An Interview with Hinds: The Deer Become The Headlights

Hailing from Madrid, Spain, Hinds (which means “female deer”) is a refreshing addition to the modern rock scene and people are beginning to take notice. The captivating Spanish quartet—vocalist and guitarist Ana Perrote, vocalist and guitarist Carlotta Cosials, bassist Ade Martin, and drummer Amber Grimbergen—give garage rock new life with their raw, lo-fi sound, enticing melodies and candid lyrics. In the close to two years since their modern formation, the foursome have released their first record, played SXSW and toured with bands such as The Libertines. Prior to embarking on Hinds’ most recent tour, Ade took time to Skype from home and discuss their whirlwind of journey, recording and the reality of being in an all-female band.

Hinds’ debut album, Leave Me Alone, was released in January 2016. With it being your first record, what was the mentality like during the production process?

Recording was actually okay because we have been playing the songs forever, since like a year or something. So it was pretty easy to just play them. The problem came with mixing. That was the toughest thing. We didn’t know you had so many options! Because we kind of knew that we wanted it lo-fi and stuff so that’s why we went to that studio because we recorded everything on tape. So that was something we knew; we wanted everything lo-fi because that was like the singles we had before.

But we didn’t know that lo-fi had so many options even we were just saying lo-fi. So that was the toughest thing. We didn’t know, for example, if we wanted to keep the exact sounds of the singles before, because they were like very amateur. Obviously they were recorded in our rehearsal place so like the voices were super high, you could barely hear the drums, but people still liked that!

When you like a band from the beginning you expect the first album to sound like the beginning. You know what I mean? It’s the first album. Then the second album you expect it to get better and everything, but with the first album you expect what you know already from that band. But at the same time we wanted it to sound better than the singles so it was like, we had a tough time making a decision about that. It was horrible.

In the end we decided to use a little bit of the instruments (mixing) so it sounded a little better but keeping the vibe of the first singles like (the) high voices. We put a little more distortion and stuff like that to make it sound a little more professional but not to keep it too professional. We decided to keep that for the second album so the fans we had before the album have something they recognize.

So mixing was the most horrible thing. And we had to go back and mix again because we finished the album, it was mixed and we were going back home in the train because we were recording it in the south of Spain. So we’re in the train so we were like, “Let’s listen to it!” So we all listened to it and when we all finished we were like, “We have to go back.” Every song felt from another planet. They didn’t seem to be in the same thing so we had to go back and just do what we knew how to do.

The music video for the track “Easy” came out in May. In the video the band is playing, donning disheveled make-up (and what looks like vomit) as the camera spins. Where did the concept come from?

The director John Strong, he’s done like Thee Oh Sees stuff, he’s done very cool stuff. His videos are very like, bloody, they’re very rough and powerful. The good thing is he understood the song very well. That was the best thing about it. Like, he understood what we were talking about which is very important. He managed to use what we were trying to say to make it even more crazy visually and it was perfect. It was even his idea, like he sent us his ideas and everything and we couldn’t say no, it was just perfect.

Actually, our idea was to have like…we’ve always liked “Reptilia” The Stokes’ video. Like it’s so simple but at the same time so well done and so perfect. So we wanted to do something like that. We wanted to be playing but on like a set, not on a stage or something like that. We wanted to be playing a set. He (Strong) managed to use that and the self-destruction thing. So it was perfect.

Being in an all-girl rock band, the four of you have faced everything from skepticism to praise based on gender alone. How do you feel about the way you’re all represented and what does it mean to you?

It’s such a weird thing. I mean, it has good things and bad things going. But the bad things are definitely worse than the good things. It’s really weird. You feel suddenly, being a woman in this kind of business, to say it like that, you feel more alone a little bit. The thing is you get used to it, which is not very nice. You know what I mean?

It’s like you just get used to being surrounded by men, and that’s something we hate. Like I hate looking at a band that’s made of girls, that they’re playing, I hate being shocked by it. I hate it. Because I’m in a girl band and I know what that is like. It’s good because it’s like, “Wow, another girl band! That’s great!” But I hate that feeling too because it’s like, the other way around. Seeing it the other way too.

And not even with just bands. Like you go to a venue and you see a sound engineer is a girl and you’re like, “Wow, it’s a girl!” I don’t even want to have that thought. I just want to see a sound engineer just like I want anyone to see me as a bass player.

You only have a few U.S. dates coming up, so what would you like to say to fans coming out to your show in Philly?

We have a supporting band playing with us, they’re called Sun Club. We toured with them in Europe this January and they’re so so so so cool. We love them so much! They’re the best guys ever. They’re so young, they have so much energy and their music is amazing. So please be there early to see them too! They’re going to be so good!


Hinds’ debut album, Leave Me Alone, is available now. You can catch Hinds performing at Union Transfer in Philadelphia on June 13. For more information, visit their website