From the moment Leisha Hailey showed up on The L Word as Alice Pieszecki, she
has fielded questions about when she might return to the music business. That’s
because Hailey was first noticed as one-half of folk-pop duo the Murmurs in the
1990s. For her music fans, the wait is finally over: Hailey’s new band Uh Huh Her‘s first full-length album, Common Reaction, was released today.
Hailey’s musical cohort,
Camila Grey, can sometimes get lost in The
L Word whirlwind, which is unfortunate because she is actually the lead
vocalist of Uh Huh Her. She not only writes just as much of the music as
Hailey, but also produces the songs for the group’s recordings. While Hailey was
making a name for herself alongside Jennifer Beals and Cybill Shepherd, Grey
was working with Dr. Dre, Tricky and Kelly Osbourne.
The two met after
one of Grey’s shows with her former band Mellowdrone, when Hailey was looking
to get back into music. Within a year’s time, they had written a five-track EP
and were readying a full-length on Nettwerk, a record label that’s home to
Sarah McLachlan and Ladytron. Its release today, Aug. 18, is exactly one year after
Uh Huh Her’s first performance at their record label’s Los Angeles office for a select group of
Camila Grey (left) and Leisha Hailey
seems like you guys have a lot of connections, but for the album, you’re going
it on your own. You’re not calling in Dr. Dre or anyone to help.
Leisha Hailey: Cam’s the one with all the connections.
AE: I just read on
Tegan and Sara’s Coachella blog that you introduced them to Linda Perry, so you
LH: Oh, that’s funny. We didn’t think they
knew who she was. Maybe they figured it out later. They’re so cute. We love
Camila Grey: We’re going to try and go on tour with them.
AE: Being a duo and having
connections, did you ever think about bringing in other “famous musicians”
to play on the record?
LH: Well, Linda, for instance, we’ll want to work with her someday. We like
what she does and she knows what we’re trying to do, so when it’s the right,
opportune moment, we’ll make that happen. But as far as consciously inviting
people in —
CG: We’re trying to figure out our own thing.
LH: Yeah, we’re still beginning. We need to write and work it out
AE: What has been your songwriting process?
LH: It’s been different for every song for sure, but Cam’s definitely the producer. And I don’t do that at
all. I like to say: “Make it sound like that! OK great!” I get to
CG: And then I get to stay and work on it.
LH: You don’t have to;
she loves it! She stays up all night. Basically because we’ve always had time
issues, we’ve written this album over a year. Like Cam
would come up to Vancouver and we’d write, and we’d both have a little
something. It’s not like we had a couple of months to sit around and write the
AE: Right, like holed
up in a cabin to write.
LH: I wish! We’ll do it that way someday for
AE: So what was with the pushing back of the record? Is that a good
CG: I think we were kind of rushed and wanted to get something to the
record company quick, and we pushed it back to hopefully benefit our marketing.
LH: And also, I mean I think this is my guess: They were expecting
the record to sound a lot like the EP, lo-fi and homemade, and it sounded a lot
more commercial than I think they expected, so they really rallied behind it.
They’re really pushing it, which is great. We’re happy they did that.