The band, comprised of Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading, were travelling from Arizona to a gig in Santa Ana, California when they were involved in a road accident. Both members and their tour manager Trevor Engelbrektson died in the incident.
While Fender paid tribute to the duo online after their death was announced, he’s now told NME about the emotional toll of their deaths and how he first discovered the duo’s 2017 debut album.
“I didn’t sleep that night”, Fender recalled of the evening when he found about their deaths. “I just got put onto them by my mate Andy. We were sitting in the flat where I used to live and we were having a couple of cans of Stella when he put on ‘Speed Racer’.
“I loved it, it was one of those instantly brilliant guitar sounds and there was something quite Mac DeMarco about it. I just fucking loved it, it was class. It soon became a staple between me and my mates.”
Absolutely devastated to hear the news about @ThatBandOfHers
Fell in love with their debut album when a good friend back home put them on. I’m truly heartbroken for their friends and family.
R.I.P you two beautiful boys. pic.twitter.com/DXwsRzXuj5
— Sam Fender (@samfendermusic) March 29, 2019
Fender was also touring in America at the time of the tragic incident and remembered how he’d been hoping to catch a live show from the acclaimed duo.
“It was tragic because we were at SXSW and said ‘Her’s are in the states, we should try and catch me if they’re nearby because they’re class.’ Weeks later and they’re dead,” he said.
Although the full circumstances of the duo’s death are yet to be established, early reports suggested that they were killed in a head-on collision after their tour van was hit by a truck which was driving the wrong way. Police later confirmed that alcohol was found in the wreckage of the vehicle.
Responding to the reports, Fender said: “It’s just fucking bollocks that some drink driver has got behind the wheel and not only ruined his own life, but lives of two wonderful young lads who were carving this brilliant alternative sound.
“People say that there isn’t any good guitar bands any more,” he said. “There are, but they’re just not necessarily hitting the charts. There’s bands like Her’s, but they’re dying in pointless fucking car crashes.
“They were an unbelievable talent. Shame on the fucking prick who got behind the wheel. I’ve been angry for weeks about it.”
This comes after Fender told NME last week how his 2018 single ‘Dead Boys’ saved a man’s life after he discussed the track’s frank mental health messages. He also discussed the inspiration behind new single ‘Hypersonic Missiles.’