous to watch it.
I watched it. I really remember clearly watching it when it was happening. Not to make this about myself, but playing SNL was bigger than we got to play at the Superbowl with Coldplay with Bruno. SNL just has this thing. I remembered taping the 40th anniversary of SNL on my VCR in my room when I was 14 anyway, so there’s something when you’re in there, and you’re seeing the sets moving, and how it works with the sketches, it’s like seeing inside of a magic box.
Este: I will say this. I don’t remember who hosted, but I do remember the feeling of being there. I was on the floor when I went, and Jimmy Fallon was doing Weekend Update. Again, not to make this about Jimmy. Jimmy Fallon is going to think I’m the biggest creep after I tell him this. You know how at the end of Weekend Update he would throw the pencil?
Este: When I say dove like I was at a wedding and the wife was throwing a bouquet, I dove.
Alana: Head first.
Este: Head first to get that pencil.
Alana: Didn’t no one else? You thought that people were going to go for it.
Este: No. Yeah, I was the only one.
Alana: And, no one else did, and you looked like a crazy person.
No one else did?
Este: No one else did. It was like Hungry Hungry Hippos. I was searching for it, and then I framed it with my ticket stub.
Alana: It’s true.
Este: They gave me a pass or whatever, and it’s in my room still.
Este: But, I do remember the feeling of being there at 18 and just being like… Again, like I said in the article, I wanted to be Gilda Radner. That was my dream, but if I can’t be Gilda Radner I would love to just play on SNL. I remember sitting there and just trying to breathe in the air, and soak it up, and remember what it feels like being here. It was such an honor to be one show not once, but twice.
Alana: I’ve never seen Este bawl more. The first time we played SNL, we were like, “We want to be in a sketch.” It wasn’t looking good because also at that point I feel like they only put the really cool people in sketches.
If you were just so famous you’re a cultural thing?
Alana: Yeah, like people would notice you.
Alana: I feel like we’re still not like that. I feel like we’re very much in the background.
Este: No, absolutely not.
Alana: When we went for dress rehearsal, we introduced ourselves to everyone because I was like, “You guys are my celebrities. If you work at SNL, you are my celebrity.” Lorne Michaels is literally my god. When I met him I literally had a full on meltdown panic attack which I feel like the very model of this podcast.
Este: So many panic attacks.
It’s the running thread.
Este: It really is.
Alana: The running thread of this podcast.
Este: Jesus, the neurosis in this family, honestly.
Alana: It’s crazy that I’m single. I can’t even imagine why I’m single because I’m having mental breakdowns every five seconds.
Este: It’s okay.
Alana: It’s okay, I’m fine, I swear. I need to go to therapy.
We’re just describing peak life moments, so it’s okay.
Alana: Yeah, totally.
You’re not talking about going to the store, just hailing a cab in New York City. Okay, you are hailing a cab in New York City having a panic attack.
Este: Yeah, exactly.
Meeting Lorne is a scary thing, and Lorne Michaels has a big presence. He’s responsible for so much shit that we love, and you’re never more nervous than when you’re meeting one of your heroes because you’re just so freaked out of saying the wrong thing.
Alana: I remember I introduced myself to the camera operators, all the people that were working there, and literally I didn’t care who they were. I was like, “Hi, my name’s Alana. I would love to be in a sketch. Hi, my name’s Alana.”
Este: All of us.
Alana: We literally put it in the minds of everyone. We don’t even care if we’re walking in the background, if I’m in a sketch, and I can tell my grandchildren that I was in a sketch on SNL, my life will be incredible.
Este: And, it worked!
Alana: Yeah. They get a break on Fridays, so on Thursday, they called us. I think it was 11:00 at night, and Este was like, “I don’t think we’re going to get a sketch.” She was like, “I’m just going to go for a walk.” I remember she was super down. She was like, “This was my dream.” So, I get a call, and it’s like, “What are you guys doing right now?
Este: I’m already tearing.
Alana: I was like, “Nothing.” They were like, “Okay, SNL wants you to be in a sketch.” I dropped my phone, and I ran after Este. She was getting on the elevator, and I was like, “We’re going to be in a sketch!” She was like, “No,” burst into tears.
Este: Again, burst into tears.
Alana: And, we got to be in this sketch with…
Este: Josh Hutcherson.
Alana: Josh Hutcherson. We were doing a play on “Jessie’s Girl.”
Este: No, it wasn’t “Jessie’s Girl.” It was The Outfield.
