“The polished pop-star thing is kind of dead,” says Charli, acknowledging the way in which both her and Halsey’s unfiltered attitude have helped transform the expectations surrounding women in their genre. Tonight, as usual, they’re impossibly cool -- Charli in a leather jacket, her curls gathered into an off-kilter ponytail; Halsey in a black bustier top, her violet pixie cut perfectly tousled -- but also exude the kind of raw personality that Spice Girls-era pop stars arguably could not.
“Part of our brand is ‘hot mess,’” says Halsey. “Being authentic. ‘Yeah, it’s 5 a.m., and I’m wasted and I’m fucking doing that.’ So if I look like shit on a certain day...”
“It’s my brand!” exclaims Charli.
“Exactly.” Halsey sighs. “OK, I’m drunk now.”
Is there anything you’re not looking forward to on the tour?
Halsey: I’m scared, because I’ve been sober on every tour I’ve ever done. And I’m not going to be with Charli there.
Charli: That’s pro, though.
Halsey: I’m neurotic. I had a really bad experience. We did Madison Square Garden and it was a sold-out show, the biggest of my career, and three songs in, everything stopped: tracks, lights, video. Everything failed, because there was one wire unplugged.
Charli: [Laughs] It’s always one.
Halsey: If I was fucked up when that happened, I don’t know what I would’ve done.