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Billie Eilish and FINNEAS | Audacy Check In | 5.31.24

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Billie Eilish and FINNEAS dropped by the KROQ studios in Los Angeles for a special Audacy Check In with the Klein.Ally.Show, diving deep into their brand new album HIT ME HARD AND SOFT, what to expect on their upcoming world tour, and much more.

HIT ME HARD AND SOFT, Billie Eilish's highly-anticipated follow-up to 2021's GRAMMY-nominated Happier Than Ever is available now, taking listeners through a rollercoaster of emotions as the record progresses through its 13 tracks.

There was no defined road map that the brother and sister team decided to stick to when compiling the new collection, though Billie admits, “Honestly, I wish we had because then we could recreate it, but it was such a mess -- we didn't know where we were gonna go, or what we were gonna do, or how it was gonna turn out until we had most of the songs already floating around. That was when we put them together.”

“I mean, they also had similarities,” she acknowledges. “We were thinking about them the whole time… thinking about calling back and having some lyrics on some songs that refer to other songs, or melodies that refer to other songs, but we didn't have a plan of like, ‘This is gonna be this, and this is gonna be this.’ It kind of just happened, which is frustrating because I don't know how to do that again. It just was so natural.”

Touching on the many twists and turns throughout the new album, Billie reiterated her thoughts on the concept of musical genres being “such a funny thing,” especially seeing the way other artists she enjoys are categorized. “I'm always shocked. I don't know what that is,” she says. “I've really never cared about the idea of a genre. If someone says, ‘What kind of music do you listen to?’ I'm like, ‘Dude, everything.’ I love music so much and I really don't have lines like, ‘Oh, I don't listen to this genre or this genre.’ It's just music, you know? So, I think we try to do that with our own stuff too.”

As the duo began to put songs together for HIT ME HARD AND SOFT, FINNEAS tells us when things became “messy --sub that in for if I wasn't feeling inspired anymore, if we were feeling like the momentum was slowing down a little bit, we'd just kind of like, get up and walk away, change gears. Maybe go on a hike or something or just start something completely different.”

“I think it was about always feeling as engaged as possible,” he explains. “Sometimes as a producer and as a songwriter, it feels good to finish something and sometimes you have a great little chorus or great verse and you think, ‘Let's just write a bridge so that the song is done.' It was an effort on this album to be like, ‘If we don't have a good idea for a bridge today, let's write a bridge next week.’”

Allowing themselves that space, he says, rewarded them with songs like “The Greatest.” “We came back to that song a week after starting it and Billie was like, ‘I think we should write a bridge for this,'" FINNEAS says "Then we had this whole fresh idea because we were approaching it on a different day, with different circumstances. There's just no way we would have written that bridge.” Billie adds, “Then that bridge then became the throughout melody of the album.”

Though they're both unable to choose a favorite track, “I think if I were going to give an answer, ‘The Greatest’ was a really important process,” FINNEAS says. "Us making that song meant a lot to me. It was a big hurdle that we crossed in the process of writing all these songs. That was a song that I felt like we'd been looking for for a long time.”

Suffering for her art is something Billie has never shied away from, even going to great lengths for the new album cover, which shows her almost drowning in dark waters -- eerily similar to something that happened to her when she was younger. “It felt like I was gonna drown,” she explains of her childhood experience. “I don't think I was actually in danger -- I was in the ocean and I did have to get saved by lifeguards, but it’s all good. I wasn't going to die. Definitely, water is a scary thing for me.”

“It's not even like I have to suffer for the art,” Eilish says. “It's just that the art has to be exactly right, and if it requires suffering, then all the better is kind of the idea. I don't know, it makes me feel real and worth it.”

With the album now officially on shelves, FINNEAS admits it has been difficult to tune out the comments around the release after a few years away. “Number one, I don't go looking for it, you know, I'm not searching new album reviews,” he explains. “It's very meaningful to see somebody talk about the things I love about the record.” On the contrary, “If it's clear on TikTok or wherever that somebody's about to say a bunch of backhanded stuff, I just scroll… that's their opinion, which is fine.”

As the duo gets set to hit the road on a world tour to celebrate the new album, fans can only speculate about any guest appearances at this point. “I only started doing it recently,” Billie says of jumping on stage with her friends. “I've never really done it before and I did these couple shows in December 2022 where I brought out a bunch of people for these hometown L.A. shows that I did. I've never done anything like that before and it was the coolest thing in the world. People that I love so much and I always admired and idolized, and they're on my stage, you know, in front of my fans with me, and it's my show -- that is insane.”

“Honestly, it's embarrassing,” she adds. “Like every time I brought someone out -- it's like someone really cool being in your bedroom and you're like, ‘Get out of here.’ But it's the coolest thing.”

Don’t miss our full Auday Check In with Billie Eilish and FINNEAS above, and stay tuned for more conversations with your favorite artists on Audacy.com/Live.

Words by Joe Cingrana Interview by Klein.Ally.Show

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