Alana: Not “Jessie’s Girl,” sorry.
“Your Love.” That’s the first song that I ever played in the fourth grade talent show.
Este: No way. Did you sing?
No, I played guitar or bass or something. I can’t remember.
Este: You played guitar?
My first ever band. But, so you guys are in the sketch. Oh, I remember Josh Hutcherson from Hunger Games, he was hosting then.
Alana: Yes, he was our host.
I totally remember.
Este: He was the host. I played key-tar.
Alana: No, I think I played key-tar. I remember we were in all ’80s garb.
Alana: We got to do the whole thing where it was like, “quick change,” and we played our first song, and they were like, “quick change, we’re going to tun you super ’80s.”
Alana: There’s all these people throwing things on me, and I was like, “This is my dream. Touch me all over. I’m down.” Then it was like, “Go do the sketch.” Then it was like, “Change back into your clothes. Go do your second song.” I was walking on air. Nothing is better than this. This is the coolest fucking thing I’m ever going to do.
It is the coolest.
SNL we love you.
Este: We love you.
We love you.
Alana: Thank you, Lorne, for letting us play twice.
Este: Thank you, Lorne Michaels.
From kosher delis and parking lots to SNL with a good number of panic attacks in between, being in a band can be like a roller coaster ride, especially if you’re in a band which is supposed to save rock and roll and you might have the goods to do it. If you haven’t experienced what that’s like, and most of us never will, let’s be honest, Haim really do an amazing job of unlocking a door to what it’s like in on the inside. You’ll get lost. There will be tears, and some days will be punctuated by sheer euphoria. And, there will be stories that you’ll tell for the rest of your life.
One other thing that I read in that article that I had no idea of was the whole Valli Girls thing. I never knew that there was a Disney-ish, all girl rock band in the Valley that you had played in before HAIM.
Alana: Oy vey, Mark. Oy vey.
Este: Oy vey. Well, Alana wasn’t a part of it.
Does everybody know this story? Have you had to tell it a hundred times? I didn’t know about that.
Alana: No, I mean, I wasn’t a part of it. We had a band with our parents called Rockinhaim which I know that you know.
Of course, I know.
Alana: That started when I was four. Other than our weird, random, middle school bands that would last 14 hours, we would only play music with our parents which is so lame, incredibly lame. We were in a full blown Partridge family.
Este: But, also amazing, Alana.
Alana: I know. It was amazing. We only played covers. We’d only play country fairs and charity events.
Also, your parents were really accomplished musicians.
Your dad’s a great drummer. It wasn’t like they were living out their dreams through you.
Este: My dad is an incredible drummer.
Alana: My dad is an insane drummer. My mom, her claim to fame, not claim to fame but one of the most amazing things that she did was she won The Gong Show in the ’70s.
Este: Did we ever tell you about that?
Alana: So, my mom was playing a coffee shop-
Your mom was a babe, by the way. I mean, we can say that, it’s okay.
Alana: Oh, thank you.
Este: Thank you, isn’t she?
Alana: I look like her.
Este: You look like her. I got the worst parts of mom and dad.
Alana: No, you didn’t. Danielle’s my dad, Este’s a mix, and I’m fully my mom. I literally look like an Ashkenazi Jew through and through. My mom was playing this coffee shop when she was, I think 20 or 21, very young. There was a scout there that was like, “You can go on The Gong Show and win prizes,” and my mom was like, “Are you kidding? I could do this on The Gong Show and meet Chuck Barris? This is insane.” So, she went on, and she didn’t get gonged. She was a serious act. At the very end of The Gong Show, they have it between two people, and the first time she went on, she lost to a father-son pop and lock crew. They had a dance routine, and my mom lost, and she was gutted. She was so gutted.
She still can’t watch Breakin’ 2, the movie. She still has an aversion to break dancing.
Alana: But, months later they were like, “Chuck loves you.”
Este: Chuckie loves you.
Alana: I was like, “Okay mom, you were that much of a babe?”
Este: But, also when Chuck had introduced my mom the first time… So, we have the VHS of this. My mother will not let us put it on the internet.
Alana: I want to put it on the internet so badly.
Este: I want to put it on the internet so badly, but it’s literally in a safe in our parents’ house because she knows that I will convert it.
This will never be digitized, this footage.
Este: No, she’s like, “This will never be digitized.” So, Chuckie gets on the camera and he’s like, “Oh!”
Alana: Donna Rose.
