Current Obsession HAIM Spills On Thrifting, Hair Care, & Playing Small Crowds

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Here at Refinery29, we've been repping Los Angeles' HAIM sisters (that's Este, Danielle, and Alana, in case you didn't know) for a quite while, and with the band's first LP imminent, the rest of the world is about to catch up. The foursome (let's not forget drummer Dash Hutton), just finished a tour with English banjo enthusiasts Mumford & Sons, during which HAIM absolutely crushed its opening slot in stadiums across the country. The band has since returned to the West Coast to finish up their debut LP before heading back on the road, which they'll be doing any day now. We caught up with Alana — the youngest of the siblings –– to talk about the band's debut full-length, playing to an audience of 25,000, and the hair tips the sisters can't live without.

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So, where are you guys right now?
"We're in L.A. right now. It's going to be 80 degrees today!"

That sound amazing — it's still freezing out here in New York. How is the debut LP coming along?
"We're actually going into the studio to record with James Ford from Simian Mobile Disco. We're trying to get it done in the next couple of weeks because we want to go on tour pretty soon. So, that's the next big thing. We're going to release the record in late spring."

We loved 'Falling.' Are you doing any more tracks with Ariel Reichstadt producing?
"Yeah, they're kind of sharing the record. Ariel is doing most of the record, and James has a couple songs on it also."

Photo: Courtesy of HAIM
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Can you tell us a little bit about the recent Mumford & Sons tour? What was it like playing those huge stadiums?
"I love playing arenas and all those venues like that, but I actually realized how much I liked playing headlining shows. In the middle of the Mumford & Sons tour we were playing beautiful, beautiful arenas that were huge and kind of scary. I love playing for a big crowd, but you really have to fight for your spot because you're the opener. And we've been opening for so many bands for the past six years, and all you do is just fight, fight, fight because no one knows who you are. So, we were playing these amazing places but you'd see people on their phones, and no on really cared. If one person finds us and loves us, it's a success."

What was your favorite of the shows you've played lately?
"In the middle of the tour, we played a headlining show in D.C., and it was packed. It wasn't 25,000 people — it was more like 500. But those 500 people showed up to a show of ours in Washington D.C., and they knew our songs and our lyrics, and they were singing it back, and were so happy to see us. It was the most amazing feeling I've ever had in my life! I hope one day we get to headline arenas, and feel how insane that must be, but I'm so happy to play small venues. I love meeting our fans and doing that cool stuff. But hopefully one day we'll get there."

Where do you want to play that you haven't yet?
"I've always wanted to play this place called The Red Rocks — I think it's in Colorado. It's a natural amphitheater and you're literally surrounded by these huge red rocks in the wilderness. It seems so mystical."

Do you get to do much shopping when you're out on the road?
"Yeah, I love going thrift shopping when I'm on tour, but I never have enough time, which is a problem. I end up going to Goodwills in the most random parts of the United States. In Middle America I'll go to a little city in nowhereseville, and there will be a Goodwill. You wouldn't think it, but in L.A. the Goodwills are actually pretty pricey because you know the designers. But I was at this weird Goodwill and I found these leather riding boots. I thought they were going to be like 25 bucks and the ended up being 50 cents. I also love going into gas stations and seeing the things that the city is selling — you can find so many weird things outside of your own hometown. I love exploring. You can find amazing things on tour."

Photo: Courtesy of HAIM
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What's your typical hair-care regimen look like?
"We have really, really thick hair, so there's not much I can do to my hair. I put in Sea Spray, and this weird serum thing from Oribe. Davines Love Shampoo and Conditioner are the only shampoo and conditioner that really does wonders for my hair. I don't know what it does — it's like angel tears. It really is a godsend. Everyone should try it."

Do you think you'll keep the long hair, or cut it anytime soon?
"I've had long hair since I was little. I've never had short hair ever, and I don't plan on cutting it anytime soon."

Is there one beauty item that you can't live without?
"I always have nail polish with me. I love nail polish and I love painting everyone's nails. I just got this one I'm super obsessed with. It's by Julep, and they have this thing called the Maven Nail Polish Box where they send you nail polish to your house every month. So, you get to try out all the latest trends, and it just shows up at your door. So, that's amazing — I love having that. And I just found this polish company called Floss Gloss. They have insane colors, like neon, and colors I would never expect would be in a nail polish. So, I always have funky nail polish. Being a guitar player, my nails chip all the time so I have to keep redoing them pretty much every day."

What have you guys been listening to on the road?
"Right now it's Kendrick Lamar. That's our favorite new record. We're huge hip-hop fans. We always have The Chronic in our car, and Drake, and Snoop Dogg. And Kendrick Lamar was kind of like the best album of the year for us. He's amazing, and we're all huge fans."

What's your all-time favorite outfit to play a show?
"I always wear short shorts. It's the just the most comfortable thing I've ever worn on stage. I tried wearing pants but they were too restricting, and I tried wearing skirts but I felt like there was no coverage. I always wear these black cut-off Calvin Klein shorts that I made. I really will wear them to every show. I've maybe played two shows without them, and that's when they were really dirty and I had to clean them. I mean, I also wear them offstage. They're just the most comfortable thing."

Photo: Courtesy of HAIM