Interview by Clare Shearer
Images and Video by Jan-Willem Dikkers
“We love the music that comes from America, so maybe that’s
why our sound has this vibe. But we also have sun in Madrid.
—Carlotta Cosials We don’t have the beach, but we love it.” — Carlotta Cosials
Known originally by the name Deers, Hinds is a Madrid-based band formed by singer-guitarists Ana Perrote and Carlotta Cosials, and later joined by bassist Ade Martin and drummer Amber Grimbergen. They have released two 7” albums in 2014 – Demo as a two-piece and Barn as a four-piece – and will release their first full length album later this year.
Public Access T.V.
A New York City-based four-piece rock back formed by frontman John Eatherly, who previously played with Be Your Own Pet, The Smith Westerns and The Virgins. They have released Rebounder EP and a single “In The Mirror” in 2014 and their debut album is slated for 2015.
Formed in 2006, The Virgins were a New York City rock band fronted by Donald Cumming. They released The Virgins ‘07 EP in 2007, followed by The Virgins in 2008 and, after a brief break and lineup change, Strike Gently in 2013 before dismantling in that same year.
It’s nearly impossible to deny the charm of Hinds – four girls from Madrid whose bright eyed, beach-casual music shifts into a raw and raucous energy the moment they step onstage. This is also true of their videos, filmed almost like home movies and permeated with genuine excitement and low budget creativity – spliced reels of dancing and smoking and pizza – all self-produced by singer and guitarist Carlotta Cosials. In the past three years, Carlotta and Ana Perrote have gone from learning guitar on the beach in Spain to dropping out of college and touring Europe and America, despite how uncommon it is for Madrid-based bands to gain traction abroad.
Previously recording under the name Deers, the band has released two 7” recordings with only four songs total – Demo in July 2014 and Barn in November after adding bassist Ade Martin and drummer Amber Grimbergen. Friend and fellow Madrid musician Diego Garcia of The Parrots – a band pivotal to their hometown’s small but mighty music scene – produced both of their 7” records as well as their forthcoming first album. Although Hinds seems to have appeared and ascended within the same breath, it’s more than just bandwagon or luck. Hinds is talented and deliberate – they chose an all-girl dynamic because it would allow them the space to be themselves, uncompromised. And it’s working.
CS: This is your first American tour. How does it feel to be here?
Ana Perrote: We were saying before that last night, we had one of the most incredible moment of our lives. We have these friends who live in New York and have a band called Public Access TV, and two of them used to be in a band called The Virgins. We were huge fans of that band, even before having ours. We knew they were in The Virgins, but we kind of forget it sometimes because we’re friends and they support us. So it didn’t make any sense in our minds. And yesterday, we were all jamming at this apartment they had [in LA] and suddenly they started to play those songs, The Virgins songs. We shouted so so loud! I mean, we didn’t expect it! And suddenly, there was like –
CC: The correct chords. Because we used to cover one of their songs and we did it in our way, like…
CC: Yeah, exactly. Completely wrong. And suddenly, the guitar player started to do the correct solo and our hearts literally stopped.
CC: Yeah, exploded. We tried to show them how we used to play that song and they were so into it.
AP: They said, “Oh my god, you were real fans! I thought you were lying.”
CC: We felt like real musicians – jamming with these guys that we admired when we were teenagers.
CS: Which song was it?
CC: “Rich Girls.”
CS: Who else inspires you?
CC: We always say, and we keep saying it – we love Mac Demarco. He’s a genius. We love Black Lips. White Fangs. Right now, we are listening a lot to Glass Animals and Fat White Family. They are from England. We also like hip hop too, like Kendrick Lamar. We love a lot of bands from Burger Records.
Founded in 2007 by Sean Bohrman and Lee Rickard, Burger Records is an independent record store and label based out of Fullerton, California. Burger is known for releasing cassettes of bands they support without signing them to the label. Their annual Burgerama music festival is held in California and features all Burger artists.
A Madrid garage-surf trio of Diego Garcia, Alex de Lucas and Dani Lorenzo who have put out a demo Aden Arabie in 2013, followed by two 7” in 2014 Dee Dee Dangerous and Loving you is Hard. They recently released a split 7” with Hinds via Lucky Number.
CS: Yes, you are working with the Parrots on a 7” with Burger Records and Lucky Number.
CC: Yes! Exactly. Finally!
CS: Speaking of the Parrots, you are really good friends with them, and Diego Garcia helps you record all your albums. How did your two bands get so close?
AP: In fact, we met because they had the band so long before us and we used to go to their gigs. In Madrid, the scene is very very close, like a little village, and everybody knows each other. So when you go twice to a Parrots show, you know them. You smoke a cigarette with them.
“We felt like real musicians –
jamming with these guys that we admired
when we were teenagers.”
— Carlotta Cosials
CS: What’s the music scene in Madrid like?
CC: It’s getting better and better every minute. I mean, we’ve grown up surrounded by musicians and right now, it’s becoming something bigger… it was super strong but super small too.
AP: Super local. Nobody could go and play outside of Spain.
CC: But now it’s working. It’s really working.
CS: So is a lot of the music in Madrid the same sound you and the Parrots have?