Este: “Donna Rose, do I have a treat for the audience. Can I tell you? You don’t even know what’s about to happen. Donna Rose with her guitar and a one, and a two.”
Alana: Loved my mom.
Este: Loved my mom.
And, what was the number? What did she play?
Este: First of all, my mom was wearing a Diane von Furstenberg crushed velvet blue jumpsuit, V-neck with a collar. This was ’75.
When I was born.
Este: Good year. And, my mom was playing her guild steel string.
Alana: That she had gotten for her 16th birthday.
Este: She got it for her 16th birthday, and she sang this Bonne Raitt song that was never recorded, she only did live. It was called the Blender Blues, and my mom had recorded it because my mom is the biggest Bonnie Raitt fan. Whenever Bonnie Raitt would come to Philly, my mom would always go to the show, and she brought her tape recorder there, and recorded this song called the Blender Blues. It’s this tongue in cheek (singing).
Alana: I’m like, “Okay, mom.”
Este: I was like, “All right, mom. All right.” I’m going to have nightmares about this later. So, she didn’t win the first time, but then the scout came back and was like, “Listen, do you want to be on it again, do exactly what you did, wear the exact same thing, just do it exactly how you did it before six months later?” And, then she did it, and then that time she won.
Alana: She wins, which was a big deal.
Este: And, we have the gong still. It says Donna Rose.
Alana: We have the gong. It says Donna Rose.
Este: And, it’s on a pedestal in my parents’ house, surrounded by candles. It’s a shrine.
Also, I’ve just discovered Bonnie Raitt which feels ridiculous.
Alana: Really? Just now?
I always thought she was really heralded blues guitarist that could hang with everybody.
Este: Like Nick of Time?
I knew Nick of Time, but I just discovered all the ’70s albums, and they’re as good as anything of that era.
Este: Amazing. Oh, yeah.
Angel of the Morning, is that what it’s called, Send Me and Angel in the Morning? ["Angel from Montgomery"] All of those records, they’re so soulful. I thought she was from the South, and she’s just from Bakersfield or something, right? She’s from California. She’s one of the most soulful, incredible singer, arrangers, guitar players ever.
Este: That voice. For us growing up, the holy trifecta was Chaka Khan, Joni Mitchell, and Bonnie Raitt. Those were my mom’s holy trinity.
I could spend the rest of my life, if I had to, I could probably be okay just listening to a catalog of those three people. It’s insane.
Alana: One of her first guitars that she got in probably late ’90s had the CD changer that was in the trunk. Remember those ones you had to go out and feed the CD and put it in this contraption?
I was in my 30s, it wasn’t that long ago for me. I blacked out. You’d load up the car before the road trip.
Alana: Again, CDs were a weird thing.
Este: A new thing for my parents.
Alana: We were all about tape cassettes. All of our cars before then were tapes, so we had a crazy tape selection. My mom was like, “CDs, this is not going to catch on.” And, she had gotten maybe through one of her friends this Miles of Aisles Joni Mitchell CD, and I think probably the person at the dealership showed her how to use the CD changer with the CD, and then she completely forgot, and didn’t know how to change it or take it out of the car, so she was like, “I don’t know, just keep it in there.” So, literally every time we turned on the car, just that record would play. That was the only one that was in my mom’s car, so that was basically our childhood was just listening to that Joni Mitchell live album.
Este: And, then that specific one got super duper scratched. Our mom made us go to Second Spin in the Valley, and we got it again. But, I guess we’d never really seen the cover or anything, but I remember being so jazzed about the cover art. Joni drew all of her covers, and she painted all that stuff. I remember just thinking that my mom was Joni Mitchell because she…
Alana: She knew all the words and the runs.
Este: All the words and sang like her.
Alana: And, I was four or five when this was happening. The era of the scratched CD is such a specific time in my life. There was one skip on “Peaches and Cream” 1:12 or something that was, “peaches and cream,” or something, but I memorized where the skip was.
Este: You memorized the skip?
You remember where the skip was? I have that with records. I remember from DJ-ing so long on vinyl exactly where the scratch would be. I would anticipate and see how much the dance floor flinched or not. I’d always be ready. Was that a diversion from talking about Valley girls? Because, if so, it was nearly successful. There’s no bad sidetrack in a HAIM interview, I feel anyway.
Alana: No, I’m totally happy if I can talk about it, of course, especially with you Mark, come on. So, at that point we’d only played with our parents, and Este and Danielle really wanted to play with girls their own age, and that wasn’t really available to us. We didn’t really know any other girls that played instruments in our neighborhood, so we were playing this street fair called the Sherman Oaks Street Fair. If anyone is from the Valley listening, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s the biggest event of the Valley.
