We’ve missed seeing Leisha Hailey on The L Word. But no worries – she’s right here…
“Five Hour Energy drinks and Red Bulls, I feel awesome,” declares Camila Grey, settling onto the leather seat of a white stretch limousine. After an overnight drive from a show the night before, the sunglasses are less diva and more necessity.
“She said she’d be up all night to talk if I needed it,” Grey gestures to Uh Huh Her counterpart Leisha Hailey, who absently flips through a wedding brochure found next to the empty brandy snifter, “But then I get a call saying ‘I’m going to bed, but enjoy your ride!’”
“Hey! I said ‘be safe’!” Hailey laughs.
On the first date they’ve played together in months, Uh Huh Her wax poetic on music, life and…hippos? “I’ll say ‘amazing’ five times within the same interview,” Grey says. “It’s my go-to adjective.” Grey and Hailey consider the dicey politics of phonics while checking out the ’90s décor.
“We need five syllables,” Hailey says, brightening. “Hippopotamus.”
Coming from diverse musical backgrounds and the somewhat chaotic start of Uh Huh Her itself, it’s clear that these women are on a renewed mission to own what they do and to launch this album under a new brand of confidence.
“We wanted to make a rock record and not a lot of people are doing that anymore,” Grey says, then stops herself “But, I mean, it’s not a Pantera record.”
Holing up in a small studio in Los Angeles, the girls spent a healthy amount of thought and energy while crafting the follow-up to 2008’s Common Reaction. Bringing in Prince Alum Wendy Melvoin to lend a hand, Grey and Hailey devoted themselves entirely to making this new project organic.
After an almost two year long hiatus, and now working independently from a label, they have relished in the process of taking control back into their own hands. “It felt like we were always trying to catch up to ourselves,” Grey says, speaking of the whirlwind that was the release of their first EP which was almost immediately followed up by a full-length record. “And this time, we thought, we’re not on a label anymore, we have the luxury of time and being together and this time, we’re going to do something really thoughtful.”
The energy between Hailey and Grey is palpable, and their excitement about the record is contagious. “It sounds a lot different [than Common Reaction]…it’s heavier and lush, and less hi-fi. The vocals are the same, but the music is a lot richer.”
Shooting for a spring release date, the girls are keeping busy; Grey is on tour with Adam Lambert and Hailey is holding down the Uh Huh Her fort by acting as business manager. “When she was off shooting The L Word, I was managing it, and now it’s the opposite. The tables have turned,” Gray says, feigning a menacing laugh.
“Oh, I am such a good manager,” Hailey shoots back.