Hinds are an all-girl four-piece that have recently dominated the music scene with their garage rock sound. Originating from Madrid, the band have gained remarkable success after touring the SXSW Festival and also winning recognition for their energetic live performance as well as playing at Glastonbury this year.
Glass caught up with them at the Ace Hotel, Shoreditch to talk about their success, stresses of touring and new album.
You’ve gained such tremendous success in the last year. Did you expect things to go this way?
Carlotta: No, not really. Not in the beginning. We didn’t expect it.
Your album is called Leave Me Alone. Why is it called that?
Ana: It’s just an inside thing we have. We’re very used to doing everything ourselves – making every decision, and as we got bigger, more people got involved and had more comments.
Carlotta: Art doesn’t have rules. It’s so easy to get lost and suddenly lose the point with what you’re doing. Suddenly you get into a bigger machine, and you lose what you want to do. So it’s kind of a thing where we accept opinions, but maybe we don’t always take them.
Ana: And the album is exactly what we want it to be. So we can say Leave Me Alone on that but maybe not with other things, but the album is just …
Ade: It’s like when were like, “I don’t know if this is right”, and she (points to Ana) said “No, no, no, don’t think about it. Just leave me alone, let’s do it the way we want.”
Your album sounds very happy but lyrically covers themes of sadness and heartbreak. What would you say the theme is?
Ana: And love is hard, so that’s why some of our lyrics are tough.
You have a lo-fi garage rock sound to your music, which is very fitting to Burger Records who look after a lot of artists from California. Is there much of a garage rock scene in Spain?
Carlotta: Yes, and in fact there is a big group of Burger Records fans in Spain. It’s getting pretty famous.
You did a lot of covers songs earlier in the band. Who are your main musical influences?
Carlotta: We actually did a cover of Dead Ghosts, who are with Burger Records, and lots of bands from that big wave of garage music.
Ana: But when we were growing up it was more like Bob Dylan and The Virgins.
Carlotta: And The Velvet Underground. You know, just picking one song from each album we liked.
In your music videos we always see you dancing and having a good time. Is it staged or are you always that energetic together?
Ana: Yes, we try. After they say cut it’s the same.
Carlotta: We are really smoking and we are really drinking!
How did you meet?
Ana: We met because of music, and friends of friends. Before the band, we just had two guitars and a lot of time to waste.
Carlotta: It was the summer holiday.
Ana: [points to Ade] She played guitar, and we were looking for a bass player, so we asked her “could you please play bass for us, just for this gig while we look for another bass player” and she said yes. Then we found Amber.
Is it difficult for bands to get heard in Spain?
Ana: The Spanish press doesn’t care or make an effort with promoting small bands. They only care about big bands. Radio stations there aren’t as good as in the UK and America.
Ade: There’s one magazine that is free it always has the same names and same bands in it.
Carlotta: It’s impossible to know what month it is because it’s almost always the same bands.
Ade: Looking inside the magazine, all the bands are over 30. I respect that, but there’s no space for younger bands.
Spanish is your first language. Why did you choose to write and sing in English?
Carlotta: We didn’t decide to, but a lot of the music we listen to is in English so we wanted to make music that’s like the music we listen to. We just kept it .
Ana: Lyrics are such an important part of our music and we really love writing them and love people to read them and enjoy them. If more people can understand what you’re saying then I guess more people can like the music, or at least get the message.
You’ve played the main stage at Glastonbury, which is a huge gig. Do you still get nervous before playing?
Carlotta: We get very very nervous and excited.
Ana: It’s not about how big the festival is. We couldn’t eat or sleep before Glastonbury, but we always get nervous. Pre Glastonbury was very tough.
Do you have any pre-gig rituals?
Ana: Drink beer
Carlotta: Yes. Beer, beer, beer.
Ana: We always get really nervous if we don’t have at least two beers before. It really helps us feel comfortable.
What’s the best thing about touring?
Ana: Playing and having people come from all around the world to see our music. I love seeing friends and couples sharing a moment of their life at our gigs.
Carlotta: We want people to make out at our gigs. That’s one of my favorite things to watch.
Ana: Every time I see that I’m like “yes, this is our audience”. I want boys to want to come to our gigs.
Carlotta: We have this slow song, and we always say, “please take the person next to you”
How do you decide your set-lists?
Ade: It depends on the timing we have.
Ana: Usually when we’re drunk and very comfortable, we add songs that aren’t even finished or say, “let’s do this cover” that we don’t know how to play.
Do you have a favorite song to play live?
All: Castigadas en el Granero
You released a very successful EP and have been touring extensively. How did you find the time to write a 12-track album?
Carlotta: It has been one of the worst parts of the work we’ve done. We decided to tour so much, and when we did that there was not even one moment to chill and take the guitars and jam. It seriously doesn’t exist in our tour life. We’re always doing interviews, or doing a session, sound-checking and even selling merch after the gigs.
Ana: We did everything at once. We were answering emails and choosing support bands and suddenly you remember you have to write six more songs in three days. It was hard, but we are tough with ourselves.
Who writes the songs?
Ana: In the beginning it was just Carlotta and I, so we did everything. But then when we became a four piece, we went to the rehearsal room and spent so many hours playing riffs, basslines and drums. It took so much time because we were jamming. It was slow.
What has been your overall highlight as a band so far?
Ade: I thought I’d never go. It was like this legendary thing because I had no idea how to get there or how to get a ticket. But we did it.
by Katrina Mirpuri
Here is Hinds’ unofficial video for their track San Diego made by them “with love and affection”.