Este: They shut down Ventura Boulevard.
Alana: The who’s who of the Valley go and have a good time in front of the Party City on Ventura Boulevard. And, we were playing this show, and these two people came up to us and were like, “Oh, we have this band of girls. We’re looking for musicians. Do you want to join this band?” I think to Este and Danielle it was like, “Fuck yeah, I want to play music with girls and have so much fun.”
Este: I was 16 by the way and Danielle was 13.
Alana: And, Danielle was 13 or 14. It was the kind of thing that was the typical pitched you one thing, and then it became completely the other thing of this is awful, pre-written songs. It was weird, just not what we wanted to do.
Este: It was awful. It was not cool.
Alana: Very quickly realized that this is not the right move, and Este and Danielle got out of it very quickly. But, it’s really funny because you can see on the internet, there’s really funny photos.
Was it a teen band, Disney with instruments?
Este: It wasn’t Disney.
Alana: No, it wasn’t any conglomerate of Disney or Nickelodeon. It wasn’t like that. It was literally just these two people that were trying to put together a band, and it was like, “Wait, can we have a say in anything?” And, it was like, “No.”
Este: They were like, “No.” So, Danielle and I were like, “Okay, we’re getting out of this.”
Alana: So, then it was like, “Okay, we’re getting out.” And, then Danielle’s senior year of high school is when we started HAIM, and then we just kept going. Danielle, her senior year was like, “I’m not going to college.” I remember the summer of she had just graduated high school. We all got together, and we were like… We loved playing music together obviously with mom and dad. We loved playing music. We loved playing our instruments. And, Danielle was like, “Well, I’m now a free agent. It’s time for me to get a job and do things.” She was like, “Why don’t we just try writing songs?”
And, you’re like, “And, I’m 12, so I’m ready.”
Alana: I had a rattle, and I was like, “Yay, I can play maraca.” No, I was going into sophomore year of high school.
Este: You were literally 15 years old.
Alana: I was 15 years old, and Danielle was like, “Why don’t we try writing songs?” That whole summer we just sat down… Oh, Danielle is literally calling me right now.
It’s like, “I heard you telling the fucking story.”
Este: Yeah, we’re spilling the tea about Danielle.
Alana: But, the whole summer we tried to write a song every day, and mind you a lot of the songs were terrible, awful, not good songs as any young songwriter is. We weren’t coming out as Joni Mitchell. We were coming out as just three yentas in the Valley. We played a show at the very end of the summer that was everyone was leaving to go to college, and we had gotten a gig at this clown museum.
Este: I feel like we might have talked about this in the article.
Alana: I think probably we did actually because that was the only…
Este: We played at a clown museum.
Alana: We played at a clown museum, and everyone showed up. It was this big farewell like, “Okay, we’re all going to college. Let’s all go to the HAIM show.” And, we were like, “Damn, this is sick. What the fuck? We’re playing to so many fucking people. We’re rock stars. This is incredible.”
Este: I think it was 80 people.
Alana: It felt like there were 40 thousand people there. I was like, “Oh my god, what is going on?” Then we got a gig maybe a month later at this bar, and literally no one showed up. All of our friends had gone to college. We played to the bouncer, my parents, and I think Danielle’s boyfriend at the time that was over 21. We were like, “Okay, well that was short lived. Fuck.” So, that’s what set us off.
Este: Harsh tokes.
That was 2010?
Oh that’s 2007, so it’s early before. I felt like with you, when I met you early on, or even when I saw pictures before, nobody really knew how old you were. You were almost the bass player in Kings of Leon when they started off. You’re like, “Is he 12? Is he 16? Do they lie just so he can play in more venues?”
Este: Remember Jared in the beginning?
Well, you were younger then. But, it was always like, “Is he 11? He’s sitting on Kate Moss’ lap. What’s going on?” I remember when we first met, I actually looked it up. Shout out to how you can just type in HAIM.
Este: I remember when we first met too.
Alana: I don’t.
Este: It was that hotel.
May 28, 2013.
Alana: Oh yeah. Oh my god, yes.
It was like, “Do you want to meet HAIM?” And, I was like, “Well, yeah of course. Is there any reason?” They were like, “No, they’re just in London,” and I was living in London at the time. I was always intimidated by anything that was brand new and super cool, and I was like, “That’s some new shit.” It’ll always make you feel more obsolete.
