Hinds is a band that knows feelings. They sing about relationships and the spectrum of feelings around them, and the camaraderie between the band members make you feel like you do when you’re out with your best friends. On this episode, Hinds talks about their growth since their debut album, the themes they always come back to, and how their friendship shapes their songwriting.
If we were feeling sad, we used it. If we were feeling furious, we used it. I’m really pleased to have suffered, in a way, so I could write about it.
Hinds – Holograma – Single
Hinds – Bamboo – Leave Me Alone
Honeyblood – Babes Never Die – Babes Never Die
The Wharves – The Strike – Electa
Lilac Daze – Lonely Eyes – Lilac Daze
Julia: So I know you’ve just released the deluxe edition of Leave Me Alone and that has two new songs, which are covers on it: Holograma and When It Comes To You. Can you tell us a little bit about those songs and why you decided to record and release those?
Carlotta: Yeah. Um, actually it has more songs. I mean the deluxe edition has more songs but we released those now because we wanted to basically. But they were the first covers in the band. Like when it was only Ana and me, we started to play again together, and we first covered Holograma and When It Comes To You. So it’s like very sentimental songs. They more or less created the band.
Julia: And I’ve heard, in the past I’ve always heard that you’ve been influenced by US bands like the Strokes and bands like that. But I know that one of those songs on the new record is by Los Nastys, a Spanish band, who you’ve been influenced by. Are there other Spanish bands or Madrid bands that have influenced you?
Amber: Yeah, there are a lot. Novedades Carminha. Mujeres.
Carlotta: There’s like a good scene in Spain. Like it’s not very big, but it’s so strong, and we love it. We love Spain.
Julia: And I know that there are also demos on the deluxe edition, can you talk a little bit about those? I heard those were like, you recorded them on your phones I think when you were just playing around with the songs. Can you talk about how you… the process of how you record the songs?
Carlotta: These demos were put in the record—actually we shouldn’t call them demos because they’re a different thing. They’re when you have a song finished and you prerecord it in a place to practice for the studio, for the proper recording. But these ones are… the first moment that we came out with the song. So there’s no lyrics there’s no… it’s like a different song.
Julia: Some of the songs on Leave Me Alone like Easy or Warts they’re not all very happy songs in the lyrics, but they kind of sound happy, and when you play them it’s always like a fun show. Is that a contrast that you kind of did on purpose, or how do you balance sometimes having less happy songs but still keeping it upbeat?
Carlotta: I love sad songs and I really think, I mean, we wrote about, for this album, exactly what we were feeling at that moment. If we were feeling sad, we used it. If we were feeling furious, we used it. I’m really pleased to have suffered, in a way, so I could write about it.
But the thing is, for the lyrics, we do it Ana and me. So we’re two people, and we always talk about it out loud. So you never get frustrated in a hole. There’s always another person that answers your thing and is trying to help you and is trying to make you feel better. So I think that’s the reason why our sounds are never like “I’m so sad I’m going to die” you know what I mean? “…I want to die” or something like that. There’s always hope I think and it’s because of friendship and writing the lyrics together.
Julia: And are they all about your own experiences that you’ve all had?
Carlotta: Yes, ours or friends. Close friends.
Julia: I’ve seen in other interviews that you’ve said sometimes looking back on the album now there are things that you’re more critical of, or would do differently. Do you think that’s just because you look back and you’re like “oh, I was so young then,” you know, inevitably looking back and thinking? Or do you think there are things you would do differently now?
Amber: We’ve learned so much.
Carlotta: Yes. I mean, I think it’s a little bit like that. I bet if you look at your job of one year ago…
Amber: Or your clothes, or whatever.
Carlotta: Exactly. Your face, or your style or whatever it’s like “Yeah, I was younger and I was less experienced” and all that stuff. So yeah, we definitely were very very babies when we recorded the album. But I mean, we knew that we were letting ourselves be like that. That’s the thing. It was our decision to leave mistakes and stuff. I mean, we had the option of not doing it, you always have the option of autotuning, you know what I mean? But we of course didn’t want to go that way.
Julia: What do you want to do with your music next? Do you think you’ll stick to love and relationship themes, or is there anything new you want to explore?
Carlotta: I think it’s probably always going to be about humans and about feelings. I mean, I don’t see us doing something more political or historical or…no. I think rock n roll is a way to communicate yourself and we don’t want to mix it with politics or something. It’s just art itself. You don’t have to contaminate it, in my opinion, with other stuff. You can be very, very political in the way you are, in the way the band is, in the way this product is. I think you really can tell what our position in politics and stuff, about freedom or not freedom and fairness and everything. So I don’t think we have to put it in the lyrics.
Julia: You’re a band of all women and I know, on this tour anyway, you have a woman tour manger. Is that unusual, to have a woman tour manager?
Julia: …and is it different?
Carlotta: I think it’s better.
Amber: Yeah, it’s easier.
Carlotta: Here in America our whole team is women, all of them. Well no, not the booking agent. But…
Amber: the label…
Carlotta: …the tour manager…
Amber: …the front of house.
Carlotta: the front of house, the sound engineer is a girl too. So here there are so many women in music, it’s so cool. We don’t have that much in Europe, at all.
Julia: Is there anything on this tour that you’re doing differently? Or is there anything special that you’ve been experiencing on this tour?
Carlotta: We’ve not been sleeping on floors anymore. [laughs]
Amber: We’re not sleeping.
Carlotta: Exactly. And, no nothing, just that. I mean, the venues are bigger, and you have been working all the time so you get bigger. And I’m feeling that the fan phenomenon is crazy right now, for real. I don’t know what happened but they freak out so much more.
Kate: We saw 3 fans sitting outside.
Carlotta: Yeah, they came from New York. They saw us yesterday too.
Kate: Oh wow, that’s crazy.
Carlotta: It’s nuts.
Amber: We’re playing a lot of cities for the first time too.
Carlotta: Phoenix, Detroit… Yes hitting cities for the first time is always cool.
Julia: Is it different playing at bigger venues?
Carlotta: I think you got to, like, you got to be more ready. Because in a smaller venue you have almost everything under control. You can catch every single face of the venue, and if there is a mosh pit and stuff you can manage it. But suddenly you’re playing in a venue with 1,000 people and you’ve got to be stronger, you’ve got to be more things than at a small venue. You know what I mean? I think that sucks.
Once you play at a festival or something, a festival is totally different, it’s a different thing. But speaking of venues that you can see the faces in both, but you can’t reach the faces where you’re playing, and they have paid for you, you really have a commitment with your audience. I think it’s more difficult to play bigger venues. Makes sense, you have more hearts to touch.
Julia: And is there anything coming up that you’re excited to do?
Carlotta: Writing, yes, finally. We’re going to stop touring and we’re going to write in January and February. New songs, yeah.
Julia: And do you have any idea of when you’re going to release those?
Carlotta: We’d love it to be in 2017.
Julia: Very cool, well thanks so much.