Liverpool duo Her’s are one of the most interesting bands out there at the moment. On Thursday 18 October, they return to Reading for a show at South Street Arts Centre. They drew a huge crowd for their set at Are You Listening Festival back in April, and this return show promises to be a real highlight of 2018.
I caught up with Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading from Her’s to talk about their new album ‘An Invitation to Her’s’, their fantasy band dream team, what they’ve been listening to recently and how their live shows are ‘a sweaty parade of back to back bangers’.
Hi, Her’s! How are you feeling about your upcoming UK tour dates?
It’s always exciting thinking about a set of dates coming up, before the reality of the massive drives set in; it’s easy to romanticise life on the road. Travelling around with your close friends, going to new places, and running a little enterprise of our own, it’s got a lot of charm. This time we’re looking forward to expanding our circuit a little and playing in new cities, meeting some cool ass fans, and getting our egos inflated!
Your new album ‘An Invitation to Her’s’ was released this year, how was the process of creating and compiling these songs?
We spent three long months of intense recording with our good friend and producer Saam Jafarzadeh. It felt a bit like summer boot camp featuring laughs, tears and clashing strong opinions. And this was after we’d demo-ed most of the songs all of the month before! Ultimately it was a privilege being able to spend all our time and energy towards making the music we want, and we’re very proud of the album we’ve made!
You’ve become know for your amazing live shows over the past couple of years, what can new fans expect from your show?
Well thanks, that’s very flattering! We’re not sure how we’ve concocted a formula where everybody’s happy despite numerous mishaps. People are generally very nice and patient with us! Our set length has grown considerably, so it should hopefully be a sweaty parade of back to back bangers – at least that’s what we market it as. You can also stand at the back and chat about the new Predator movie if you’d prefer.
Who have you been listening to recently, do you have any artists that you’d recommend we check out?
On our last little outing around Europe we were blasting a lot of Tonetta on YouTube. Very eccentric, but naively charming music, with some insane lo-fi production! We recommend checking out their song ‘A Little at a Time’ for some under appreciated vibes!
If lo-fi, leather clad guitar men aren’t your cup of tea, we’re also super into our good mate Brad Stank’s new material. It’s absolute soft glamour! We used to be in the band too as the rhythm section, a long time ago.
Where has been your favourite place to play?
There are so many good venues around in the UK, there’s definitely a solid dozen! On our last little outing through the Benelux area, we really enjoyed playing a sneaky headline at Botanique in Brussels. There was a really nice yet intimate turn out, the venue looks incredible, and the food was exquisite – best pea soup the boys have had in a while!
Audun – you’re originally from Norway, but you’ve lived in the UK for a while. Is there anything that is still weird about the UK?
That’s correct! Going on 6 years now actually, so I feel very much adopted by Liverpool, my home away from home. Coming over from Norway though I didn’t think there was gonna be too much that would shock me, as it’s only an hour by plane and we’re both Northern countries. But there was definitely loads of surprising quirks!
Like the hats at the Grand National, and the Grand National in general really. Chippies are very intriguing too, great, but intriguing! Maybe one thing that still gets to me – and, just to be clear, this seems to be a household to household kind of a deal – would be not rising the soap off a plate after washing it.
Stephen – you have a really interesting way of playing guitar, seeming to play every note at once whilst finger picking. Are there any guitarists that inspired you to play that way?
Why thank you, glad you’re digging my makeshift playing haha, much appreciated! I haven’t spent loads of time studying other guitarists, which could explain the naive technique, but there are a couple of guitarists I’m in to. David Carriere from TOPS, Ollie Taylor from Trudy And The Romance, Neil Young, and of course ol’ Mac Demarco.
What do you do in your spare time between travelling and playing shows, do you have any games to battle the boredom?
Yeah, we’ve actually gotten to the point of developing our own game! Our high calibre, medium intensity, hat throwing game, Bobbin’! It revolves around spinning caps on each other’s head from a distance. It’s become our main way to pass time when there’s a little moment to kill on the road!
And finally, if you could pick three musicians to join you on your dream tour, who’d you choose?
Maybe get Pete Drake to do a bit of his talking magical lap steel, then Alan Vega for some synth work, and Julee Cruise for her pristine vocal passages. Pure dream team!
Her’s play at South Street Arts Centre, Thursday 18 October, £9, book tickets
I love to write about the bands I'm listening to, and the gigs that I'm attending in Reading. I'm a proud champion of the local Reading music scene, and am always looking for new acts to see live. Aside from writing about local music, I am also the co-founder of Reading based record label, Porterbrook Records.