Hinds started out as a duo: Ana Perrote and Carlotta Cosials. Formerly known as Deers, the girls (now a foursome with Amber Grimberge and Ade Martin) were forced to rethink the name following legal threats from a Canadian band of that name. What started as a couple of ramshackle covers during a trip to the beach has now snowballed into something far more imperative. Essentially, they’ve become one of those bands that you want to be in. Or party with, at the very least.
“I first met Carlotta for the first time ever because our boyfriends were best friends, but her ex-boyfriend was also one of my best friends,” explains Ana. “I remember him telling me he’d met this cool girl at this gig and I that I was really going to like her. We were at his house one night just smoking and stuff and then he asked if he should invite her over. We were only 16 and thought she was so cool because she could drive and was older,” she continues. “So Carlotta came over and the three of us spent the whole night together and it felt so natural. I still think that the pictures from that night are the best we’ve ever had taken.”
While those relationships are no longer, Hinds continue to thrive. We imagine that, for those guys, watching the girls’ success unfold is a bit like when you stumble across pictures of your ex hanging out with people you know on Instagram. Only it’s constant, and y’know, much more infuriating.
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Photograph from the night Hinds met (supplied by the band)
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The band began grabbing attention almost as soon as the first demo dropped and with that, they enlisted new members in the shape of Amber and Ade. “We also knew Ade through an ex-boyfriend and she was a friend of Carlotta’s from school. We met Amber because we were looking for a drummer and it turned out to be really hard to find woman that plays drums and when we met her, suddenly it all came together and we were very lucky. It took a while to find someone but she turned out to be perfect.”
This mention of the search for a female drummer outlines the obvious; Hinds had every intention of being an all-girl band. What they hadn’t planned, though, was for their gender to become a defining quality.
“I don’t think [being an all-female band] is irrelevant, but when we first started out we didn’t know it was gonna be such a big deal,” says Ana. “We never thought that it was going to be a question in every interview and, actually, that it was going to be a problem. We’ve had so many horrible comments from people just for being girls that play music. I like it when we’re asked about how it feels to be in an all girl band, when we’re asked how it’s different and stuff like that, but I don’t like when that is like our presentation card. If you had to choose three words to describe Hinds I hope ‘girls’ wouldn’t be one of them.”
“I’m happy with what we are and now I actually feel like we know enough to change things. We didn’t know it was going to be so tough. We didn’t know we would have people judging the way we dress and how long our hair is, and that people would say only got where we are because we’ve been sucking dicks or whatever. Seriously we get it all the time. A lot of people think if we are successful it’s only because we’re girls or it’s because of the way we look. People don’t even believe that we write our own music. Well not necessarily our lyrics because I think that they are clearly written by girls but we have a lot of people saying that we are a product created by our manager or whoever. When we first started in Madrid we were supported by our friends in bands and they were all boys and people would say it was just because we were their little sisters or their girlfriends or whatever. We got no credit for anything we did. Some people just can’t seem to believe that this is all us and that we are doing what we want to do.”
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While they may be receiving a sexist backlash from certain places, it’s clear that worldwide the band’s undeniable charm and contagious energy has people hooked. But surprisingly, Ana explains that while their success in many countries is evident, the same cannot be said for the one they live in.
“The most negativity we get comes from Spain. Spain really can’t accept us. Every time we play in Madrid for example we always say we want to try and have a really great set and we always get big crowds. They dance, they sing and seem to be having a great time but then the reviews say something totally different. No other Spanish bands really do what we’re doing and actually leave Spain. I don’t know why it’s like that. The normal thing in Spain is you’re a musician for 20 years and then you release an album and then another and you get the same press over and over again. You’re big but it’s like a fish bowl. It’s all about the same big bands and the festival headliners are always the same. They don’t have things like BBC where bands with less than 10,000 likes on Facebook can play. You really have to be huge to get any attention.”
“So they really don’t understand what’s going on with us and I think it’s partly because we haven’t needed their press to get where we are. They also think that because we’re one of the only Spanish bands going out into the world, everyone should be happy with what we’re doing because we’re representing Spain. But mostly I think it’s because we are girls and we are young and we’re getting somewhere fast. It makes us sad because we love Spain so much and we’re always saying such great things about Spain as a country and everything we are was born there. We are so proud to be from Madrid but we can’t say the same about the music industry there. But I prefer being small in Spain and big in the rest of the world anyway”.
Anyone that has caught sight of them either in person, on stage or through the mediums of social media will have taken note of the fact that they’re clearly having a ball. Of course, any popular band would tell you that it’s not all gigs and parties, but they’re not letting any of the day-to-day band admin suck any fun out of it. “I honestly feel like it’s funnier now, or maybe crazier, I don’t know,” Ana laughs. “The best part is that we’re all together. Seriously, I don’t know how these solo artists do it. Because it’s not even just the playing, it’s all the promo and whatever else, I don’t know how I would do it without other people to complain with or laugh with. If we are in the shit, we’re all in the shit so it’s funny shit”.
They’re all still in their early 20s and Ana’s aware that their youth has had its benefits. ”I think that being young has really helped us in terms of giving us time. We have friends in that bands have to think about jobs and paying the rent and being adults. We were studying when it all began so all we had to do was quit. It all takes so much time and so much money. If I had to pay rent at the same time I could never have worked on this project.”
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On the topic of money, Ana freely admits that this is something the band are yet to see much of. “To be honest we still haven’t been paid, I haven’t seen a fucking euro. Can you believe that? We’ve been signed with the label since June or something but haven’t seen a single euro. But I think it’s just because of the way we do things. We’re so new and we have so much going on sometimes and we’re always in such a rush that we say yes, sign contracts and move onto the next thing. Then we realised we didn’t ask for the money, we’re such a mess. It’s horrible. We shouldn’t forget about it because it is a big deal but we forget so much.”
In all fairness to them, it doesn’t take a genius to understand where Ana is coming from. The past year and a half have seen Hinds touring relentlessly, partying determinedly and of course, recording their debut album, ‘Leave Me Alone’. Needless to say there’s been little time for the small print.
In true Hinds fashion, Ana doesn’t attempt to curb her enthusiasm when discussing her highlights on the record. “The best track to record was definitely ‘Garden’, the first song we recorded in the studio” she begins. “Sometimes we feel like a recording is so good that we might not be able to play it that good live, and that happens with that song. ‘Warts’ was the only song that remained the same from when we recorded to when we mixed it. We also really like ‘And I will send your flowers back’. It’s quite a risky one because it’s a bit weird and the structure doesn’t follow a path. There’s only one guitar and one baritone bass and no vocals but we feel like it’s the most sincere out of them all and if you feel it then you’re really gonna feel it.”
“We recorded in a studio in the south of Spain called Paco Loco,” Ana continues. “It’s a great studio and we could have done a super produced album but it wouldn’t be the same. When some people listen to artists for the first time, they don’t look into the old demos or EPs so we decided we needed to present something DIY and lo-fi on the first album so that sound stays in our history.” ‘Leave Me Alone’ is out now and it’s true: the record sounds every bit as organic, truthful and charismatic as anything you’ve heard from them in the past. Appropriate, really, when as people they come across almost exactly the same.
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Words: Maya Rose Radcliffe
Photography: Anna Victoria Best
Additional photography: The night Hinds first met (supplied by the band)