Uh Huh Her is a musical duo comprised of Camilla Grey and Leisha Hailey.
Camilla is formerly of the low-fi indie band Mellowdrone, and has previously worked with Dr. Dre, Busta Rhymes, Melissa Auf Der Maur and Kelly Osbourne.
Leisha Hailey began her musical career in the alt-pop band the Murmurs, and is currently one of the main characters in the hit lesbian drama, the L Word, which appears on Showtime and has a huge cult following (of which I am a proud member!) UHH’s vocals range from power infused to dreamy, layered with analogue and synthesized instrumental tracks fueled by lyrics dealing with love, life and longing. The beats and hooks are catchy and danceable with just enough grit and static to balance out the sweet.
interview UHH and shoot their concert at the 9:30 club Wednesday night. Even thought it was a school night. And yes, I can still refer to myself has having “school nights” because I work at a high school, and I even had to show up early the next day to proctor an AP exam. (Remember those? They still suck. Even when you just have to proctor them.) Also speaking of the school where I work, H-B Woodlawn Program, one of my star seniors came with to help with the interview and shoot. Claire asked some probing questions, and will be writing a review of the concert so look out for that!
The ladies of UHH were very pleasant, and excited to be recorded via Garageband. Camilla in particular had never seen it before, and was mesmerized by watching the swiggly lines that represented the audio track being recorded. That’s what she’s looking at in the interview photos of her and Leisha.
Is this your first time in DC?
LH: I came to DC several years ago, but it was to a very different 930 Club. It was a lot smaller. I was on tour with the Murmurs.
Were you able to spend much time in DC?
LH:No, I just breezed in for the show. The other time I came to DC, I marched on Washington.
What was the march for?
LH: Pro choice.
Was it around the time of the “right to life” March? It’s usually in January. And there’s usually counter marching.
LH: Yeah, that’s what it was. It was alot of fun. I was part of the opposition!
What about you? (to Camilla)
CG: I’ve never been here.
Where are you guys from?
CG: I’m from Texas originally but live in LA.
LH: I’m from Bellevue, Nebraska.
|How did you get started playing music together?
LH: It’s kind of a boring story actually. I took about a 5 year break from doing music, and I didn’t think I was going to miss it, but I did, and I really wanted to meet someone who I felt I could commit enough time to do this again, so I felt like they had to be really cool person. So I waited and waited, and I heard about Cam through friends, and wondered if she would be willing to do a musical project with me at all. So one day we were both at this wedding, (laughs)
CG: And I was playing the tambourine at the reception
Were you the wedding entertainment?
Claire my assistant: I know you had a third member originally, are you looking at anyone else, or do you have any plans to add another member?
LH: As an official member, we had Alicia Warrenton (SP) but at the time, we had just started, and we were making 0 money, and it was alot of time to ask someone to commit when involvement in the band would take away from other more lucrative ventures in life. So something came along for her that was too good to pass up, and there was no way we were going to stop her from doing what she needed to do. At the time, we didn’t know where this was going to go, so we let her fly. Now we have great musicians that back us up, they aren’t official members but they’re great, we’re lucky to have them.
How many tour stops do you have right now?
CG: It’s been 21 or 22 dates, we’re on the tail end of it now, so we have just about a week to go.
So you’ve been on tour for a while?
CG: We don’t ever know what day it is or what time it is. We kind of lose track.
LH: It’s better that way, you have to sort of just let it all go.
Are you all traveling by bus right now?
LH: Van actually. Well, a Van-Bus. We call it a “Vus.”
CG: It’s not quite a van, not quite a bus.
LH: You can stand up in it. It’s kind of Euro, I think it’s Swedish.
Are your back-up musicians traveling with you for the whole tour?
Yeah, Jacque Ratbar, he’s our guitar player, and he was in Phantom Planet, one of the original members, and Josh came as our new drummer. They’re great.
So what’s next for you guys after your tour?
LH: We’re gonna take a little break, then I have to go work, but we’ll keep working
CG: and writing, doing one-offs
CG: One show here and there, since she (LH) works during the week, we’ll do shows on the weekend
LH: Once October comes around we’ll start going on tour again. We’re going to do Europe, at least this is the big plan. Europe, Japan and Australia.
Will you guys be with another band?
LH: We’re actually talking to Tegan and Sara about touring together, we love them, and think it would be super fun to travel together.
That would be awesome! Camilla, you just mentioned writing music, I wanted to ask what your process was.
CG: In the beginning we were still trying to figure out our sound and what we wanted to do. I had never really worked with someone before collaboratively, it was tricky at first. But now, we bounce everything off each other, and write lyrics together, and we split things up pretty evenly. I handle most of the production side. We didn’t really know our process in the beginning, we were just testing the waters, and now we’ve got it pretty much nailed down. For instance, she (LH) will come up with a bass line, and I’ll put a synth part under it, it’s very intuitive.
LH: Or I’ll start lyrics, and she’ll (CG) finish them, we’ll email them back and forth, especially when I’m in Vancouver (ED: Where L word is mostly filmed) Otherwise when we’re both in LA we can work together more closely.
What is some music you guys have been into lately?
LH: Before we play a show, we like to crank LCD Soundsystem, that and the new MGMT record, DJ Shadow’s new records. Those are our “get ready to play a show” albums.
CG: Our chill out albums.
LH: Chill out? More like pump up!
CG: Well, they chill me out, I don’t know why, when I hear them I sit there and zone out.
LH CG: Laughs
CG: Oh, and Bjork
CG/LH (in unison) Always. (laughs)
Claire, Assistant: Do you guys have any other pre-show traditions?
CG: Yeah, Jacque likes to lead us in a prayer to the God of Rock and Roll, he makes us hold hands, and he says “Dear God of Rock: Thanks for this opportunity to play wherever.” Every night we have something to this effect.
LH: Then we have some cheer that has to be 3 words so we can go: (demonstrates throwing her hand up and down three times ala a team cheer before sporting events)
CG: That’s a new thing.
LH: We also like to dance. Lot’s of dancing and clapping really loud. We’re basically trying to get our energy at crowd level, since we’ve been usually stuck in a van all day.
Leisha, How has it been to balance your schedule with L Word and with UHH?
LH: In the beginning I thought it was no problem, and that it would be easy. But, the difficulty comes not with having to do the work, it’s easy to do the work because I love it, I never dread going to work for L Word or UHH, it’s just the being away from home now is getting to a crazy level. I feel like I haven’t been home (LA) for a year. It’s hard. And even if we’re home doing a weekend show, I’ll literally unzip my suitcase, and it will just sit in the corner, and I know that if I unpack it I’ll be packing it in 2 days, so it’s almost like I resent it, and I stare at it, and the day I have to pack, I dump it out everywhere. (Laughs) It’s become a weird thing, with my suitcase (Laughs.) But yeah, its hard to be away from home.
|How are you feeling about the L word ending? (next year is the last season)
LH: It’s going to be really sad, it’s been a huge and wonderful part of my life. I’ll miss it. I think everyone’s ready to move on, just to see what will happen in their lives, but it will be sad.
I know the fans are VERY sad. (ME INCLUDED)
I also think that it’s the right time for the door to be opened up for more shows in this genre. L word has broken down alot of boundaries and I think there’s a huge audience for more shows geared towards lesbians.
At this point, their manager said we only had a few more minutes, so I started taking candid photos of the lovely ladies, including of my assistant Claire with UHH, who remarked (and I later witnessed this to be true) that her friends would be SOO jealous.
When I asked for parting words, Leisha remarked:
LH: I always find this so difficult. (thinks for a minute) Our album comes out August 19th. It would be great if people would buy it!