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An Interview with Carlotta Cosials of Hinds

29 February 2016

Photo by Ana Perrote

On the heels of releasing their debut LP “Leave Me Alone” (Mom+Pop Records here, Lucky Number there) and selling out a string of shows in the UK, Hinds will find themselves back on US shores come March 9. The Spanish garage/indie rock band were first featured in issue 77 of The Big Takeover and with their first record out and the band touring extensively to support it, now would be a good time as any to share the entire interview with Carlotta Cosials (guitar/vocals) from October 2015. Thanks again to Jaclyn Ulman with Press Here, Ana Garcia Perrote for the candid pics and, of course, Carlotta for taking time from a hectic schedule.

James Broscheid: First, welcome back to North America! How’s the road treating you so far? How are the Glass Animals fans reacting to your music? By all accounts on social media, there is so much anticipation for your debut album. Is the band enjoying the moment? I remembered when you starting streaming “Garden” which now has over 123,000 plays on SoundCloud! Pretty good sign!

Carlotta Cosials: Hola, hola, hola everyone!!! Carlotta here texting you from Tulsa, Oklahoma! All this is incredibly exciting for us, we are honestly digging the Midwest; the deep America! Every show is completely different from the other. Last night the crowd started to yell, asking for one more song! We were the supporting, unknown band! It felt great, we are having a big time here. It’s funny because we don’t want this part of the tour to end because we love Glass Animals but, at the same time, we can’t wait to headline (our own tour) and do smaller venues with all the sweating and wildness with our pals Public Access TV. Oh god, viva America!!!

JB: I know Hinds, (then Deers), was formed by you and Ana (guitar/vocals) in 2011. How did you two get together initially? Also, how did Ade Martin (bass) and Amber Grimbergen (drums) become members of the band?

CC: Yes, correct. The band started with Ana and me, honestly, just because we wanted to. When we recorded “Bamboo” and “Trippy Gum” (aka the “Demo” 7”) we realized we were going to need a bass player and drummer. So we begged Ade, who was a mutual friend before, to play bass with us. We met Amber via the Internet. Ha, simple but true! The writing process is different for every song. We trust in everyone’s taste as much as in ours but all the lyrics and melodies are on Ana and me.

JB: From what I have seen, the band is always in giddy, partying moods when shooting videos and playing live. How do maintain that spirit and energy? You look like you are enjoying every second! You’ve been labelled “the most easy-going rock group on Earth” by Fader Magazine. Is that an accurate assessment?

CC: Ha! We do love life and we really love what we are doing but we do have sad or tired moments too! We are very good at being in a good mood but we are still human beings that cry and get upset!

JB: There is a terrific, low-fi/garage rock scene in this country with artists like Deerhunter, Ty Segall, and Mac Demarco leading the way amongst many others. There’s obviously a similar movement in Spain with The Parrots, yourselves and even Catalan band Aias. Are there any other influences on your writing/playing style? I ask because after hearing “Leave Me Alone” for the first time, I immediately thought of ’50’s greats Link Wray and Duane Eddy (without the horns!) and ’60’s garage rock like The Seeds, The Music Machine and even the ramshackle nature of Brazilian psych band Os Mutantes.

CC: Oh, we love Os Mutantes! We also love sounds from the past like The Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan but at some point in our lives we kind of took the decision to support and listen to/appreciate the bands of nowadays. It is very easy to get stuck in the past so I guess our sound could remind you of older bands but it’s not on purpose! We write the music we love to listen to and we share it the way we’d love to receive things from a band we admire. We’ve been music lovers for so many years and not musicians so we trust in our tastes as much as possible.

JB: I have to thank you for turning me on to The Parrots! Are there any other bands/artists out of Spain (or anywhere else for that matter) that you can recommend or that have influenced you?

CC: Sure! Los Nastys are like the big brothers of the scene in Madrid. They started long ago and I think everyone in Madrid has been to (and survived!) at least on of their gigs. Then you have new stuff coming out like Lois, (a solo project recorded all on tape in his bedroom); his music is addictive! Not from Madrid but inside the same, young vibe is Public Access TV (the guys we are touring with while headlining America). They’re great songwriters and maybe even better performers. The kind of band that when you see on stage they give you back faith in music. They make us want to improve and hit the stage with more passion.

JB: What made you decide to re-record “Castigadas En El Granero” for the LP? “Bamboo” sounds the same as the 7” version, am I wrong?

