Photography: Alberto Van Stokkum
In 2011, Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote dumped their then rather chauvinist musician boyfriends, went on a trip, bought guitars and decided to set up their own band. They’ve barely been home since. Adding Ade Martín [bass] and Amber Grimbergen [drums] to the bill, the Madrid four-piece became an international sensation with just a bunch of songs on their Bandcamp.
The band’s original name had to be changed for legal matters into its female correspondent, Hinds, showing how, since the start, this has been a story of feminine self-determination in a dominantly male-driven industry.
Their overwhelming stage energy has certainly been an additional draw for the band, matching their gentle ‘60s West Coast influence. Despite being both culturally and musically far from the U.S., Spain has recently nurtured an explosive lo-fi garage scene where Hinds stand out alongside their good friends, Los Nastys and The Parrots. This is a scene that captures that U.S. underground sound founded from ‘60s sunshine pop, filtered through ‘90s shoegaze, which developed its faithful following and eventually found its mainstream success with the likes of Mac DeMarco, some twists and turns later, after the decline of ’00s dance-floor indie. A legacy well-witnessed by every Hinds release thus far.
2016 birthed the band’s acclaimed full-length debut, Leave Me Alone, and an endless sold-out U.K./U.S. tour. Now, they’re set for a mighty return with new LP, I Don’t Run, due for release on 6th April this year via Lucky Number.
Lorenzo Ottone chats with Netherlands-born, Madrid-based drummer Amber Grimbergen about the forthcoming record.
Hinds, with new track 'New for You'
"We arenʼt friends anymore, weʼre sisters"
Lorenzo Ottone: Why do you think Madrid has such an expanding garage scene right now?
Amber Grimbergen: Both Los Nastys and The Parrots come from Madrid. Not many foreign bands tour here. So, rather than going to other gigs when we started the band, we used to go to shows by them, and they’ve been a huge influence. We mainly have a garage influence, because that’s what they do.
LO: Speaking of influences, you recorded a Kevin Ayers cover recently. How did that come about?
AG: We were in the studio in the South of Spain to record our second album and the owner of the studio, who is a good friend of ours, one day said, ‘Girls, you need to see the video of [Caribbean Moon].’ We loved it and it sounded awesome, so we decided to cover it and release it as a single.
LO: You’ve also released split singles with Los Nastys. How did these collaborations begin?
AG: We’ve been playing a cover of Los Nastys’ ‘Holograma’ for ages, and then they started to do a cover of our song, ‘Castigados En El Granero,’ so we just thought it would have been nice to have them on record.
LO: You’re a lot more popular in the U.K. and U.S. than in Spain. Why do you think this is?
AG: We were surprised by the success we had abroad. We weren’t expecting anything at all, because when we started the band, we had no expectations. Although, when we put the first song ever out, all the response we got was from England, by NME and The Line of Best Fit. There’s not much attention for these sounds in Spain, so it makes sense to be considered more abroad.
LO: What’s the songwriting process like for you guys, considering most of your lyrics are in English?
AG: I don’t write the lyrics, but it’s not hard to write in English! Spanish isn’t an option. All the music we listen to is sung in English. As soon as we have the melodies, everything else comes quite naturally.
LO: What’s it like being an all-girl-band in a traditionally male-dominated industry?
AG: I think we definitely get more attention, but I don’t think it’s made things easier. I think it’s made things tougher, actually. [Laughs] I think that, being girls, no-one takes you seriously. People in the industry always look for the man behind you. We are lucky with our team and label, because everyone trusts us, but the press and people working in venues make things more difficult.
LO: Is giving feminism a platform through your music important to you?
AG: We weren’t feminists at the beginning, but then growing up, both as a band and as people, you realise there’s a lot to fight for. Itʼs awesome when little girls come at you and say, “I play the guitar because of you” – you realise the role you can have in other girlsʼ lives. I can say we now are feminists!
LO: Self-love and independence seem to be revolving themes for you guys – both in your story and most recently in the lyrics of ‘New for You.’ Is this a message you’re attached to?
AG: ‘New For You’ is about all the mistakes and stories you have behind. When you break up with someone and meet a new person, you always want to be the best you you can be for them and start again. Loving yourself is for sure a way to find happiness!
LO: The video for ‘New for You’ looked fun to shoot too! Do you guys actually play? You looked pretty pro.
AG: We aren’t really are the biggest fans of football, but our friends are. We just thought a sport-themed video would have been funny, and it actually was to shoot [laughs]. I think you can see that when watching it.
LO: What’s been the biggest change in your approach to recording this album? Are you keeping things lo-fi DIY?
AG: This time, we wanted it to sound bigger and show off what we’ve learnt over these months… but we still co-produced it and it’s still the same old way!
LO: And how’s it sounding?
AG: I’m so happy with it! We listen to it all the time, we play it to friends and we don’t think about what people might say, because we super love it.
Hinds, with new track 'The Club'
"We want people to feel free, get drunk and have a good time."
LO: Do you write while you’re on tour ever?
AG: We couldn’t write on the road – the last thing to do is write [laughs]. When we finished the tour, we took two months off. We stayed home playing music and we got all the songs but three, which were completed in the studio.
LO: Is touring good for the friendship of the band, or can it be trying at times? I got the feeling that ‘Finally Floating,’ from the new album, might be about this, what with the two voices talking to one another…
AG: We arenʼt friends anymore, weʼre sisters! We tour with many boy bands, but I have noticed that girls tend to stick together better, because they have more empathy. We have learnt that everything you do on tour, you do for everyone. You have to think about the other person before yourself.
LO: When you play live, you’re a party band. Are there any messages within the songs that you’d like to communicate which might get lost in the live craze?
AG: There’s no one particular message, because all our lyrics are about personal experiences. We want people to feel free, get drunk and have a good time. We always have a good time on stage, and this makes it easier for the audience to join the fun.
LO: Before you go, let us know! What’s spinning on the band’s home turntable?
Together Pangea – ‘Money On It’
Her’s – ‘What Once Was’
T. Rex – ‘Lean Woman Blues’
Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – ‘Morning of Our Lives’
Twin Peaks – ‘Shake Your Lonely’
Zapp – ‘Radio People’
Har Mar Superstar – ‘Late Night Morning Light’
Pink Floyd – ‘San Tropez’
Mac DeMarco – ‘One Another’
Rex Orange County – ‘Sunflower’
Pre-order your copy of I Don't Run, released via Lucky Number, here
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