Pale Waves’ Heather Baron-Gracie on her bandmates’ bus crash: “I think it’ll be something that will stay for them forever”

The frontwoman wasn't on the tour bus when it crashed back in February

Pale Waves’ Heather Baron-Gracie has reflected on the tour bus crash that her bandmates were involved in earlier this year, saying that “it’ll be something that will stay for them forever”.

Three of the four members of Pale Waves — Ciara Doran (drums), Hugo Silvani (guitar) and Charlie Woods (bass) — were on the bus that suffered a near-fatal accident back in February. Baron-Gracie chose to fly to the band’s next show in Germany instead of travelling on the bus.

Speaking to NME for this week’s Big Read, Baron-Gracie said that she will never “forget the sound of Ciara’s voice after the crash”.


“I’ve known Ciara a very long time and we’ve been through so much together – I’ve never heard their voice like that ever,” she recalled. “You know how in movies where someone is dying and the blood is coming out their mouth and they’re trying to talk? It sounded like they were that person and I was like, ‘Oh my God; they’re gonna die.”

Asked if there had been subsequent tension between herself and the rest of the band over the fact that she wasn’t on the bus that night, Baron-Gracie replied that her bandmates have “never made me feel like that, but I felt like I should have been on the bus too”, adding: “I felt guilty, for sure.”

“I am very much the leader of this band. Everyone follows me and I respect them for allowing me to have that control, so I felt that as the leader and the sort of person they look to for guidance a lot, I should have been there to help,” she said. “And I wasn’t.”

Pale Waves Big Read 2020
Pale Waves (Picture: Jenn Five for NME)

Baron-Gracie also noted that the timing of the coronavirus outbreak a month after the crash had given her three bandmates “a break” and a “time out” so that they “didn’t have to rush straight into a tour and onto a bus”.

“They all needed that space and time to process what happened and heal from it,” she said.


The frontwoman added that, after meeting up again a few weeks ago, her bandmates now “look so much better”.

“They were laughing again and they seemed like their old selves,” she said. “I think it’ll be something that will stay for them forever. I don’t know how it will be when we get back on a bus and I think it will be a gradual process, but all three of them seem to be in a good place right now, if not the best place they’ve ever been in.”

Pale Waves will release their second album ‘Who Am I?’ on February 12, 2021 via Dirty Hit.

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