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28 Music Interview with Heathers

Twin sisters Heathers have enjoyed whirlwind suc- cess over the last eighteen months. Before coming to play in Cork’s Cyprus Avenue, Ellie exchanges a few words with new Music Editor Kevin O’Neill.

Since finishing school in 2008, Heathers have enjoyed a steady – and fairly rapid – rise to the top. A hit album, two US tours and a slot on the Main Stage at Electric Pic- nic have all led to the duo being se- lected as the main Irish act playing Europe’s premier music showcase, Eurosonic. This opens up the possibility of

an album release and gigs all across Europe. I was lucky enough to secure an interview with the girls before they took their next big step.

formances, or is it a problematic factor? It’s not really something we’ve

thought about to be honest. But overall we’d say it’s a plus being a duo in terms of writing as we un- derstand each other so well – and obviously we are totally at ease with each other on a live stage. But having more musicians around us recently has spurred our creativity on even further which is great.

Other sibling groups have fa- mously found the balance of family life and performing diffi-

growing up, people like Simon and Garfunkel and Bruce Springsteen were popular in our house – and in our Dad’s car – so they probably rubbed off, but then we’re not sure you could hear any of that influ- ence in our music. I guess we’ve just been influenced by everything we’ve listened to!

You have been lucky enough to perform with some fantastic artists in the short space of time since the band began, including Kimya Dawson in 2008 and Paulo Nutini this year. Are there any acts you particularly want to play alongside someday? Hmmm that's a tricky one.

There are many artists we'd love to play alongside someday. We both love Bruce Springsteen!!

You toured the US pretty soon after you finished your Leaving Cert in 2008. Did this affect your college aspirations or have you managed to balance your musi- cal career with your education? Yeah, we toured the US in both

summers of 2008 and 2009. In fact, it felt slightly strange touring Ire- land in summer 2010 – but our col- lege aspirations weren’t affected at all, we wouldn’t think. And since we both started college in autumn 2008, while it has been tough jug- gling both college and our music career, we have managed to do it this long – hopefully we can keep that balance going for a while longer!

How did you begin playing music? Was it something you took to early in life, or have you come to it more recently? We started writing together in

2007 so playing music together wasn’t something we’ve done since early in life, but we have been interested in music since we were quite young. We have been playing piano

since the age of 7/8 and were both in The Rockford Manor school choir in secondary school. We used to always have to sing at family gatherings too.

Have you always performed to- gether as a duo or were you part of other groups that have since disbanded? It’s always just been the two of

us! Neither of us were in bands be- fore Heathers. But we have added a brilliant cellist called Paddy to our band line-up recently and are also working with a percussionist, so Heathers are growing in num- bers as a band….

Do you find that performing as a duo enhances your capabilities in terms of creativity and live per-

cult to maintain. Is this is an issue for Heathers? What is the most difficult thing about work- ing together? Thankfully – so far so good on

that front! We still live together at home, and while we both have quite separate lives in lots of ways, we do obviously spend a lot of time together, and we really do very rarely fall out with each other. To be honest, we can’t really think of anything negative about work- ing together – sorry! Maybe ask us again in 2 years time!!

Where did the name 'Heathers' come from? We both really love the 80’s

movie Heathers, featuring Winona Ryder. When we were coming up with a name for the band, we went through our DVD’s and came across Heathers and we both thought it was perfect for us!

Which acts do you consider to be the strongest influence on your sound? That’s a tricky one to answer,

but we both listen to lots of differ- ent music so all of that listening probably seeps in sub-consciously. Going back to when we were

Many people encountered your music as a result of "Remember When" appearing on the Dis- cover Ireland ad. How did this link come about, and do you think that it was a big factor in your success in Ireland? Yes, the ad definitely opened up

our music to a much wider audi- ence here in Ireland. We already had a pretty strong fan-base built up here, but the airplay that Re- member When got as a result of the ad exposure definitely helped get more fans for us. We were approached by an

agency who choose music for ad- vertising campaigns about putting our song forward for consideration, and we were obviously honoured and delighted when they chose ours - even if it did feel a little weird seeing the ad on a big cin- ema screen for the first time!

You have been selected to per- form at Eurosonic in Holland this coming January. What does this mean for the band? House- hold names such as the Coronas, Republic of Loose and Cathy Davey have all performed at the festival in the past - are you hop- ing for a similar sort of boost? We were thrilled when RTE /

2fm told us that they had selected us as their lead act for Eurosonic in 2011. While we don’t know yet ex- actly what this will mean, we do know that the artists who have come before us – including the ones you’ve mentioned, plus Fight Like Apes, Imelda May and The Frames – have all experienced a lot of success since appearing at the festival. It seems to be attended by a lot

of festival promoters and radio sta- tions from all over Europe so we’re hoping it will lead to a lot of in- creased profile in many European countries, as our album Here, Not There will be released in a lot of those countries over the next few months.

The last few years have seen huge success for you. What are your personal highlights? To be honest, nearly all of it has

been a highlight. If you had told us three years ago that we would be in a band in 2010, we probably wouldn't have believed you, so everything we do really is great. Releasing Here, Not There, The two American tours, Playing at CMJ in New York, and Canadian Music Week in Toronto in 2009,

October 26th 2010

playing at Oxygen in 2009, 'Re- member When' getting chosen for the Discover Ireland ad, Support- ing Paolo Nutini, Playing the main stage at Electric Picnic 2010, start- ing our own record label...there's so many.

And, finally, what does the fu- ture hold for Heathers? Are there plans to put together a fol- low up to "Here, Not There" or are you going to stick to touring for a while? Well, our album Here, Not

There is being released in the UK this month and then across other European countries between now and summer 2011. We’ll be touring a little in some of those places and then when we finish another col- lege year in May 2011, we’d hope to record our 2nd album at some point after that.

The girls went on to play a great set at Cyprus Avenue last Wednes- day (October 20th). If they can transmit the same energy and en- thusiasm into their slot at Eu- rosonic, they are sure to be a hit on the continent as they already are here.

Events calendar Wednesday 27th October

UCC Live Music Society Event at Cyprus Avenue, €3

Bpong tournament at the Bailey, 8pm, €10 per per- son

Thursday 28th October

Marina & The Diamonds at Savoy Theatre, €20 Friday 29th October

Sweet Jane at Crane Lane Theatre, Free admis- sion

James Vincent McMorrow at the Pavilion, €14.50 Michelle Shocked at Cyprus Avenue, €20

Saturday 30th October

Greg Dulli & Ed Harcourt at Cyprus Avenue, €22 Wednesday 3rd November

Bpong tournament at the Bailey, 8pm, €10 per per- son

Thursday 4th November Richard O’Flynn at Cyprus Avenue, €7

Oedipus Loves You at Granary Theatre, €15/€10 Friday 5th November

Miss Paula Flynn, Chunky Planet & Wasps Vs Hu- mans at Crane Lane Theatre, Free admission.

Saturday 6th November

Dan Le Sac Vs. Scroobius Pip at Cyprus Avenue, €17.50

Monday 8th November Darwin Deez at Cyprus Avenue, €10

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