Hinds, Hinds, Hinds. If you didn’t get the memo, everyone loves this all-female garage-rock foursome. While they’ve already charmed the world with their don’t-give-a-shit, do-everything-possible attitude, they’re just getting started. In between release-party-hopping for their debut album, lead singer and guitarist Carlotta Cosials caught up with Glamcult for a conversational round trip about what it means to be “rock and roll soldiers”.
Hinds (fka Deers) bring back that youthful culture lost to everyone who takes themselves too damn seriously. The spontaneous perfection of this Madrid-based ensemble reassures us that you don’t need to look your best to be your best, and that songs governed strictly by harmony—or key—are as flat as a boring conversation. Before their 25th birthdays, Carlotta Cosials, Ana García Perrote, Ade Martín and Amber Grimbergen learned that life has three certainties: best friends, bad days and opinionated onlookers.
Even fearless, DIY-spirited rockers experience down moments. Like all of us, they too are subject to negative energies—but for them, there is the music: “I think about Bamboo or I think about the album and I think this is worth it, completely worth it,” Cosials confirms. And for those other off days or disastrous gigs? “You look to your sides, and you look at each other, and it’s like, at least I’m here with my friends.” It’s this best-friend phenomenon that makes Hinds both unmistakable and irreplaceable. Rock royalty like The Libertines, Glass Animals, The Vaccines and Black Lips—bands Hinds have supported over the last few years—clearly agree.
The bond between Cosials, Perrote, Martín and Grimbergen is strengthened by disparity. For every personality type, there’s a Hinds’ member. Perrote is the most secure; Grimbergen “super transparent” and Martín “more balanced”. And Cosials herself? “I’m not going to talk about myself because I think it’s going to be weird,” she says. Fair enough…
The (now) quartet began as a duo comprising Cosials and Perrote. A cocktail of breakup gloom, beach getaway, two guitars and no Wi-Fi ignited the girls’ interest in starting a band in 2011. It gave them a new purpose—not to mention a new pastime, since neither had previous experience. Fast-forward three years and the pair exploded on Bandcamp after releasing Demo with tracks Bamboo and Trippy Gums. Martín and Grimbergen joined soon after on bass and drums respectively, to expand Hinds’ sound.
Before your jealousy bubbles over at the fact that they went from beach guitar-strumming to SXSW, Glastonbury Festival and Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, heed their warning: “All our heart, all our sweat, all our time—even money—and all our brains have been completely, totally in this album, for this album, to this album,” Cosials explains. Leave Me Alone, their debut album released earlier this year, backs up the investment with attitude. As the title suggests, the girls don’t want to be bothered by anyone. If you have a suggestion for Hinds on how they can be more this or more that, the hotline is not open for your calls.
As the first Spanish band to take over one of Glastonbury Festival’s main stages, Hinds have reason to celebrate. Madrid’s thriving garage-rock scene doesn’t usually draw much international fanfare—although it was this tight-knit community that practically raised the members of Hinds. For instance, Diego Garcia, front man of The Parrots, not only produced all of their tracks but also joined Hinds with his full band for joint projects. We hope some of the girls’ favourite Spanish bands, including The Parrots, Mujeres, Los Nastys, Lois and El Ultimo Vecino, will benefit from Hinds the door they’ve propped open.
Leave Me Alone is as much a modern anthem as it is a vintage collectible. The sound takes you back to 1960s chill town or 1990s raw rock with songs like San Diego and Castigadas En El Granero. The album arouses the urge to either go on a summer road trip or leave your desk job (if you have one). But the subtleties in the lyrics ground their music in the contemporary. Indulging such details seems, to Cosials, like “uncovering a magic trick or something.” So we’ll leave the sorcery behind and focus on the process.
“It’s weird because inspiration has nothing to do with how many hours you spend working on the thing,” Cosials begins. “Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t. So when you’re in a rush and you really need a chorus for tonight you’re fucked up. You’re fucked up.” When Hinds’ popularity in 2015 left the girls with a 133-gig schedule, not much time remained to create Leave Me Alone. Cosials and Perrote waited until returning to Madrid to cook up the lyrics for the entire group. A state of urgency emerged for three reasons: 1.) The studio booking in April 2015 was set; 2.) Not everything was finished; 3.) Emotions eventually evaporate. “We didn’t want to lose the feelings we had and we just wanted to use them,” Cosials says. “[If] we were feeling more sad, or more furious, or more tired or just jet-lagged or whatever, we just used it in the writing.” Back in Madrid, the original duo took bits of their lives and shaped them into something tangible.
First things first. “We talk about the images we want [in Spanish]—if we want to be super focused or if we want to be super general and more poetic or if we want to be more dreamy or more realistic.” Nothing is off limits for Cosials and Perrote, including more intimate thoughts. “If I’m feeling something, I’m telling Ana. And if Ana is feeling something, she’s telling me,” Cosials admits. Sharing helps the girls avoid the “big artist ego” that can so easily cut through a group of young musicians. Translating your emotions from Spanish to English, then to lyrics and finally to a track with instrumentals and structure, is more comparable to cooking than baking: it’s exact… enough. However, the result does not always turn out golden on first attempt.
When Hinds came together to finish Garden, a track from their latest album, something wasn’t right. After nine hours spent searching for a chorus, half of the band called it quits. At 10pm, only Cosials and Perrote remained to give it one last go. And by midnight, in a cloud of exhaustion, the duo succeeded. “When your body is super, super, super off, and it’s only your mind and heart working, I don’t know why but I guess your senses are weaker, so you just open yourself more easily.”
Cosials sums Hinds up flawlessly when she talks about role models. “We take a little bit of other people and I think that’s cool, because in that way you’re not trying to imitate anybody, but at the same time you’re making your own path.” Hinds are more than just a debut album. They represent a jamboree of fresh air that shows the world that, when it comes to their life and their music, these girls really do know best.