Interview: Hinds – 'It's become a "thing" that we are girls, people have to make it clear just in case nobody noticed'
Bassist Ade Martin on the band's international success and their new album, Leave Me Alone
In case your veterinary knowledge isn't up to snuff, here's a crucial fact for your records: 'Hinds' is the word for 'female deer'. And just in case your knowledge of garage rock from Madrid is also a little patchy, the group Hinds were originally called Deers, though they had to change it last year after the threat of legal action from a similarly-named band. Confused? Don't be, it's all sorted now.
'It was a horrible thing that happened', says bassist Ade Martín, 'but now we are really happy with Hinds. We love the way it looks and sounds, but at the time it was tough.'
The strong feminine undertone to the name feels fitting, since the band is made up of four talented women (Carlotta, Ana, Amber and Ade herself), but let's get one thing straight: they are not a girl band, they are a band. Period.
'It's become a "thing" that we are girls' says Ade. 'People have to make it even more clear just in case nobody noticed. It's like they discovered America.
‘It gets pretty annoying sometimes, because we just wanna be a band, and people keep saying [girl group] as though we were a genre. They put us in the same bag as other girl bands that we have nothing to do with musically … It's like, "OK, can you please say something else about me? Am I not a musician? You like my music, do you not? Do I sound like any other musician that isn't a girl?"'
Their sound is indie psych pop / rock with a Californian edge, something that resonates throughout the acts on their label, Burger Records. 'Every band on [the label] is in some way like that sound, of the Californian, American wave. That sound is what we're trying to get close to in a way,' Ade explains.
Though the band is originally from Madrid, Hinds' songs are not written in Spanish, something Ade believes was an obvious choice for the band.
'It made more sense in our heads to sing in English,' she explains. ‘There’s no way you can get to where we’re getting now if you’re not singing in English. We could have done it in Spanish, but nobody would understand. People just aren't used to that. It’s very difficult to communicate in another language that's not English in the music world.'
And for Hinds, the music world is universal indeed. They’re just fresh from a world tour, which saw them support The Libertines, The Vaccines and Black Lips, and play in countries as far afield as Australia, Thailand and America.
Speaking about their international success, Ade says: 'It's a dream for every musician in Spain. No one listens to Spanish music if it's not flamenco – you don't expect a rock band to come out of there.'
But come out of there they did, and with a killer new album – Leave Me Alone – to take on tour. It feels especially significant for the band since all four of them wrote it together.
Originally, the band consisted of only two members: Carlotta and Ana, both of whom played guitar and sang. After recording their first tracks ‘Bamboo’ and ‘Trippy Gum’, which were released on Bandcamp as ‘Demo’, they started to gather steam, and so they recruited the other two members to play drums and bass.
But Ade and Amber are not just backing musicians, they are integral parts of the new band, and as the group has evolved, so has its songwriting process.
‘Sometimes Ana and Carlotta will still write a song together and bring it to rehearsal and we’ll all learn it,’ Ade explains, ‘but a lot of the time the songs come from all of us jamming. There are four different minds now, so that means more new ideas. They don't have to be good or bad, just new.’
These new ideas all have a clear theme, and there is a definite commonality between all songs on the album. 'It's all love songs' Ade explains. 'It's mostly the 12 phases of love that [the band] know. It was written over a whole year – a whole year touring and having so many experiences. I think that year is there. You can feel it.'
And with another full year of touring to come, let's hope that means there's plenty more material for a follow-up.
Hinds tour the UK throughout February.