Haim Talk Grammy Nominations, 'Sister Telepathy' and Awards Night Must-Haves (Tequila!)
Haim is ready to rock Music's Biggest Night.
The sister act — Este, 34, Danielle, 32, and Alana Haim, 29 — will perform Sunday at the 63rd Grammy Awards, where they are nominated for album of the year (Women in Music Pt. III) and best rock performance ("The Steps").
PEOPLE sat down with the trio (who were last nominated for best new artist in 2015) for a virtual catch-up ahead of the show, airing March 14 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
Let's go back to nomination day — how did you find out you were up for Grammys this year?
Alana: I found out because my phone started blowing up and that's like really how… We were all in different houses, so we weren't together. I knew that the Grammys were going to be announced that day, but I didn't really expect anything. So I was just like, "I'm not going to pay attention." And then my phone started blowing up and I was like, "What is going on? What is happening?" Then I found out the news and I immediately called Este and Danielle, and we all cried and called our parents.
You're up for one of the "big four" categories, album of the year. As you were working on this record, did you have any idea it might be a contender?
Danielle: I think this album was just very spontaneous, and we tried to keep it light and spontaneous. The whole making of, it was just whatever felt good in that moment. A lot of the times when we're in the studio, especially with our first and second album, we were so focused in on certain sounds and really thought, "I think we could beat this drum sound." For this album, it was more just whatever sounds good, keep it, and let's move along and it made it almost more just exciting. Everything that's been happening with the album has just been shocking and so surprising, and here we are.
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This album was a bit of departure for you guys, a little experimental and crossing genres.
Alana: We really, funny enough, made this record thinking that we would tour it for a very long time. While we were making it, we were getting really excited about planning our new show and going on tour and hitting the road as soon as we put it out. Unfortunately, that didn't happen [because of the coronavirus pandemic], which was really sad. We're all still kind of going through the sadness that comes from just not being able to tour. But I think it also made us excited because when it's safe enough to go on tour and play shows, I feel like everyone's going to be so excited. I mean, I'm excited to go to shows. I want to go to a concert so badly. So I'm hoping that when it's safe enough, we can all just rage together.
And we have to talk about the album title — it's a little tongue and cheek.
Este: A little?! [laughs]
What were you trying to say with that?
Alana: As we were finishing the record, Danielle had a dream that she saw "women in music" everywhere in a dream. I love how I'm talking about your dream.
Danielle: I kept seeing that phrase, which I think is just a funny phrase in general and it's tossed around a lot, but I kept seeing it on billboards, and I woke up laughing and I called my sisters and we were trying to figure out what the album was going to be called for a while. And it didn't present itself until pretty late in the game. At first, we were like, "I don't know, are people going to get it?" And we're like, "You know what?" In the spirit of being spontaneous, it made us laugh and we thought it was funny because we got asked, "What's it like to be a woman in music?" Or, "What's it like to be women in music?" We had gotten that question every interview since 2012. So we thought, we think it's funny: Maybe if we name our album that, people will get the picture not to ask the question. And it worked.
Este: And then also don't ask any other woman what it's like from now on.
I'm curious about how your bond as sisters informs your dynamic when you're making music.
Alana: Sister telepathy is a real thing. Because we're family, it's easy to trust who you're working with. [Collaborators] Rostam [Batmanglij] and Ariel [Rechtshaid] are basically our brothers at this point so they're family, and it just felt like a big, crazy family making this record. We've now been making records for so long now that I think — especially coming into this record, like as Danielle said, we were trying to be spontaneous and really not take every second to be so hard on ourselves, which I think our last two records, we would be Jewish neurotic about every, like, little baby sound, every song on both records.
To use that as a jumping-off point: You're also nominated for best rock performance for "The Steps." What does it say to you guys that it's an all-female nomination pool in that category this year?
Danielle: It's about time that happened. There's always been women in rock, and it's a bummer they're not recognized in that category every year. It's cool. All the women nominated are amazing; I can't believe we're in the same category as the other women.
Obviously the Grammys are going to look different this year. What are you looking forward to most?
Alana: I know that I'm going to be drinking. The only thing that I know is going to happen is I'm going to have a bottle of tequila next to me.
Este: Normally the Grammys are dry … even though there's definitely footage of us at the 2015 Grammys with Solo cups. We snuck in alcohol and got wasted. We were the party crashers at the Grammys that year. Whatever it is [this year], I think as long as my sisters and I are together and get wasted, everybody wins.
The Grammy Awards, hosted by Trevor Noah, will air Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS Television Network and Paramount+.
PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly are also teaming up to bring you some glamour and award show speculation ahead of the Grammy Awards on Sunday, even if most of the nominees and guests will be at home wearing sweatpants.
Hosted by PEOPLE (the TV Show!) New York correspondent Jeremy Parsons and PEOPLE Every Day podcast host Janine Rubenstein, the livestream will air ahead of the award ceremony from 6:30 p.m. ET to 7:30 p.m. ET (3:30 – 4:30 p.m. PT).
The livestream will broadcast live from New York City and will feature celebrity interviews both virtual and in-person from the Grammys red carpet in Los Angeles.
To watch the livestream, you can tune-in above at showtime or head to PeopleTV, PEOPLE Twitter, PeopleTV Twitter, PEOPLE Facebook, PeopleTV Facebook and YouTube.
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