Uh Huh Her Does It On Their Own
By Mike Duffy
After being dropped by Nettwerk in 2009, Uh Huh Her could have packed their keyboards and guitars and gone home.
For Camila Grey and Leisha Hailey, that wasn’t an option.
Grey found a sweet gig playing keys in Adam Lambert’s touring band, while Hailey continued her career as a sometimes actor best known for her role on Showtime’s The L Word.
But the electro-pop duo also continued to work on new material, which appeared in the form of 2011 EP Black and Blue and a full-length later that year titled Nocturnes.
|Grey plays a set during the Fender Showcase at NAMM 2012|
Having toured doggedly in support of both records, Uh Huh Her is ready to get back into the studio once they complete their current European set of dates.
“We’re both in really different places, both personally and professionally,” Grey told Fender.com. “We literally wrote Nocturnes when we got dropped, so there was a lot of angst there.
“Now, I feel like we have a really good foundation of what’s worked for us live and what’s worked on records.”
That Uh Huh Her even put out Nocturnes is a feat unto itself.
Grey and Hailey embodied a true independent spirit, figuring out how to distribute an album without a label, make merchandise and create a web presence.
They enlisted friends to do some of the dirty work and brought in experts when needed.
The final piece might have been Wendy Melvoin of Prince and The Revolution fame, who was tabbed as a co-producer.
Talking about this D.I.Y. attitude gets both women fired up.
“Being independent, we just worked with a team of people that helped us along the way,” said Hailey. “Everyone had a specific job. We even met a girl who made a fan-zine.”
“When it came down to making our videos, we shot three within one month that we funded ourselves,” Grey added. “It’s a lot of raising money and learning how to use it wisely.”
It also allowed both women an opportunity to control exactly what hit the market.
“It’s about being creative and picking our spots,” Hailey added. “That’s the beautiful thing about it – being creative.”
Considering nearly three years passed between Black and Blue and Uh Huh Her’s 2008 debut, Common Reaction, the band went through a lot of trial and error to get to where it is now.
Grey chooses to think positively about that learning process.
“Any failures you have are also your fault,” she said. “It’s kind of great because you don’t have anyone to blame but yourself. That’s empowering.
“I think we’ve both – from being signed in other bands to being signed ourselves – had to learn what kind of people are essential to have around you to make a record.”
Moving forward, Grey and Hailey are excited to work from a home studio they’ve been putting together. Having released a record on their own, they want to maintain the creative control that stemmed from that unfortunate label-dropping so many years ago.
“The goal was to be able to do everything in-house, maybe with the exception of live drums. But we’re going to make it work for that,” Hailey said. “Now that we’ve got everything set up – our store and our rig, all of that – this next one should be even easier to put out.”
With tour dates on the books throughout the spring, Uh Huh Her has officially earmarked this summer to write the record, and move on to happier times.
“It’s almost as if we’ve gotten those emotions out of the way and we want to make a really fun record. We want to simplify things,” said Hailey. “Because we’ve been living with it for so long that we’re ready to get back in the studio and begin working on new stuff.”
Watch Uh Huh Her perform a stripped down version of “Disdain” exclusively for Fender Vision.