Alana: Oh my god, come on.
And, I didn’t really know why we were meeting, but I just went, and I noticed that I had a podiatrist earlier in the day and a shrink. That’s when I looked at the day and what was going on, but it was just fun. We sat down.
Este: From our side, it was similar. As in, “You guys we’re about to meet Mark Ronson.”
Alana: We’re about to meet Mark Ronson. We were like, “What? Are you kidding me? The hottest dude on the block? We’re about to meet Mark Ronson?” We met in that weird hotel lobby.
It was in a lobby at the Marriott at Regents Park, and I just came in, and you guys were just sitting there. I think you were probably in the middle of 17 thousand press things and about to go to a show.
Alana: That was the first time we could stay at a really nice hotel. We got signed in London, in the UK first. No one wanted to sign us in the US.
From Hendrix to the White Stripes, it’s a tradition. The U.K. does bite on cool shit early.
Alana: Tom Petty, the Strokes.
Este: Jimi Hendrix.
Alana: Every time I would see a band that I loved, usually they got signed in the U.K. first. So, we went to the U.K. because “Better Off” was being played on the radio, and we were like, “What? What do you mean it’s being played on the radio?” We were freaking out about it. So, we decided maybe we should just go to London. I feel like there’s something happening in London, and we stayed in this one hotel. What was it called?
Este: You know the hotel, The Britannia.
Alana: The Britannia.
No, I got to skip because it goes Britannia, Columbia, K West, and then a nice hotel, but I got to somehow skip Britannia, maybe because I’m English.
Alana: The Britannia, to us it was like, “Oh my god, this is the most amazing hotel of all time.” It felt like I was like, “Wow, this is a proper English hotel.” Again, it was like when our parents took us to Midtown in New York. I had no idea there was places other than the Britannia.
Este: Or, Regents Park in general.
That’s very sweet.
Alana: That’s the hotel we stayed in for the first six times we went to London. We would always stay at this one hotel. They knew us there. We were like, “Oh, we’re back. This is great.” You would open up a drawer, and it would just fall off. Everything would break. We were like, “I love it.”
Este: This is touring.
There’s one person who’s doing everything, that brings you the sandwiches, fixes the TV, brings the luggage.
If you get a massage, it’s also that person.
Alana: They remembered us because there’s this notorious story with the drum, with our kick drum.
Este: With the drum? Oh god.
Alana: So, we had to bring in a kick drum, and the only door that they have is a revolving door. There was another door that you had to go through a whole “rigamaroo” of getting through this other door that wasn’t a revolving door. And, we were like, “Well, we can just fit it in this revolving door.” Then we had the fucking bright idea because we were probably drunk, we were like, “What if we just put the kick drum in the revolving door and just push it?” And, we were like, “Genius, come on. We can do this.” Start pushing it, immediately gets stuck.
This is like Spinal Tap and Mr. Bean combined. I’m getting the visual.
Alana: We were like, “Oh fuck, what are we going to do?” Then again, of course, the thread of this podcast, I immediately have a panic attack. We’re like, “Oh my god, we’re going to have to get them a new door. We can’t find them a door. I can’t afford a new door at the Britannia.”
Este: We literally couldn’t get it out either side.
Alana: We literally couldn’t get it out. There was maybe an inch of space before it got locked, and we were freaking out. No one could get into the hotel. I mean, not many people were staying there, but no one could get in the hotel. And, there was a football match on, and everyone in the bar was obviously watching us trying to push this fucking kick drum. And, then this really muscular man saw three damsels in distress trying to get this kick drum into the hotel, and we stuck is hand in that little space that was open, pulled it, and it came free. And, we were like, “Thank you, oh my god.” And, I was like, “Thank god we don’t have to buy the Britannia another door.” We had only stayed there, and then when we met you, that was the first time we had ever… I think the label…
Este: The label paid for it.
Alana: The label paid for it, and so we were in an exponentially better…
Este: We wouldn’t have been able to afford that.
Alana: We were at the Marriott. I was like, “Oh my god, we are stars. We have a room at the Marriott.”
Este: It was great.
Alana: It was great. Still to this day, love it, love staying there, but that’s where we met you. And, I remember sitting in the lobby, and you came in, and we both were like, “What are we doing?” And, I was like, “I don’t know, we finished our record.” And, you were like, “Okay, well…”
Este: Why am I here?
Alana: Why am I here? We were like, “I don’t know, we just wanted to meet you.”
