Her’s Photograph by Glasshertzz
INTERVIEW: Her’s @ Night & Day Cafe
Rumour has it, it takes two to tango. But it also takes two to undoubtedly secure your summer playlist some 5/6 months in advance. Her’s are the latest group set to spearhead the music scene forward, beyond dusky days of scuzzy indie rock and into a glittering dream pop fantasia. Amongst bands such as King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, The Orielles and HMLTD, there is a new sense of fun that’s taken ahold of music recently, with a he-who-dares-wins attitude & a slick of fluro pink.
The pair played their first ever live gig in Manchester, at Oldham Street’s The Castle Hotel as support for Jawz – “a little Jawz not the big JAWS” – skip ahead a year or so and they’re just a bit further down the street at the infamous Night & Day Cafe, now headlining. Back to The Castle. Their first take to a stage set was a pacing calamity of four songs with the boys having booked the gig without having yet written any tracks, as a sort of motivator to get their gears going. Though one of those first tracks happened to be Marcel, the dusky and incredibly romantic – with a heart-line of surf-pop – three-minute tale of love loss (perhaps poured out by a man named Marcel, but we are none the wiser) which has become a key member of their collection of dreamy pop tracks.
Back to Night & Day’s sombre, hard-worn, basement green-room. Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading met at the Paul McCartney led acclaimed Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) whilst both studying a BA (Hons) in Music and, through divine intervention, miraculously had the exact same timetable. The pair recall frequently clocking each other and apprehensively nodding until they were soon pulled together coincidentally playing in the same bands through their friend Brad Mullins, drummer of Trudy and the Romance. The duo soon noticed that they are indeed very like-minded individuals, with a clearly similar outlook as summarised by Audun: “in music university you’re surrounded by people who take it very seriously which was pretty daunting. I’ve always been very passionate about music but not in such a strict technical way. I just like making nice songs and creating a nice vibe really.” Thankfully their mindsets are thus alike and the pair have joined forces to make “nice songs for nice people.” Their university years brought a change to their sound, moulded by way of the development of their studies and the emergence of new acts and artists that acquired merit on their radar. “We went through a heavy stage of The Beatles.” mentions Stephen, with Audun quipping about the natural driving force within Liverpool: “you go to sleep and think of The Beatles, you wake up and think of The Beatles.”
When it comes to current acts, their preference falls upon the likes of the eclectic Ariel Pink and Sean Nicholas Savage, amongst others. Throughout their already remarkably heavy-ladened tour schedules, they’ve found favourites in those they’ve accompanied, such as Kagoule, Wild Nothing, Dutch Uncles and London-based band Happyness – “not an obvious fit for us at first but that was a really good, loud and goofy tour.” Beyond their similar music and life tastes, the pair are quite mismatched in terms of their hometown, which equally don’t seem to conjure up their glistening dream-pop theme. Stephen is from Barrow-In-Furness, known for “building submarines. Everyone builds submarines” and Audun is from Kristansands in southern Norway known apparently for Julius; a famous monkey that calls the local zoo his home and even has a bread named after him. A world away from their hometown’s perhaps not-so sunny reality, Her’s have a sound that they describe as dreamy, unpretentious and – in the context of a fruit – either a mango or a pineapple; “the hard exterior with a bright, juicy middle” says Audun, which Stephen chases up with “if it were a drink, I’d probably say Fanta Fruit Twist.”
In terms of their sound and overall persona, the choice to have two lead men and a drum machine instead of a drummer seems to have been a completely natural fit. A skilled drummer, when it came to crunch time for their first gig, Stephen came equipped with a drum machine so it was easy to slot amongst their scarcely practiced, short set-list, performed by a similarly minded pair; “We naturally like hanging out as just two people, so it’s easier to write music as two people and add the little drum machine.” Though, when it comes to hardened music fans favouring a more traditional set-up, there isn’t often a favour for technology; “we often get asked, ‘did the drummer not show up?’ which is pretty ridiculous because we can do so many more elaborate sounds with a drum machine, in terms of our music.” Other than this minor mention, Her’s are favoured by all that seem to encounter them.
Having performed with many, and in front of a building fan base that only seems to grow bigger by the day, the surf-pop pair are going from strength to strength with upcoming gigs as far as Paris with Boy Pablo & Bangkok with Beach Fossils, alongside their own headline tour which kick starts a little more close to home at Fulford Arms in York on Thursday 12th April. Festival-wise, Her’s are stepping in at Live At Leeds and Great Escape festival, with promises of a debut album coming out this year. With one of the pair living on the top floor and the other living on the bottom floor of the exact same Liverpudlian apartment block, life ahead for the duo seems idyllic, particularly as it’s met with a packed-out Night & Day and an audience that appears to know the words to every single one of their tracks. The future is bright for Her’s and we can’t wait to experience it.