CC: You are right, ha! Bamboo sounds exactly the same. We wanted to keep the completely raw, original sound of that recording. Well, it is mastered now but nothing else! We re-recorded Granero because we never really 100% liked the original version. We wanted it to be more like how we play it live at shows.

JB: I know you took it in stride when receiving the letter to change the band’s name. I was wondering, did the lawyer (representing Montreal band, The Dears) ever elaborate on what “confusion” was created by naming your band Deers? After all, Deers and The Dears are not even the same thing! If it’s worth anything, Hinds is a very clever alternative! Funny, I recently caught Canadian band Viet Cong in Cincinnati where protestors were out front chanting and holding signs that read “change your name”. Things are crazy on this continent!

CC: I know! I know! It’s frustrating! We told him that the music, the image, style, nor personality … nothing was confusing because we are so far from being similar. It was useless, we had to change our name. We had to do it. We love Hinds now as much as we loved Deers.

JB: I read an article that rumored the “Barn” single was recorded using only your mobile phones. Is that true and, if so, how the hell did you pull that off?

CC: Shit, that’s not true! I thing the Guardian said that and that’s why everyone believed it. What we meant in that moment is that we always record our own songs with our mobile phones and keep listening to them all the time. I even did a CD for my car to listen to while driving! It’s so useful to us. A lot of backing vocals and guitar solos come out because of this.

Photo by Ana Perrote

JB: Excitable energy can be just as heart-felt as any ballad or sad bastard music as long as it lacks pretension. Now that the title of your debut LP is out in the world, are we to assume the band is beginning to embrace more aspects go hurt/pain? Like how much love and being in relationships suck sometimes? I love “And I Will Send Your Flowers Back.”

CC: Even though the album is related to love, the title is not. The more we are getting into the “music world”, the more opinions we get about everything. “Do this”, “do that”, “you can’t do that in a song”,“you can’t do that on a release”, blah, blah, blah. Most of the time, you get advice from “professionals” that are supposed to know how all this works and they are supposed to know what is going to happen. Even from friends or from people we don’t know! Sometimes people criticize us and think they’re doing us a favor. Sometimes we get it, we understand. We have showed ourselves to the world as a band that comes from nowhere and everything has come to us by chance but c’mon, not anymore. We are new to this but we’re not stupid. So in some ways it is very difficult to keep your mind free from this and do what you want to do. So yeah, the title Leave Me Alone was born out of this.

JB: What made Hinds so instantly refreshing is that you reminded me not to take things too seriously. After hearing Garden for the first time, the band seems to be getting more and more comfortable with the whole process of writing and recording. I find the group fascinating because, from the outside, you’re not too tight, or polished. The vocals are off-key and it seems like you’re still learning your instruments. None of these qualities are bad things because I cannot stop playing your songs! Did any of you play instruments in your youths?

CC: Amber has played drums since she was 9 years old. Ade started to play bass with the band but has known guitar since the age of 10. But yeah, Ana and me have never really been guitar players. We were straight A students at least and played on the basketball team!

JB: Was your approach to recording the album different to what has been released thus far? Did Diego Garcia (from The Parrots) help out with production for the record?

CC: Yeah, of course, Diego was the producer! It has been the first big thing he’s done and we were all learning the proper process of recording and mixing. I’m sure if we could record the album right now it would be way different from what we did in April (2015). APRIL!!! It’s so far away! We are better musicians now, he’s a better producer and we are all better people even!

Hinds in the USA – the second part of their world tour:

March 9 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom (w/ Goodbye Honolulu) SOLD OUT
March 10 – Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall (w/ Goodbye Honolulu)
March 13 – Atlanta, GA – Mammal Gallery (w/ Goodbye Honolulu)
March 14 – New Orleans, LA – Hi-Ho Lounge (w/ Goodbye Honolulu)
March 15 thru 19 – Austin, TX – SXSW
March 20 – San Antonio, TX – Burger Records Hangover Fest
March 22 – Denver, CO – Lost Lake Lounge (w/ Swmrs)
March 24 & 25 – Boise, ID – Treefort Music Fest
March 26 – Portland, OR – Holocene (w/ Cotillon)
March 27 – Seattle, WA – Sunset Tavern (w/ Cotillon) SOLD OUT
March 29 – San Francisco, CA – The Rickshaw Shop (w/ Cotillon) SOLD OUT
April 1 – Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex (w/ Cotillon)

Live photos by James Broscheid