I was thinking about that time for me, and it was a real low point ego-wise and what was going on. I was after my Record Collection which wasn’t nearly as successful as everything, and I had started to work on Uptown Special. But, I remember that time and all the production gigs was starting to go to new guys, Emile, Ariel, Paul Epworth, and I was like, “Oh cool, I think there’s this cool new band I’m going to go meet with them,” and then we sat down. But, I was glad that I met you anyway because you were so sweet, and then you said something that you liked “Somebody to Love Me.”
Alana: That’s what I was just about to bring up because every time I’ve played, I send you a video of me listening to it. It’s one of my favorite songs of all time.
Este: I love that song. It’s such a good song.
Thanks. That was from my down period. Whatever. Obviously you’re always going to look back at stuff you’ve done, and you’re going to see times where it’s not all roses and HAIM for most people.
Este: No, of course not.
Alana: Of course not, but you don’t want it to be that way. I feel like throughout our whole career it’s been hills and valleys.
There’s a peculiar camaraderie I have with a lot of musicians. It usually starts off because you do the same touring circuit, especially in the summer when you see the same people at the same festivals a lot, and you stay at the same hotels. Maybe you share a musician or a sound engineer. Maybe you lend them a vintage distortion pedal that you still haven’t got back. Hi, Danielle. But, most of all, you see these people grow, you see their following grow, and you end up rooting for them from the sidelines, especially if they’re nice people because you saw how hard they hustled from the start.
That is one of the things that I love so much about HAIM, plus their honesty, and their ability to laugh at the journey with all of us. In some ways, 2013 seems like a lifetime ago, and my awkward meeting with them in the lobby of the Marriott Regents Park was a dud as I remember it, but then each time I would run into them, I remember a festival in Croatia that they killed, rocking out with these SG’s and these ancient ruins, and every time I saw them after, we would bond a little bit more, talk about music, whatever. And, all of that led us to glorious friendship you hear before you today.
You guys actually seem from the outside, and especially with this last record being such a critical and commercial triumph, and the Grammys… I haven’t really spoken to you since then. First of all, congrats because the record is so fucking good.
Alana: Thank you!
Este: Thanks, Mark.
And, I listened to it a bit today to just re-familiarize myself now that we’re talking, and I actually got a little lumpy in my throat during a couple of the songs. I was so moved, and the songs are so great, the vocals, the production. So from where I’m at, I know that there’s always periods of insecurity in-between. You guys have been quite vocal about that, but it does look like you’ve had quite a good… Whatever it is, it looks like you’ve done it the right way.
Alana: Thank you.
Este: Thank you.
I don’t know how it feels from the inside.
Este: Smoke and mirrors.
Alana: It is smoke and mirrors.
Este: It’s definitely smoke and mirrors.
Alana: Nothing is ever perfect, obviously. I’ve loved every moment of it. I feel like, especially when you’re at a lower point, right before we made this record we were all going through a collective depression of just different things in our lives. I mean, you know about being on the road. Now thinking about going on the road is my fucking dream. I just want to play music on the road, but the second that our first record came out we were on tour for years. And, then we came back and did our second record, but we were still touring while making our second record, so it felt like we were never home. And, a lot of things personally happened during those years.
Tour allows you to escape your problems, and it allows you to be like, “Hey cool, I’m not going to deal with this, not today. Going to go on the road, and just play this show, and get fucked up afterwards, then go to bed, and do it all again.” And, I feel like when we came back from the Sister Sister Sister tour, we all finally had time to be like, “Okay, what has happened in the last 10 years that we never confronted?” And, it was very much the second that you poked the water balloon, it exploded. So, we were all in this weird spiral of dealing with emotions and feelings for the first time. Este was doing other things with health.
Este: And, problems with health.
Alana: Losing loved ones and Danielle having to be Ariel’s rock during his cancer. I think that’s why when we look at this record specifically… When we started this record, we had no idea what we were going to do. It was very much throwing spaghetti at the wall. For the first six months I think that we were writing songs that meant nothing. We were forcing creativity. They meant absolutely nothing, and we had to be like, “What are we doing? No, this is not good.” We’re so meticulous and crazy about our records.
Este: Hypercritical for sure.
Alana: So, we were like, “What are we doing?” We talk about it all the time, having Paul Thomas Anderson as our muse. Thank you, Hashem. Thank you Hashem for bringing me Paul.
Alana: Baruch Hashem, happy passover.
