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June 2020

Pale Waves' Heather Baron-Gracie: “I want to do an EP”

As 'My Mind Makes Noises' drops, Pale Waves' frontwoman is already looking to what's next.
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Published: 10:39 am, September 14, 2018Words: Ali Shutler. Photos: Frances Beach.
Pale Waves' Heather Baron-Gracie: “I want to do an EP”

Pale Waves' much anticipated debut album 'My Mind Makes Noises' is finally out. We've already taken you in depth on the story behind it in our August 2018 cover feature, which you can now read in full, online - but the story doesn't stop there. We grabbed ten minutes with Heather Baron-Gracie for a quick catch-up on what's happened since, the stories behind some of the songs on the record, and what they're planning on doing next. 

Oh, and if you don't want us to find your teenage pop punk past, 'the bands', either don't tell us one exists, or take it down from Soundcloud sharpish. We're internet detectives, with self-made certificates and everything.

Hello Heather. How are you feeling?
Oh god, it’s a bit mental really. The album’s out so soon. It feels like it’s come around just so fast. It feels like I was waiting forever for it to come out and now it’s around the corner. 

Any nerves, fears or waking up in the middle of the night thinking ‘oh God, we should have done this and not that’?
To be honest, I’ve not had those thoughts at all. I just want to get it out to the world. I’m so excited. I feel like we made the right record for us.

How much writing did you do this summer? 
We did a lot. Half the album was written in the studio, half over the years since we started Pale Waves. It was all over the place.

Tell us about ‘Eighteen’.
‘Eighteen’ is about when I met someone when I was eighteen and fell in love with them. I had an amazing time, they were a wicked person, and then it came to an end, but it was ready to end.

Why open the album with that song?
There’s something about that track. Everyone we showed it to said it was one of our biggest songs ever. I listened because I wanted a strong opening. And ‘Eighteen’ is the beginning of it. In my head, I see the start of an eighties coming-of-age movie with a car just driving around. That’s what I wanted people to picture. 

Pale Waves' Heather Baron-Gracie: “I want to do an EP”
"I’m so excited. I feel like we made the right record for us"
Heather Baron-Gracie

What about ‘Loveless Girl’?
A few people have called me this, and I don’t know how to feel about it. It was about a time in my life when I was sixteen, and some of my friends said I was very cold. I think it’s ‘cos I didn’t give them what they wanted. They wanted me to love them, and I just didn’t. And I can’t hide my feelings, so they blamed it on me.

This record spans so many years of your life, why show that journey?
It’s important for me to show my early years as a teenager because a lot of our fans are very young. I feel like they’re going to relate to it. And it’s our first record so I felt like it was going to be the strongest record if I talked about that time in my life and covered it on this wide spectrum.

Where did ‘Red’ and ‘Black’ come from, ‘cos they’re sorta your colours.

That was a happy coincidence. ‘Black’ was written about two and a half years ago but we couldn’t get it right. I started writing the verse: “You’re beginning to hate me, of who I’m becoming lately, two and a half years ago.” Ciara actually inspired that because there was a time where I was becoming a complete... well, a cold person. I could tell she was starting to hate me. I wrote that verse and didn’t write anything more of it for ages. I played it to Ciara though, and she has never let go of it. She kept on at me to finish it and eventually I did, and it turned into ‘Black’. 
And then ‘Red’, we wrote in the studio. It started out as the acoustic track that was going to close the album, but it just didn’t work. Ciara wanted it to be a pop song; she said ‘I’m going to take this and see what I can do with it’, and it evolved from there. 

Pale Waves' Heather Baron-Gracie: “I want to do an EP”
"I want to go a bit more punk on the next thing we do"
Heather Baron-Gracie

What’s the song on the record that you think will be the basis for where you go next?
Maybe a combination of ‘Black’ and ‘One More Time’. I want to go a bit more punk on the next thing we do. It’ll still be pop though, ‘cos I love pop. 

Just not pop-punk.
I love pop-punk. In my college years, I was in a pop-punk band at one point which we will not say the name of.

But we will scour the internet to find. [*cough* Killing Nancy *cough*  - Ed]
Nooo, I looked horrendous, and it was not a good band. The songs were good, ‘cos I wrote them, but everything else around me was just lacking. It was fun though. I wanted to be Hayley Williams.

Have you written anything since finishing the record?
We’ve started writing new material. It’s exciting; we’ve written four or five new songs. I want to release new music next year. I want to do an EP. The album will come out, then a few months later, there’ll be this EP. People want more and more, and we have a lot to give.

Taken from the October issue of Dork. Order a copy below. Pale Waves' debut album 'My Mind Makes Noises' is out now.

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