Posted by: martinworster | January 2, 2017

Hepburn Interview

Since their debut single ‘I Quit’ smashed into the top ten back in June it’s been a manic few months for Hepburn. There’s something about their feisty blend of guitar driven pop that’s hit a nerve with the public and they’ve been touring the length and breadth of the country spreading their musical gospel.

When dotmusic meet up with the four girls – there’s lead singer Jamie, drummer Beverly, bassist Sarah and guitarist Lisa – they were still recovering from the photo shoot they did for FHM magazine the night before. The pesky photographer kept them up till 2am so he could get just the right shot. Apparently it’s going to be worth the wait. Jamie explains in her cheeky cockney accent: “When you see it you’re going to be shocked. I’ve still got the evidence in my hair which suddenly grew last night.” Sarah adds: “We were turned into native Indians last night – so enough said really.”

They’ve also recently returned from the deserts of southern Spain where they shot the video for their new single, ‘Bugs’. The video features the girls, who obviously like to live life in the fast lane, jumping around on cars and motorbikes. Things were going well until the shoot was rudely interrupted by mother nature in the form of a whirlwind. “Bev and Sarah were larging it by the pool in the hotel,” explains Sarah. “We were out in the desert doing the video when we just saw this wind coming towards us through the desert – it was pretty scary stuff and we had to stop shooting.”

The defining feature of Hepburn creatively is the different musical tastes and styles that the girls bring to their music. From rock chick Lisa, who likes Hole and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, to the eclectic Jamie who cites Basement Jaxx and Skunk Anansie as influences, this diversity adds a freshness. “It’s good if you’ve got different musical tastes as your inputs are so varied when you decide on stuff in the studio.” says Bev.

They finished their debut eponymous album before last Christmas, most of which was recorded in Cambridge with writers of the caliber of Phil Thornally (Natalie Imbruglia) contributing his talents. Jamie expands: “The album’s all guitar based but there are different styles. There’s no ballads, but there is a Motown feel to one of the tracks. There’s also a dance track on there too.”

“The album has such a wide range” adds Bev. “Some of it’s quite poppy so it will appeal to kids and stuff, but there’s also a depth – it’s not just pure pop. Some of the lyrics are quite deep – especially if you read them from the cover and they have more impact.” Interestingly, their first single, ‘I Quit’, was originally offered to Natalie Imbruglia who passed over it. “When we heard it we jumped at the chance because we thought it was a great song.” remarks Sarah. “We’re really proud of it and it was a hit. Thanks Nat! It was a ‘Big Mistake’ and she must be ‘Torn’!

So what’s it like for the girls, now they’ve suddenly been thrust into the pop limelight? Do they get a touch of the old butterflies before they take to the stage? Lisa, the quietest of the bunch, suddenly pipes up: ” I do get nervous. Two minutes before I go on I think: ‘There’s sixty thousand people out there’. ‘What if I fall over or make a mistake?’ I just feel so sick. But the minute I go on I forget about it and it’s fine.”

The group dynamics of Hepburn make interesting viewing. Like their musical tastes, there’s a wide mix of equally strong yet different personalities entering the mix. So, considering the amount of time they spend together, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there’s the occasional crossed word. ‘You can get on each others nerves if you spend a lot of time together.’ says Bev. ‘It’s natural. When that happens we start snatching each others mobile phones!”

On this subject Jamie makes her contribution: “It’s usually me who says calm down girls everything’s all right.” With that Sarah retorts “No. It was me who said it this morning.” Suddenly the conversation ups a few notches on the tempo stakes and the girls have a debate on who’s the diplomat of the bunch. The air’s punctuated with cries of ‘No’ and ‘I am.’

There you have it. Hepburn. They’re for real and they play their own instruments. They can write a mean song and they’ve got the right attitude to match. The music industry can be a difficult world, but there not ones to get sucked in by the hype. There’s a whole batch of all girl combos out there – from 21st Century Girls to Thunderbugs – but Hepburn were there first. And, most importantly – the really do all get on like a house on fire.

(Originally published on dotmusic)




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