Music interview: Haim sisters are doing it for themselves with big UK tour

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For all the time HAIM spent in the UK at the start of their career, you might be forgiven for thinking the three sisters were actually British.

Of course, once you hear them talk you realise they’re Los Angeles through and through.

Their adventures on British soil started in May 2012 when they performed at Brighton’s The Great Escape festival.

It was the first time Este, 27, Danielle, 24, and Alana, 21, had played outside California, and almost as soon as the final chord of their set had been struck they were being hailed as The Next Big Thing.

Their first release, the Forever EP, hinted at an impossibly bright future for the trio who used to drive around LA listening to a mix of their parents’ Fleetwood Mac and Motown records and California’s finest AOR and pop radio stations. In a way, they seemed almost too good to be true.

Their own songs, somehow new and classic at the same time, the fact they’re sisters, their good looks and attitude were the obvious draws.

Yet look a little harder and there’s more going on.

Middle sister Danielle had toured the world as part of Jenny Lewis’s band. When she wasn’t drumming for the former Rilo Kiley singer, she was playing guitar with Julian Casablancas of The Strokes’ touring band.

Este, meanwhile, had gained a degree in ethnomusicology from the prestigious UCLA, while Alana, barely out of her teens at the time, was passing time as a babysitter and spending every spare moment practising.

Before 2012 was out, they’d toured Britain three or four times, did so again earlier this year – and are about to head out on the road once again.

There are bigger shows booked for March 2014, most of which are already sold out.

Despite their hectic schedule, Este still hasn’t managed to learn to sleep on the road, confessing to suffering from chronic insomnia.

“I’ve tried everything,” she says. “Everything apart from proper sleeping pills. I don’t want to take those, though, because I know I’ll go full Elvis, put on a load of weight and start wearing jumpsuits.”

They’re currently supporting French band Phoenix on their European tour, something Alana, a die-hard fan, can’t quite get over.

“I grew up listening to Phoenix, and now I’ve been hanging out with them and watch them every night from the side of the stage, which is kind of crazy,” she says.

As is often the case, bands break in the UK first and watchful eyes in America take note.

TOUR DATE: Friday, December 6, Leeds Metropolitan University.

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