Hinds: "Us making Hinds was because we have to fight for it."
Get to know Spain's most-hyped musical export right now.
On paper Hinds is much like any other buzz band on the verge on releasing their debut album. Consisting of Ana Perrote, vocals and guitar, Carlotta Cosials, vocals and guitar, Ade Martin, bassist, and Amber Grimbergen, drummer, they're your typical four-piece rock act with an atypical make-up. Formed in Spain they are probably the only all-female rock act in the country. Indeed, there are very few exclusively female bands full stop. But the hype doesn't come from there alone but with their debut song a scuzzy, off-kilter track titled Bamboo. Which was such was a hit within the English-speaking indie scene that they have played more in America than Spain. With their debut album Leave Me Alone recorded, alongside partying at Harrison Ford's house, Hinds seem well on the way to just getting bigger.
[UPDATE] Since this interview Hinds did announce an Australian tour, check the upcoming dates down the bottom.
Hey Ana, can you explain how Hinds formed?
We went to gigs all the time, we watched our friends jam but we never thought about getting involved in music. But after Carlotta broke up with her boyfriend in 2011 we went to Denia, which is a beach town in Spain, and we had a lot of spare time to play. We started with a Bob Dylan song called It Ain’t Me. From there we played a gig in October 2011 to about 40 people but come February 2012 we played this horrible gig. We didn’t even talk about it until a couple of years later when Carlotta was digging through videos of us performing from then. And we were both like, “Dude, we’ve gotta do it again.” We then wrote Trippy Gum and Bamboo and through the end of 2013 and into 2014 we spent time rehearsing a bunch of songs.
But how did Ade Martin, bassist, and Amber Grimbergen, drummer, become involved?
I remember I found Amber because I saw she shared something off Hinds's Facebook page when we had 100 likes and I clicked on her profile because I didn’t who she was and she was playing drums! And I was like, “Omg she’s a girl from Madrid and she’s playing drums. I have to get her in the band!” Luckily it went well when we met and she joined us. With Ade she was Carlotta and I’s best friend and we really wanted her in the band because it was taking up more time and she wasn’t there. At the same time we couldn’t find any female bass players so we begged Ade but she said no until we gave her a bass for her birthday and that was it!
In interviews and even as we're talking you stated about wanting an all-female band, can you expand on that?
I remember when we started we spent a whole night trying to find other all-female bands that we could look up to and say, “We want to be like them,” but we couldn’t find any. We couldn’t believe it because somehow Hinds was doing something others hadn't before, we were alone in a sense.
This realisation has continued with interviews that ask us about forming because despite our continual exposure to the scene we never thought of being in a band. And we're realising it's because you don’t see women in music. It wasn’t like someone was telling us we couldn’t we, women, just don’t see it as an option. So us making Hinds was because we have to fight for it. You realise the gender divide is huge but we feel proud as a band because we have a good reason to keep on rocking.
And do you feel like you're making a difference?
I think in our own super small way we’re showing that boys and girls can watch girls play on stage in bands. And watch girls sing lyrics about boys instead of boys and girls singing songs about girls.
And for those who don't know, can you describe the garage scene in Madrid?
It’s a very small scene but there’s a bunch of bands who have been around for awhile like Los Nastys and The Parrots and then there is a new group like ourselves coming through. But everyone helps each other, we’re all roommates, everyone is proud of each other and very nice. We didn’t realise how good the scene was till we came back to Spain. We saw a lot of boring bands when we toured. Like when we came back recently we saw Los Nastys play and we were like, “Fuck this is how it should be done, this is real!”
Do you feel different after being on the road?
Yes because when you go on tour you make friends in other places and our friends in Madrid will always be our friends but we don’t see them as often. We see the bands we go on tour with more often, they know who we are. Our lives are on the road and our friends are from Madrid so when we hang out it’s always about catching up, not just hanging out for the sake of it.
Can you talk to me about how Leave Me Alone, your debut album, came together?
Half the album was written before this crazy lifestyle began so when we first rehearsed we focused on the live shows and making them sound good. We love people screaming, yelling, sweating, crowd surfing so we created our songs to induce that. But suddenly last winter we knew we were going to record the album in April 2014 but after checking our touring schedule we only had 15 days in Madrid before we had to record it. We had to do six songs in 15 days. And it wasn’t even all together, it was a day here and there. And that was on top of catching up with our friends, seeing family and chilling out.
So the other half the album came together in those days we had spare when it was winter in Spain. It was dark, cold and our boyfriends were frustrated with not being able to see us. It wasn't a happy time. So that’s reflected in the album because it’s hard to just be happy. The album represents the year and the 12 feelings we had and it may seem like I'm always happy but I'm not. We all feel sad and down at times so we liked the idea of showing that in a record.
All your songs are English, which isn't overly common in Spanish scene from what I've heard, how did this occur for you?
Yeah a lot of people in the underground scene will listen to English songs but they don't often write in anything than Spanish. I think we're lucky because we spoke it at school but right now our English is way better than a year ago when we first went on tour to the UK. I remember coming back from that trip and thinking, “Fuck there’s no way I can survive,” we felt so ashamed and you realise how important language is when you’re standing in front of a mic struggling to say anything beyond thank you. That got us round to learning English. But even when we're writing lyrics in English and comparing them to other English songs you realise English songs don’t even make sense half the time. So we try not to get too hung up on lyrics.
You guys have also been on tour with Public Access TV who are partially made up of members from The Virgins, a band you guys love. Can you tell me about that?
Oh I have the best story! We were playing in London in February last year in this place called the Lexington and our booking agent had sent us a bunch of acts that wanted to support us the month before because it had sold out. And when we heard Public Access TV we were like, “Omg this sounds so much like The Virgins!” And in 2009 Carlotta and I were the biggest fans of The Virgins but because it was hard to get information on smaller bands we didn't know all the members. So we had Public Access TV play and I remember the day before the show we were at our booking agent’s place and Public Access TV comes up and our booking agents mentions how two of them used to play in The Virgins. Carlotta and I were like, “You’re fucking kidding me,” so he goes and checks and it turns out the drummer and the guitarist of The Virgins are in Public Access TV. We went crazy and now we're super close with Public Access TV.
Something I've also noticed is you try to put out this wild energy but also tell people you guys are a serious band, can you expand on that?
There’s a lot of things to do in this band and we try to take care of it all. Like this interview; I’m tired right now and it’s in the morning and the night before we were editing a video but this is an interview and I don’t want people to think I don’t care. We feel very lucky to be in the position we are in and we want to show people that. We care a lot about this band.
And of course there was that time you partied at Harrison Ford's place, tell me about it!
One of the member’s of Public Access TV is friends with the son of Harrison Ford (who is in a band called The Dough Rollers). So one time both Public Access TV and us were in LA at the same time and Public Access TV asked us out for a drink. They invited us to this house in Venice Beach and we were like, “Woah…” We there for awhile and they had all this amazing music gear and were like, “What the fuck, who owns this?” And then they let it slip we were in Harrison Ford’s house.
And is there an Australian tour on the cards?
We should be coming back next April, we're so excited!
And true to their word:
Thur 5 May - Newtown Social Club, Sydney (TICKETS)
Fri 6 May - Northcote Social Club, Melbourne (TICKETS)
Sat 7 May - The Foundry, Brisbane (TICKETS)
Mon 9 May - Rosemount Hotel, Perth (TICKETS)