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On Pummeling Gender Stereotypes Into Submission & Fully Embracing The DIY Lifestyle
Madrid-based lo-fi, garage quartet Hinds has experienced tremendous publicity since late last year, and it’s still only in its early stages. From being praised by NME and The Guardian to artists like Patrick Carney and Bobby Gillespie, not to mention playing major events like SXSW, Burgerama and Best Kept Secret, among others, Hinds has been moving from one point to the next all while working on their debut album and sticking to their DIY philosophy.
Performer caught up with vocalist and guitarist Ana Garcia Perrote to gain insight of the band’s (which also consists of Carlotta Cosials on vocals and guitar, Ade Martin on bass and Amber Grimbergen on drums) creative process, what it’s been like to embark on a worldwide tour and the importance of doing everything yourself.
Have you always known the type of music that you wanted to play, or was this a gradual process?
We didn’t even know we wanted to do music until we did it (laughs). When Carlotta and I first started, we used to cover classic things, like The Velvet Underground or Bob Dylan. But when we came back together to do our own music, we had a more specific taste of the music we liked and wanted to do, yes—lots of Mac DeMarco, The Black Lips, Shannon and the Clams, King Khan, things like that…
What is your creative process like and how does that eventually transform into a live setting?
We usually go to CC’s (Carlotta Cosials) place to write—just the two of us, with acoustic guitars. We take a lot of time to have good ideas, so we spend like five hours jamming and singing while drinking sangria, then we get desperate because nothing good is coming out, so we go for a walk to buy more sangria and smoke a cigarette and when we come back, if we are lucky, something comes out [editor’s note – this may very well be the most European sentence we’ve ever published]. Then probably another day, we come back and we keep working on that idea, adding and changing things, and when we have something not too shameful, we send it to Ade and Amber, go to the rehearsal place, and all start thinking about how to play it all together!
How do you approach recording and the studio you’re in, as well as the equipment that you use?
We tried to record everything live for every song. We wanted to keep the energy we feel when we play together on the recordings, and we kind of made it, even the solos or riffs were recorded live and at the same time as the rest of instruments. We went to a great studio and had many instruments, but we did almost everything with only three different guitar amps. We used two guitars each, and Ade used a bass and a baritone guitar for a song. It wasn’t very difficult to choose the instruments or amps; it was more difficult determining the mix of the tracks than recording the raw material.
What has the experience been like with working on your debut album?
It has been exciting, but very, very tiring and stressful. As I told you before, we take a lot of time to write songs—we are [extreme] perfectionists in our own way. But since the very beginning, we started to have less and less free time, longer tours and more things to do. We had the dates reserved for recording months before, but in half a year, we toured twice in Europe, America and Australia and also played Thailand and more random gigs. So, there was no material time to write songs, which made us have really long days and short nights, playing against the rules of time and sleep (laughs). But we made it!
This year you’ve partaken in a world tour. What has that experience been like, and how have the crowds differed from your previous ones?
It has been Fucking A! We love traveling and having different crowds everywhere we go. In Europe, we have very mixed audiences, all ages and kind of people. In America, it’s more like wild students getting crazy (laughs). Anyway, every gig and city is a completely different world; I feel like it’s a mistake to do a general summary of continents.
What are the challenges of being an indie band, as well as an all-female band?
We never made this band to change the world [or confront sexism]. But a challenge is to stop being seen as a “girl band” and become a band doing music, like people see boys in music—to change people’s mind, not in a radical way, just make them be less surprised when they see girls on stage.
What is the band’s approach to the DIY lifestyle and general philosophy?
I think we are the most DIY band right now (laughs). We literally try to do EVERYTHING ourselves! We choose the supporting bands, we do all the art, design the merch, and just think about everything all the time. We never ever stopped thinking about the band. We feel like no one is gonna do it the same way as we do it, which is starting to be a problem, because there are more and more things to do and we are less and less available. Plus, there is never good Wi-Fi anywhere (laughs).
What tips do you have for fellow artists regarding promotion, general band business and recording?
Take care of everything; no one is gonna give you anything for free. And there is never enough clean underwear in a tour suitcase.
How do you define success?
Infinite pasta, clean clothes every day, maybe someone reading us in the newspaper…and listening to HINDS!
Hinds’ debut album will be released January 8th on Lucky Number.
Follow on Twitter @hindsband
Leave Me Alone
Standout Track: “Garden”
LEARN MORE at hindsband.com