Gabby Kenny meets with Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading – the dynamic duo Her‘s – as they come to the end of their UK tour. Backstage at the Brudenell Social Club, the boys discuss their stylistic inspirations, their hopes for the future and their experiences on tour.
Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading form the weird and wonderful two-piece band, Her’s. Meeting at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, they shared every class together from the beginning of first year. The pair have described this strong foundation of friendship as brotherly, and this brotherhood ultimately led to the founding of ‘Her’s in 2015. I met the pair before the penultimate gig of their UK tour at Brudenell Social Club.
As I expressed intrigue towards their name, the pair recounted their agreement not to spend too much time or thought into thinking of the band’s title. Her’s was chosen at 5am after spending the night working on a project: “we just wanted to get to bed.” The name sets the tone and aesthetic of the band, i.e. their ambiguous, romantic and melancholy nature.
The band likens their sound to an 80s TV soundtrack, noting that they would love to appear on the likes of Twin Peaks, Twilight Zone, or even Baywatch. A diverse and unique sound, some fans have described their music as influenced largely from styles of previous eras. The pair state they are heavily inspired by The Smiths, The Cure, Mac Demarco and are also big fans of the latest MGMT album.
With their band manager as their tour driver, the three hold an intense relationship, spending a lot of time together. It is unsurprising, given the boys’ laid back and relaxed nature, that travelling in such a small group isn’t a problem. They are professional and diplomatic, claiming that they have come to read each other well, and therefore know when quiet time is necessary. The most problematic discussions have been about travelling: choosing a route as well as a time to leave – it could be a lot worse!
Writing lyrics comes naturally to Her’s, putting fictional characters into obscure scenarios, while also including some personal aspects. Before the release of their two albums, the pair didn’t always have time to write lyrics before shows. Stephen impressively improvised on stage with “a bit of mumbling here and there”. After a year or two of improv, words were eventually written using a combination of lyrics used for different shows. The song ‘Blue Lips’, on their new album Invitation to Her’s, is a prime example of this.
Audun paternally describes their songs as their “little kids”, reflecting that “some of them grow up and it’s like the honeymoon period is over.” His least favourite tracks are those that are most difficult to play. Funnily enough, one of the most popular tracks, ‘Speed Racer’, is most challenging and is played at the end of an hour-long tiring show.
What is perhaps the most unique feature of Her’s is their unofficial third member, Piers Brosnan. The slightly alternative add on started with a small picture stuck to the drum kit, and ended up progressing to a cardboard cut out that accompanies them on every show to “add extra spice and charisma on stage.” The band have actually conversed with Brosnan’s son, who happens to be a big fan, and will be attending their LA gig during their US tour this November.
The band is now busier than ever with the release of Invitation to Her’s, a festival filled summer and a UK/ US tour. They are slowly learning to cope with this hectic lifestyle, which is proving tough with Auden’s family and Stephen’s girlfriend living in Norway. The difficult nature of the life of a musician, however, is worth it for these boys who are clearly very passionate about what they do.
The band’s hopes for the future seem fairly nonchalant and un-extravagant, which is perhaps reflective of their seemingly humble natures. They hope for a bigger tour bus and to get out of their overdrafts, so they can tour without worrying about the simple things and “let loose a bit.” They are excited to release more music in the future but are unsure about succumbing to the music industry’s “one album a year” expectations, fearing “it may lead to rushed work of a lesser quality.”
Moving away from the topic of music, I asked a few questions to delve into the quirky personalities which make up Her’s. With the boys having such a unique and interesting style, I asked about their style inspirations and where they like to shop. Audun jokes that he tries to dress as a cartoon character – shopping at the likes of Primark, vintage stores and even the M&S Womenswear section. During the interview, he admitted he was wearing a pair of “granny-style” trousers which were purchased from M&S at £1.50. Stephen confessed he hadn’t been shopping since March, when he bought a load of vintage clothing from a huge market in Thailand.
These boys are perhaps one of the most humble and talented upcoming artists around, and it is likely we will see a lot more of them in the future – I personally can’t wait to see what they do next.
Header Credit Image: London in Stereo