AP: Not a lot. But there are five or six garage bands.
CC: Madrid’s not so big as LA or something, so five bands are a lot.
CS: It’s interesting because you sound so much like bands in California doing the lo-fi, garage, surf rock thing. How did you come to your sound?
CC: We love the music that comes from America. Almost all of our influence comes from here, so maybe that’s why our sound has this vibe. But we also have sun in Madrid. We don’t have the beach, but we love it. We love Cadiz. That’s where we are going to record our new album.
CS: Do you have any songs for that yet?
AP: We are recording it in two weeks, so we better have some.
CS: Do you write them on the road?
AP: No, not really. It’s not the only way we know how to do it, but we write at home in Madrid. So every time we were in Madrid, when we weren’t touring or doing interviews, we were always writing. Always.
CS: How do you go about writing your songs? Do you do the music first or the lyrics?
CC: Music first. The last thing is the lyrics.
AP: But sometimes first the idea of what we’re gonna talk about comes, then we find the chords that go with this idea. Then the lyrics.
CC: For example, when we came back from Australia, we had a super strong feeling about that trip. And we said, let’s start writing right now because we’re gonna lose it. It’s seriously deep from inside.
CS: Ana and Carlotta, you were the original members of Deers, and then Amber and Ade came in a little later. How did you decide to become an all-girl band, or was it not a decision?
CC: That was a decision.
AP: But at the same time, we sometimes forget that we were almost gonna ask for gigs as either a four-piece girl band or a two-piece with [backing] musicians. We didn’t want the rest of the world to think anyone else was writing our songs or something. And were sure that would have happened if there were boys in the band.
It’s easier in every way, like a trip is different if you’re all girls versus all guys. This is a way of life. We live more with ourselves and with the other members of the band than with our family or boyfriends or whatever. So I think we made the right choice – personally and just to be girls.
CC: Imagine this band with two girls and two boys. It’s not a pity, but it’s just not the same. So we prefer to keep it a girl thing.
CS: How long have you all been playing music?
Amber Grimbergen: Nine years.
Ade Martin: Fifteen.
CC & AP: Not that many. Four.
AP: We started to play guitar when we started Deers.
CC: She taught me how to play.
CS: Are you all still in school? I know you started the band when you were.
CC: No, we had to quit. We spend one week in Madrid in a month, and that week is for writing songs to keep this craziness going. There’s absolutely no time.
CS: Were you studying music?
All: None of us.
A Madrid-based film production company headed by Carlotta Cosials and Jorge Lion. Carleone has produced music videos for Hinds and The Parrots among others.
CS: Carlotta, you make all the music videos for Hinds with Carleone films. Was that your project before music?
CC: Not before. Carleone Films is two people, a friend of mine [Jorge Lion] and me. We had a lot of millionaire projects, and that’s the only one that has worked a little bit. We both went to this school for video, and I started to do it at the same time that I was rehearsing with Ana. So I was happy with both things. I went to uni, then I’d have rehearsing with Ana, then she was helping me make these videos. Because a production of two people always needs more people.
“We didn’t want the world to think
anyone else was writing our songs.
And were sure that would have happened
if there were boys in the band.”
— Ana Perrote
AP: I think you still have it as a project…
CC: Yeah, I love it!
AP: She’s gonna put out a new video.
CC: Yes. I have to edit it right now, but I have it recorded. It’s a guy from Madrid called Lois. He’s also in this new scene.
AP: She’s had so many offers because of our music videos, but she can’t accept…
CC: I have to refuse them!
AP: Like three.
CC: Big ones. In Spain – one from Barcelona and two from Madrid.
AP: I think once the album is recorded and we spend more than one week in Madrid doing human being things, we’re gonna be able to have a real life.
CS: Has it been exhausting being on tour for so long?
AP: It hasn’t been exhausting being on tour, it’s not having a break from this world and from working. When we’re in Madrid, we are always writing songs or going to get visas at the American embassy or doing shoots and interviews. Almost everything was rehearsing.
CC: 100% of our person right now is on Hinds.
AP: Every minute.
CS: How was South by Southwest?
CC: Exhausting but the most extreme thing we’ve done.
AP: We feel like ninjas now.
CC: We can do anything.
AP: Before when I was tired on tour, I used to stress like, “I’m so tired, and now I have to play.” And I feel like a superhero now. If I am sleeping two minutes before, I can get back to life.
CC: Seriously, seriously. We played 16 gigs in five days.
AP: I’m sleeping for four hours and not showering. Carrying everything. Hurrying.
CC: It was raining two days.
AP: No sound check. Just like, amps broken – to high, too low. Two heavy, metal amps. I feel like a hero.
CS: Do you feel like you’re getting a good response from that?
CC: Yeah definitely. It was the first thing we’ve done in the US and it’s working really well.
AP: So much press and so many people, and everyone wanted to buy t-shirts and whatever else we had.
CS: What’s next for you guys? You have an album coming…
AP: Album coming!
CC: Burgerama’s tomorrow!
AP: We’re opening for the Strokes in June. It’s not a big festival, so we’re opening.
CC: It’s in Hyde Park. It’s huge! You can see “Hinds” on the poster. The Strokes and… Hinds.