California sisters speak sexism in music
Andrew Trendell

10:17 30th May 2013

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Haim have spoken out about sexism in the music industry - claiming that they have struggled to be seen as 'more than just a girl band'.

Speaking to Gigwise ahead of their appearance at this weekend's Chime For Change concert, the California sisters said that it was still difficult for women in rock to challenge people's perceptions.

"It's kind of ridiculous when you think of how many awesome females there have been in rock and roll and still today, how guys just don't think that girls have a place there," said frontwoman Danielle.

"We really did encounter sexism in the early days. Just playing around LA. We'd show up at a gig and there would be a sound guy who could not give two shits about us. They'd be like 'oh fuck it's a girl band', then we'd start playing and afterwards they'd say 'oh actually you're pretty good.'

She added: "Sometimes we'd show up to support a bunch of guys and they'd be like 'oh, we have a girl band opening for us?' Sometimes we wouldn't get a very good soundcheck, and just shit like that."

The Haim sisters will perform at Chime For Change on Saturday

Bassist Este Haim said she was really looking forward to playing Chime For Change: "It's based on women's rights and empowering women. It's all about the ladies. I think it's a pretty dope cause and a step in the right direction."

Speaking of whether or not the media or industry has ever tried to 'sexualise' Haim, Este added: "I haven't personally, but no one really sexualises us because we dress like men!"

Guitarist Alana agreed: "We've done a few photo shoots where people have wanted to dress us in girly things or have us underwater in bathing suits. People see us as a girl band so they want to make us seem girly and cute and fun."

Chime for Change will take place at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 1 June, and boasts a line up of Beyonce, Ellie Goulding, Florence + The Machine, Iggy Azalea, Jennifer Lopez, Rita Ora, Timbaland and more.

Haim also claimed they were hoping for a duet with Beyonce at the concert.

They also perform tonight at Koko. For infomation visit Gigwise gig tickets

Below: who runs the world? The coolest girls in the music industry

  • Iggy Azalea: Australian hip-hop recording artist Iggy Azalea may have a similar name to another Azealia, but that's where the comparisons end. The 22 year old has been taking the world by storm, with super hot tracks and a fashion sense to match. Plus, she's the face of House of Holland eyewear, and we're not sure it gets any cooler than that.

  • Solange: Forget about the 'Beyonce's little sister' label, because Solange is a star of her own making. Ramping up her indie cred this year with appearances at Glastonbury, Pitchfork, Field Day and Primavera - among many others - the dreamy 2012 hit 'Losing You' had an appeal that was retro without being dated. 'Cool' could very well be an understatement.

  • Haim: BBC's Sound of 2013, when Haim aren't releasing their own refreshing take on folk-rock, they're covering obscure B-sides from The Strokes and (we presume) spending time with Jay-Z - seeing as they're signed to his hip label Roc Nation. Not only that, but there's nothing fake about these girls, including Este's onstage off-colour humour. Don't find it funny? Haim don't care.

  • Savages: Angry, raw, and most of all they don't care about what you think - Savages are exactly the kind of post-punk band that terrify us in a good way. From the cryptic manifesto on their website to the black and white aesthetic, Savages have the kind of image that seems effortless - except that no one else would ever be able to pull it off.

  • Natasha Khan: Suspended from school for bad behaviour (is there anything cooler?) Natasha Khan turned it all around with Bat For Lashes, including being nominated for a Mercury Prize twice and four BRIT awards, making it clearly only a matter of time until she wins. Plus, she plays piano, bass, guitar, synthesiser, autoharp, percussion, xylophone AND sings. Super cool.

  • Deap Vally: It's a good year for girl bands, and Deap Vally are yet another group flying the flag high. The Californian rock duo met at a needlework class and their music turned out scuzzy in the best way. Giving interviews about knitting and rocking out - apparently in THAT order - who else can combine crocheting and rock music and have it turn out this overwhelmingly awesome? We'd bet no one.

  • Alex Locastro: Formerly Kitty Pryde, now apparently going by Alex Locastro, she went viral on the internet a year ago with her song 'Okay Cupid', which featured lazy, self-deprecating rapping over a dreamy beat - and managed to hit No 12 on Rolling Stone's Songs of 2012. Since then, Alex/Kitty has released a number of EPs and is getting better and better - and cooler and cooler - while still half-refusing to take any of this seriously at all.

  • Karen O: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have been around for 13 years, and yet continue to be just as relevant as ever - frontwoman Karen O most of all. She's a style icon who also contributes to a number of more obscure projects other than the Yeah Yeah Yeahs; Karen's contributed backing vocals to Flaming Lips, David Lynch and Santigold, as well as collaborating with Swans. She's also directed music videos and composed the entire soundtrack for Where The Wild Things Are. So cool.

  • Icona Pop: The Swedish DJ and synth duo are a much needed breath of fresh air in pop music right now, with global smash 'I Love It' being quite possibly one of the best pop songs we've heard in a long time, and maybe one of the better electro tracks too. Being described as 'effortlessly cool', we'd absolutely have to agree - just look at them.

  • Aluna Francis: One half of duo AlunaGeorge, Aluna is on the up and up as AlunaGeorge are attracting more attention - with no visible end in sight. One of the hottest bands in R&B right now, Aluna performs in glittery underwear and - unlike equally unclothed Rihanna - oozes sexuality without even trying. With a voice like that, there's really nothing stopping her.

  • A*M*E: Ready to feel totally inferior to a teenager? We hope so, because 18 year old A*M*E has achieved more now than we probably ever will. She's already got a No 1 single - albeit in South Korea, although she's heading for the top of the UK charts - and she totally overshadowed both Jessie J and The Wanted when touring with them. Also look at her dress sense - why couldn't our teenage photos look like that?

  • Lauren Mayberry: The youngest member of Scottish electropop band Chvrches isn't just intimidatingly cool but also intimidatingly smart - she's got a law degree, a master's in journalism and wrote her dissertation on the idea of femininity and women's writing. Add in the fact that she cares about the lyrics in pop songs and has one of the most emotionally resonant voices we've heard, and she is definitely hitting all the cool targets. Bullseye, in fact.

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