Indie band Haim told Grazia magazine about the discovery they made last year in a recent interview.
Haim told the story of a festival they performed in last year. They were just one space behind the male performer in the lineup. Despite this, they were paid a full ten times less than them. Danielle explained that at the time of the festival, they were given the impression that the low salary they received was standard practice. “We had been told that our fee was very low because you played at the festival in the hope you’d get played on the radio”. The band reportedly did not question the idea that they would be paid less in the hopes of getting exposure through the performance. When they later discovered that the male artist had been paid ten times more, they cut ties with their agent. The band did not name the artist or the festival in question.
Haim were initially underpaid because they were unaware of what their counterparts were making. This is significant because recently the conversation around discussing your salaries with co-workers have changed. Although it has previously been discouraged, discussing your salary with co-workers can actually be an effective tool in fighting the gender pay gap. Many women and minorities are underpaid because they assume their co-workers are making the same as them. Danielle touched on this issue in the interview. She said that the worst part of the incident is that the band can’t be sure that it won’t happen again. ‘It’s so hard to check: everything’s so secretive about how much people are getting paid, and that’s bullshit.’
This is not the first time the band have been vocal about women’s role in the music industry. They also discussed their idea for a women only music festival. You can read the full interview with Grazia here.