It was their debut show in Melbourne last night but Pale Waves are out and about doing press rounds. Heather and Ciara had just finished a radio show and while they were relatively still jet lagged, they were loving every minute of this Australian tour. This was the bands first time in Australia they hadn’t really had time to explore Melbourne as they left for the final leg of the tour in New Zealand later that day. We sat down in an empty radio both and chatted about Englands win against the Swedes, but were left perplexed as to why people would want to thrash an Ikea to celebrate the win.
After a bit, we got down to the serious stuff. We spoke about finding their sound, meeting for the first time, the importance of friendship, the new album, and Ciara’s love for Prosecco.
Sometimes people think you’re this overnight success because you’ve toured with The 1975, but you’ve doing this for a few years now. Does that kind of make the success even more satisfying? Because you have worked your asses off to be here?
Heather: Yeah, 100 percent. I think if people saw how much we work and how much we’ve been doing this for, then they’d realize even more that we deserve it. Like before we even released “There’s a Honey” we spent like two years solidly in the basement of our practice room, just not even having any social life, and just getting better at our instruments all the time.
So I guess going back to the beginning, the original songs I heard from you guys was “The Tide” and that’s when it was on Sound Cloud and then you released “Heavenly”. What’s the difference between that Pale Waves, and that was like pre- Hugo and Charlie. What’s the difference between then and kind of, this Pale Waves?
Heather: We just found our sound a lot more. Back then, that was really early days for us and we didn’t know how we wanted to sound or how we wanted to even, look or present, the band that we had made. So, it kind of feels like a lifetime ago. It was very naïve and young then. So I guess we’ve just grown up.
You used to be called something else before Pale Waves. It was Creek and you had a song called “Lust” that was out. Tell us a bit about that era ?
Heather: Well Creek, we started writing music and we wanted to be like Daughter. We went to a Daughter show actually and Ciara said to me, “I want people to actually be able to dance at our shows not just sort of stand still and sway.” So we made the decision to suck off the acoustic and I bought my first electric guitar and some pedals and then that’s when we made the change to Pale Waves because Creek just didn’t feel right. Creek just felt like, sort of, quite depressing.
How has meeting each other changed your lives ?
Heather: We met when we were both 18. Originally, we were on this group chat on Facebook for our university and I was just going through the peoples’ profiles and it was all guys, and all like “metal head” guys and I was thinking “Fuck, this Uni is going to be like a Sausage Fest.” Then I saw Ciara and she was just in a Hawaiian shirt and I was like “She looks interesting!”
Ciara: Don’t tell everyone.
Heather: You were in a Hawaiian Shirt though! That’s what really stuck out to me. And then I saw that she played drums and I was like “Even cooler!” So I messaged her and then we spoke every day pretty much and then two weeks later or something we both moved to Manchester and after an hour of being there we met up, and then we went on a night out, didn’t we? Then spent pretty much every day together and really just bonded over music.
Ciara: The first night we went out together you passed out.
Heather: Well, I’m unique Ciara
You guys are Friendship Goals and have each other names tattooed. How do you guys empower each other every day?
We’re like each others’ support system really, especially Ciara with me. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed or sad, she’s always there and she always makes me feel better. I think the only people on this earth that can make me feel better are Ciara and my mom so, definitely need Ciara in my life. [to Ciara] I like to think I keep you pretty sane?
Heather: Organized yeah yeah. That’s true. Ciara’s a bit of a messy person, and I organize her life, but, yeah we’re good for each other aren’t we?
Previously you’ve mentioned that you make music that you love. How important is honesty to your song writing and showing that to your fans?
Heather: It’s super important. I hate when I listen to a song and the music is good but the lyrics are just not even thought about. I hate that, it ruins the song for me. Although I will still listen to it because its like good. It doesn’t make me feel anything. I like it when a song makes me actually feel something and I actually really believe the songwriter. I love it when people tell stories and are just, really sort of raw and honest with the lyrics because, I love honesty with people so it is super important that all of our songs are meaningful.
You deal with a lot of emotions and I think “My Obsession” is kind of a good representation of that lyrically and kind of visually through the music video. What is it like to kind of have as this personal diary just out to the world and having your fans connect with it and interpret it in their own way?
Heather: It’s scary. It is a bit terrifying because I hate talking about things and I hate when people know how I truly feel. But with music it doesn’t feel as bad. It still feels like vulnerable but at the same time when people connect with it, or when people come up to me at shows and say, “Your songs have really helped me through a dark time.” A few people have come up to me and said, “I was in a really dark place and I was thinking some awful thoughts but your music has really brought me out of that space”, It just makes it worth it really.
Do you kind of have any reservation about maybe oversharing or sharing too much of yourself?
I did at the start of Pale Waves and that’s why “Heavenly” and “The Tide” are sort of, the lyrics are very, you know I was hiding behind metaphors a lot of the time and then Ciara came up to me and said “You need to start being more brutal and more honest with your lyrics.” She knew that I wanted to do that but I was just a bit scared at the start.
Going back again to that vulnerability, your new single “Noises” again is another good representation of that. You kind of talk about being too critical of yourself and over-analyzing certain parts. Is that something you still struggle with today?
Yeah I think I’ll always struggle with that. That song has helped me and I think that song has connected the most with our fan base out of all the songs that we’ve put out so far. So, I was quite terrified to release that song, but, the reaction that its got so far, and the amount of people and messages that I’ve received just from that one track is overwhelming. I think it’s really important for our fan base because a lot of them are quite youthful and growing up and you think that’s when you really sort of think about those things and struggle with them the most.
You talk about image also and I think one of the biggest misconceptions about you guys is that you’re this heavy screamo band just cause like you choose to wear, which is so ridiculous to associate an image with a particular music sound. How to you deal with that ?
Heather: It’s good, I like shocking people and we come out they expect us to be like “Rawr!” And then we play this pop that we like dance around to. I guess people just need to stop being so narrow-minded and you don’t need to dress a certain way to play pop music. We don’t even dress that gothic. I could go absolutely Full Goth like Mohican, massive. Well I think maybe I’ll do a Mohican for a music video.
So you’ve got your debut album coming out and it’s quite an important one because it’s your first full body of work. It really will represent who Pale Waves are. Do you feel any pressure trying to make is as perfect as it can be?
Heather: Yeah. I think the first album is always the most important and I think the first album is what everyone always favorites of a band I’ve noticed. No one can really get over that first album, so there’s definitely going to be even more pressure for the second album but, I think we’ve done a good job of it and I’m really happy. It turned out way better than I thought it was going to be. We panicked at the start going in to the studio because we didn’t think we had enough finished songs. We had a lot of ideas but we knew that we needed more content. The pressure made us write about five or six tracks in the studio really fast and they turned out way better than I thought.
Lastly, what legacy do you guys want to leave behind?
Heather: Giving the world great music really. And being nice people.
Heather: Empty Prosecco bottles.
Ciara: Yeah, no
Heather: You’re stoppin’ on the Prosecco now aren’t you?
Ciara: Yeah. I have quit but they giving it me.
Heather: Prosecco and Ciara don’t really mix well together.