Audun Laading and Stephen Fitzpatrick are fast becoming one of the most talked about double acts around (see you later, Ant and Dec). With their beautiful style of beach bleached dream-pop, the duo first got together at the iconic Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, putting out their first full length, Songs of Her’s, earlier this year. Not technically a debut album – they prefer the term “collection of songs” – it’s the perfect example of the stunning music they have been making over the last year.
Set to release a proper debut album sometime next year, we met up with Audun and Stephen in the run-up to their sold out Sebright Arms gig tonight to find out all you need to know.
How did you two first meet?
Audun: We met at uni, in second year. I was stood in the cafeteria, caught his eye and he spoke to me and I winked at him… No, that didn’t happen. He came running in and we had, like, the exact same time schedule, so we figured out quite early. He would always ask me what the next lesson was…
Stephen: Yeah, we had crazy similar schedules. I ended up running into the canteen like “where is the next lesson, whats going on?!” Didn’t know anybody and that was it, we became friends, played in a couple of bands together. Her’s didn’t happen for a long time. And then it all just kicked off.
What was the catalyst to start Her’s?
A: Just hanging out a lot really. We made a video, it was an obscure music video with a track we just recorded that night, an instrumental session, I guess that was the conception of it all. We started at nine and ended at like five in the morning, a few hours before going to a lecture.
Did you manage to make the lecture?
S: Always! We were good.
So, do you have a similar taste in music?
A: Yeah. Coming from pretty similar kinds of places, we thought about stuff in a very similar way. We’re both from very small towns, so you’re walking around and all the locals giving you the stink eye for being a bit freaky, that kind of thing, so we related on that type of level.
And was it a fairly harmonious idea in terms of your sound?
S: It wasn’t instantaneous but we definitely have a lot of similar influences and stuff.
A: We started off in a grunge band with the drummer out of Trudy and the Romance, so we were like a three piece with him for a while. Called Sundogs. It was a big hit on Youtube!
Where did the name Her’s come from? Whats the idea behind that?
S: There isn’t really…
A: It’s more like a mood and a vibe, maybe.
S: Kinda just like “let’s get a band name right now or it could take months if we start thinking about it.”
Did you have any shitty band names before?
A: That’s the thing! There’s so many of our mates who would discuss it for so long and it would all get very complicated and intricate and clever. It was actually while we were making our video, we had to make a Youtube channel to upload and had to make a gmail so we had to go for something at four in the morning.
S: I guess the only decision that we made was putting an apostrophe in there, which is the ever important apostrophe which we never stop mentioning.
A: I mean how else are you going to Google us? Nonconformists to grammar.
“I mean, once you’ve got a debut you’ve committed, haven’t you?”
Can you tell me a bit about Songs of Her’s that you released in May?
S: That was kind of like a summary of the first 12 months, I guess. That was the set list we were playing. We weren’t quite ready to release a debut album so we were like, let’s not release an EP either, let’s just release a collection of songs, cause we kinda released all of them songs bar three. It made sense and we just put it out on vinyl. Some people are presuming its our debut album which is alright.
A: It’s good being a big vague about it anyway
How come you didn’t wanted to label it your debut album?
A: We kind of got cold feet on that. I mean, once you’ve got a debut you’ve committed, haven’t you?
A: You can only have one debut and now it’s kinda like maybe we won’t ever have a debut? We have blurred the line really.
S: Spurred a bit of confusion.
Are you working towards a debut debut?
S: Yeah, basically what’s going on at the minute is we are demoing a lot and trying to figure it all out.
A: Try out a couple of new songs.
How’s it coming along?
S: Very nice, yeah. No official dates, we don’t want to leave it until this time next year I imagine.
Songwriting wise, where do you find the most inspiration?
S: Everywhere. Films and stuff, aesthetics that we like, just visuals, like the stuff you sent me with the cults in it. Yeah we don’t have a song necessarily about cults. I mean, it’s nice looking at pictures of cults and getting inspired to write music.
Any cults specifically?
S: I have watched a lot of cult documentaries actually, like not cult as in it’s a cool thing like, actual cults. There’s a few guys in America that think they’re god, and they have a LOT of followers. It’s crazy. But I mean, we don’t really want to write songs about that…
When it comes to songwriting is it quite collaborative? Do you do it all together?
A: Yeah, we will bring in ideas, and a lot of what we’ve got now is his babies that have been brewing for a little while,
S: Yeah and like when we first started we didn’t really have much so it’s good because we still had some ideas from before.
A: Good to bring them together and develop it.
You’re off on tour now! What do you like about performing?
S: I guess what we enjoy is not being too serious about it, it’s quite a lighthearted experience, something you can get involved with a little bit as well if you feel like it. We’re very open to people jokingly heckling and stuff like that. You know a bit of fun beef with people.
A: Yeah it’s a very casual affair. I think it’s nice because a lot of bands within our genre, that take themselves pretty seriously… It’s good to not carry that mysterious guy cloak on stage. It’s really nice to just let loose and be freaky.
You’ve sold out Sebright Arms tonight. Have you got anything big planned?
S: We’ve got a guy opening for us that we’ve not played with before called Pizza Girl, so looking forward to seeing him. Apart from that I think we’re going to have a life-sized Pierce Brosnan cutout on stage, maybe some extra props. But yeah, we are playing new stuff as well. That’s probably the most important!