[17 August 2008]
PopMatters Senior Editor
Los Angeles based Uh Huh Her is a dynamic pairing of musician/actress Leisha Hailey (of the Murmurs, and plays Alice Pieszecki on The L Word) and singer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Camila Grey (Mellowdrone bassist and keyboardist). Inspired by a PJ Harvey B-side from the identically titled 2004 PJ Harvey album, their band name was born. But that’s where the borrowing begins and ends. This indie electro-pop duo’s second CD, Common Reaction releases this week, 19 August. PopMatters 20 Questions caught up with them while on the road and, typical of their collaborative nature, they combine their responses, here.
1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?
We just watched Away from Her in the van and we both had tears rolling down our little faces.
2. The fictional character most like you?
Camila Grey- Falcor from Never-ending Story. He’s fluffy and unassuming, and shows up right when Atreyu needs him. He also likes to nap.
Leisha Hailey- Alabama Worley from True Romance. I’m a true romantic. I love the idea of my whole world being taken over by love and infatuation.
3. The greatest album, ever?
Grey - Radiohead’s OK Computer.
Hailey - The Replacements’ Let it Be.
4. Star Trek or Star Wars?
We both say Star Wars! It’s simple. There’s nothing better.
We also think that Chewbacca would make the perfect tour manager. We know he’d like to do a lot of the driving. Loading equipment in and out would be a breeze for him. The venues wouldn’t give him a hard time when settling or he’d growl. And what would make a better bodyguard than a wookie?
5. Your ideal brain food?
Grey - I love to vibe out in my room. I light some candles and listen to old records on my shag rug in my studio. While I do that I will usually look at photo books and art books that I’ve collected. It’s the only thing that really relaxes me. It’s my own little world in there.
Hailey - I like to run outdoors. It’s the only thing that actually clears my head and allows me to create.
6. You’re proud of this accomplishment, but why?
Grey - Getting into a music school when I didn’t know how to read music but talked my way in, anyway. I remember the admissions woman on the phone asking me, “Ok, if there are four sharps, what is the key?” I answered, “Does it really matter?”
Hailey - Building and racing soapbox derby cars as a kid because I was the only girl and my cars were cooler and faster than anybody else’s.
7. You want to be remembered for…?
Grey - Making ear candy
Hailey - Making people laugh
8. Of those who’ve come before, the most inspirational are?
Grey - David Bowie, Bjork, Philip Glass, Brian Eno, Angelo Badalamente, Dr. Dre, Johnny Greenwood, Thom Yorke, Samual Barber.
Hailey - Tina Fey, Elizabeth Peyton, Axl Rose, Jim Henson, John Lennon, David Hockney, Sarah Silverman, Charlotte Gainsbourg.
9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?
Grey - Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings.
Hailey - David Hockney’s Smart and intelligent portrait… American Collectors (Fred and Marcia Weisman) (1968).
10. Your hidden talents…?
Grey - I can play the piano backwards like Mozart (Tom Hulce) did in that movie, Amadeus.
Hailey - Getting lost
11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?
Grey - Let people hear your music and stop playing for other people’s bands.
Hailey - Move to New York.
Photo (partial) by ©Lisa Eisner
12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?
Grey - Pro-tools (I know I’m a dork) When I bought it, it allowed me to be so creative as far as production and layering sounds.
It’s my favorite thing to do on a rainy day. I sit in front of that computer and create weird beats and synth patches. Ultimately it’s just a really cathartic process for me.
Hailey - 1971 Honda 100 motorcycle. It was the first bike I ever bought myself. It’s sparkly candy red with a white stripe. It’s the perfect tiny size for me.
I love driving around L.A. on a Sunday. Mulholland Drive, friend hopping, going to see a movie. It’s dreamy.
13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or…?
Grey - Skinny Jeans and a soft James Perse T shirt.
Hailey - Old Levis.
14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?
Grey - Andy Warhol before the fame. I’d just like more than a yes or no answer from him, which I believe he started to do to the press because he had an aversion to them and liked to mess with them. I’d also want him to draw me a little sketch so that I wouldn’t go broke trying to get one nowadays.
Hailey - Beth Ditto. I have a feeling we’d have a lot to talk about.
15. Time travel: where, when and why?
Grey - I’d want to go back to when Dinosaurs roamed the Earth. I want to see a T-Rex up close.
Hailey - The distant future to see what we evolve into.
16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?
We would both take a spa vacation.
17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or…?
Grey - Coca Cola with crushed ice and a wedge of fresh lemon.
Hailey - Hot, creamy coffee.
18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?
Grey - Country for sure, somewhere in Montana with a big ranch house, horses and dogs running around and a rocking chair on my wraparound porch.
I’d also have a heliport so that I could fly into the city for necessary things, like stuff from the Apple store.
Hailey - I figure I’ll soak up the city life for as long as I can take it, and then one day disappear into the forest.
19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?
Grey - Really?
Hailey - Huh?
20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?
Surviving the road!