Alana: I didn’t say it yet, but happy Passover. I hope you’re eating matzo brei and having a good time. But, really what happened was Danielle had this demo of “Summer Girl” that she had had on her phone for months, and she would go back to it from time to time. And, then Danielle showed it to Rostam, and Rostam was like, “Wait, this is sick. We should just try this, and see where it goes, see what happens.” I think at that point, we didn’t even know if we were making a record. We were like, “Let’s just go in the studio, and just not put pressure on ourselves, and see what’s going on.” Then Ariel joined in. We had this song in a good spot. I think we had maybe five or six songs of bare bones, skeletons. We didn’t even know if we were going to use it. We were like, “Fuck it. We might as well throw all this shit out anyways.” We didn’t know if we were going to use it. Then Paul came to the studio because we fucking love Paul, and even when we have nothing to show him, he’ll be like, “Just show me something!”
Este: He’s practically our A&R at this point.
Alana: Literally, he’s our A&R. And, we showed him I think it was “Sunny Girl” at that point. Maybe we had just changed it to “Summer Girl.” He was like, “Wait, what? What is this?” And, we were like, “What do you mean?” He was like, “We need to shoot a music video for this.”
Este: The song’s not done.
Alana: I was like, “It’s not done. We don’t even have a record. We don’t even know if a record is coming. We’re in the very early stages. This is not how HAIM works, Paul. We take four years to make a record and make sure everything is to a T, have a plan. We do not do this. This is not how we work.” And, he was like, “You’re going to finish this song. We’re going to shoot a music video in the next 48 hours.” And, we were like, “Okay.”
That’s amazing. I remember hearing it for the first time. I think you had probably four or five songs of the EP, and you came to the studio. And, I can’t remember if you had said if you knew you were going to put them out yet, but you were like, “Hey, this is just the new shit that we’re working on.” And, I was so excited as soon as I heard it. And, I don’t know if it was “Summer Girl” or “Sunny Girl” because I loved that great beating sound of the drums, I loved what a departure it was. It just felt so cool. And, I also love the fact of having been around you guys on the periphery when you’re making records, how agonizing and painstaking it can be that you felt so loose like, “We might just put this out.” I was just like, “Yes, that’s great. There’s hope for everyone if HAIM can just loosen up and put some music out.” And, then it really set the tone, and obviously this Rostam hook up really bore some great fruit as well, so I was psyched.
Alana: “Summer Girl” was our angel song because I feel like every time you finish a body of work, you’re like, “Will I ever be able to do this again?” I don’t even know if I can make anything else. I don’t know if I’ll be able to create out of thin air another album.
Yeah, there’s nothing in the tent.
Alana: I have no idea what the fuck we’re going to do, and literally without “Summer Girl” and without the way that we were put under pressure to… Not put under pressure, but we were like, “Wait, we’ve never done this before.” We’ve never put out a song just to put out a song. We’ve never just had a song, made a music video, told our label 40 minutes before we put it out.
Este: Yeah, they didn’t even know.
Alana: That was the first time that we were like, “Oh shit, we have to tell someone that we want to put this out.”
Este: We didn’t even tell management.
Alana: We didn’t tell management. We were just like, “We have this gift,” that we were like, “Not only do we have a song finished, but we also have a music video by Paul Thomas Anderson,” and they were like, “Oh, okay.”
I just reimagine that time when you played me all that new music, and it was a repeat of the Marriott. And, I was like, “So, do you want me to work on anything?” And, you were like, “No, it’s done. Thank you.” I also think that the whole Paul Thomas Anderson thing, he’s obviously… He’s an Oscar winning genius, but it’s obviously a nice symbiotic relationship. He shot all the not just videos, but all the artwork for the photos and stuff for the last record. It’s a beautiful patron saint, fairy godfather to have him. It’s not like he’s doing it out of charity. He loves the music, but I think both of you between the two of you have done more to ride for the Valley than any creative force, him with Magnolia, Boogie Nights, and then you guys. There’s something so great about championing the Valley because it is an underdog place to come from. Good shit always comes from the underdog places. Who’s ever from LA, proper LA, who has done anything good?
Alana: Oh, I don’t know.
I guess, hip-hop.
Alana: I mean, we’re in the Valley right now. We’re literally coming to you from the Valley.
Este: Yeah, we’re in the Valley. The sheen.
Alana: I don’t know if you can tell the light pale yellow sheen that’s over our screen.
It would be impossible to separate you guys, and the music, and the trajectory from the Valley, do you think?
