What You Don’t Know About HAIM

The LA-based pop-rock band, HAIM, (don’t mispronounce it – it rhymes with “time”), has made a name for themselves as a funky female trio with a unique sound and energetic stage presence. The band has been active since 2007 and still continues to make banger-quality music. They have performed at the likes of Coachella and Glastonbury Festival, as well as being requested to appear at Madison Square Garden and the Hollywood Bowl later in 2020 (which a pesky little global pandemic put a stop to) (via The New Yorker). As for the band name origins, the word “haim” means “life” in Hebrew, which by itself you might not recognize, as it’s more commonly seen as “l’chaim” and used within the context of toasting to health and happiness over a drink.

While HAIM is embracing “life” within the pop-rock world and taking the music world by storm, there’s probably a lot about them that you don’t yet know.

The sisters got their start in a cover band with their parents

Did you know that the HAIM leading ladies are actually sisters? Este Arielle Haim (born March 14, 1986), Danielle Sari Haim (born February 16, 1989) and Alana Mychal Haim (born December 15, 1991) make up the dynamic trio. They grew up in a family of musicians and began their foray into the industry in a cover band called Rockinhaim, as backup for their parents (viaThe JC). 

Their Israeli-born father, Mordechai, who according to The New Yorker, was a professional soccer player before emigrating to California, instilled great pride in their Jewish heritage while the girls were growing up, and naturally, that cultural identity became part of their music. In an interview with Shalom Life per The JC, the girls admitted that early on they considered naming their group “The Bagel Bitches” likely due to the fact that the first gig they played in their parent’s cover band was at a Jewish deli in Hollywood where, according to the outlet, they were paid in matzah ball soup.

The HAIM sisters still write their music in their parents' living room

Despite being an iconic trio of badass rock stars, these sister performers are still just that: sisters. Bantering, boisterous, and bonded, like you’d expect sisters in a tight knit family to be, Este even revealed to USA Today that when they were little she, “chopped off all Danielle’s hair and she looked like a boy.” 

Before they started performing as a trio, older sisters Danielle and Este, were members of the pop-rock group the Valli Girls, which found quite a deal of its own success. In fact, the band was featured on the soundtrack to the 2005 film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. By 2006, the girls were performing together, writing and rehearsing in the their parents’ living room, according to an interview with the BBC. In fact that’s where they still prefer to write their songs. Danielle told USA Today, “That’s kind of where we’ve always done it, so we have our own little setup: a bunch of instruments, a bunch of keyboards, and we just write together in there.” 

They recorded four EPs in those early days just starting out that Alana told the BBC, will “never be heard,” much to the disappointment of fans everywhere. And it was just three years later in 2013 that they would top the charts with their first hit, “Forever.”

They don't want to be known as a girl band

HAIM famously writes all their own music, which means their work is most often inspired by their greatest passions. Their newest album, Women in Music Pt. III, encapsulates the sisterhood and feminism that so clearly emanates from their work. But despite their passion for womanhood and hard-working female musicians, they can’t help but cringe at the notion of being a “girl-band.” 

According to the group, they don’t want to be remembered for their gender, but for their objective skill and musical prowess. “I mean it’s no secret that my sisters and I are all about girl power and being passionate about being a woman,” Este explains to The Daily Beast. “I think people just need to change the verbage and the way that they describe music and the way that they look at women in music […] I just never understood, like, you would never call a band like The Killers a boy band. So why are we a girl band? You know? We’re a band.”

And that’s exactly how the title for Women in Music Pt. III came about. As the BBC reported, the girls were tired of constantly being asked, “What’s it like to be a woman in music?” And after the 2017 incident when the sisters discovered they were being paid significantly less than a male artist playing on the same festival it drove the message home. 

They're best friends with Taylor Swift

Asserting herself into the group as the sort of adopted fourth Haim sister, Taylor Swift’s friendship with the band has fans obsessed. It seems that their friendship began in 2013 when they were asked to comment in an interview on who they believed Swift would be dating next. In perfect response, to the utterly ridiculous question, they said, “come out with us, and we will party, and we will be together as girls and be merry and we don’t need guys! Girl power!” (via UMusic). 

After subsequent social media followings, they eventually had an iconic dinner that, according to HAIM, lasted for “seven hours,” leading to them allegedly telling Swift, “oh my god, you are one of us” (via Twitter). They reached a whole new level of their friendship when in 2015, Swift announced that HAIM would be an opener during the North American leg of her 1989 tour (via USA Today).

In 2020, the girl gang hung out at Olive Garden, truly solidifying their best-friendship. HAIM tweeted, “Our dream of singing on a COUNTRY FOLK SONG with the one and only queen of storytelling, miss TAYLOR SWIFT is our second Hanukkah present to you! AND ITS A MURDER MYSTERYYYYYY. We think he did it…… @taylorswift13.” What do we have to go to get an invite to the next epic night out?

The sisters really miss Tacos when they are on tour

Although the pandemic has pushed the pause button on touring, these Southern California sisters admitted that the hardest part of being on the road is not having access to good tacos! “You’d be so surprised how many times people can get a taco wrong,” Alana revealed to USA Today. “Every time you open up your heart to a new restaurant, and they’re like, ‘We have the best tacos!’ I always get let down.” 

But in all seriousness, traveling the world on tour, and spending all your free-time in a studio or writing music is a hard life, but the sisters love what they do and take it all in stride even at the expense of their personal relationships. As Alana explained to NPR, “I’ve been on tour since I was 20, our very formative years. Trying to figure out who you are and being in a relationship. And it was really hard to be on the road and trying to find someone who wouldn’t say, ‘But you leave all the time!’ I’d always get that line.” She added, “It’s hard to hear that at such a young age…But I love what I do and always thought that I’d find someone who loves what I do as much as I do…that’s how it should be. The person you’re with should always be supportive and love what you do and be proud of what you do.”

Maybe that’s the true secret to their success – having the bond and unconditional love of each other.

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