Alana: It’s just who we are, and I’m a very spiritual person in the sense that I feel like the universe forces you to meet people that will change your life, sometimes in a good way and sometimes in a bad way. When I think about all the different roads that it took for us to meet Paul, it really does feel like a universe situation because it felt like we met our puzzle piece. We were the biggest fan of Paul growing up, obviously. And, then meeting him, and having the same points of reference, and being like, “You’re a fucking genius, and I feel like I’m a baby person.” I’m like, “I feel like I’m literally this small compared to how big you are, and I’m your biggest fan.” And, then just having him in our lives, and being able to bounce ideas off of him, and work on things together is the biggest gift, and I honestly praise the universe. It’s the only reason why.
I just fucking remembered something too, that I actually really owe him.
Alana: You do?
Okay, so I was watching Boogie Nights, and there’s a scene in it early one where he uses “Sunny” by Boney M, and the strings, the (singing), I’m not going to sing it. So, I heard that in that thing, and this is before the era of Shazam by 50 years. I think I waited until the end of the movie, and wrote all the songs down because I didn’t know it, and I wanted to sample it. I was working on my first record, and then it wasn’t on that, so I had to wait until they put out the second volume of the Boogie Nights soundtrack, and I sampled it. It was my first single, this song called “Ooh Wee” with Ghostface and Nate Dogg. Even though it wasn’t a hit here, it was kind of a hit in England, and that’s what led me to being on the map to meet Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen.
Alana: There you go.
Without this song in the movie Boogie Nights which is a movie that without the Valley, there’s no Boogie Nights. I’ve never told him that actually.
Alana: Oh my god, you should tell him.
Este: You should! All roads lead to Paul.
I feel like we all need a support group of who else has Paul Thomas Anderson… I feel like he’s changed every single person’s life on this planet.
Este: But, also the funny thing is our introduction to Paul was similar to our introduction to you in that when we met him, he was like, “Oh, what can we do together?” And, we were like, “Oh, we just finished our album cycle, so we have nothing.”
Alana: Let’s just be friends.
Este: Let’s just be friends. And, then for years between record one and record two, there was a good three years between. And, then I remember laying in my bed at 2:00 in the morning. I couldn’t sleep. I was very nervous about everything and staring at my ceiling. For some reason, I was like, “Maybe I should just email Paul, just email him. I have his email. And, ask him if he wants to come to the studio.” Mind you, we’d hung out with Paul maybe twice at that point over the course of four years. And, I just remember being like, “Este, just grab your chutzpah and your chutzpah, and you email Paul Thomas Anderson at 2:00 in the morning.”
You do it. You fucking do it.
Este: And then I did, and I woke up to an email the next morning because I think I said, “If you want to come by the studio and hear what we’re working on, you’re more than welcome to.”
Este: And, he was like, “Yeah, I’ll come tomorrow.”
Alana: I know. I was like, “Do I put makeup on?” I didn’t know what to do. Do we get snacks? What the fuck are we doing right now? What do we do? And, then he came, and then that’s why Valentine happened.
Este: That’s why we did Valentine.
Alana: We were playing and trying to just record some tracks live, and he was like, “Well, we should do this.” He’s always…
Este: Let’s just do it. Let’s go.
Alana: The thing that is so aggravating is he is literally like, “We should just do this,” and I’m like, “Why do you make everything sound so simple, and it is so simple?”
Este: He just has no fear.
Alana: He just makes shit happen, and it’s true. He has no fear, and we trust him.
Alana: Of course, we’re going to trust him.
Meanwhile, this is a man who takes eight years to make his own films as well. So, I’m sure there’s a certain level of that thing in his own thing, but it’s nice and it’s freeing when you’re working on other people’s art alb because you’re just excited by their energy. It might be a little less precious to you.
Este: Oh, totally.
Alana: Not having fear, again, the thread through this whole podcast is me just having absolutely fear.
Este: There’s just a lot of neurosis in this family.
Alana: And, so to have him… Can you tell? I don’t know, can you tell? To have someone who’s just like, “No, just do it,” and you’re like, “Oh, okay…”
Este: But, to have the safety net of Paul Thomas Anderson…
Alana: Oh my god, are you kidding me? We’re the luckiest people on the planet.
Este: There’s definitely something freeing about that as well.
Alana: Sorry, there was a plane. In the Valley, we live right next to the airport.
Este: We live right near the Burbank airport.
Alana: There’s planes always.
Thank you for listening to part one. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for part two of my schmooze with.