Breaking Down The Norms; An Interview with Amber Grimbergen of Hinds

The members of Hinds have not had the distinct pleasure of getting anything easily.  Take a look at how the band was conceived: Ana Garcia Perrote and Carlotta Cosials met when their respective boyfriends were in the same group.  Their roles were to be mere spectators – nothing more, nothing less.  Both Perrote and Cosials saw this treatment as despicable and were not going to allow this traditional practice in their hometown of Madrid to go on anymore.  The ladies ditched their boyfriends and embarked on a road trip with guitars in hand and ideas needing to be written down.  Perrote and Cosials performed two shows; one was a success, but the other didn’t go as well as they hoped.  The slight backslides eventually had the duo quit playing music altogether for a couple of years.

In 2013, Perrote and Cosials impulsively decided to give music another chance, which turned out to be a blessing.  After recruiting Ade Martín and Amber Grimbergen, the group feverishly went to work.  Knowing that they had to be relentless with breaking through the narrative of the lack of non-female led bands in Madrid, Hinds rose to the challenge.  The payoff has resulted in the possesses becoming one of the biggest indie bands to come from Spain.

Two years after Hinds’ breakout debut album Leave Me Alone was released, the band has come out with their sophomore effort I Don’t Run.  The latest album showcases a more focused group, having learned about what works for them and from the mistakes that they have made from the past.  Lyrically, there’s a heightened sense of wanting to be braver than they have ever been before.

We recently caught up with Hinds own Grimbergen to talk more about the recording of I Don’t Run, empowerment, and more.

Was there a sense of urgency to get new material out after the success seen with the debut?

Of course, we’ve been touring non stop almost since the very beginning. We only can write songs when we are in Madrid, in the rehearsal place or at home, so we had to block a few months to write the next album.

There’s such an empowering feeling that comes along with the band’s lyrics. What is your vision when it comes to putting together songs?

Ana and Carlotta take a lot of care of the lyrics indeed. Lyrics and vocal melodies are the last things we add to the songs. This album lyrics are more honest, like more “straight to the point” haha, I think it’s easier to feel related to the words of this album that the lyrics of Leave Me Alone, where they used more metaphors.

What did you take away from working with Gordon Raphael and Shawn Everett?

With Gordon Raphael, as we co-produced the album with him, I feel like we have properly learned how to behave in a studio haha. I think working with Gordon made us feel for more confident as musicians. Honestly, we didn’t have much of a musical background when we started, none of us had played in bands before, and we’ve been learning on the way, but with Gordon, it was awesome because he trusted us a lot.  He believed in our decisions.

With Shawn, we discovered a whole new way to mix an album. Well, it was also the first time we mixed an album in the same room as the engineer haha but, he took so much care of every sound, we were amazed. Also, he asked us to look for pictures that could describe the sound of each song and that was that has an idea.

With both albums, there is a substantial wave of DIY-influence within the tracks. How important is it for the band to maintain that sound?

It’s how we started, with Bamboo and Trippy Gum. I don’t think we chose that DIY sound those songs, but it was just the sound that came out with the resources Ana and Carlotta had when they recorded those songs, and from then it’s the sound we feel more identified, so we try now to respect our root a little bit haha

Within the band, there are various personalities that each possesses. With the vigorous touring since putting the band together, how do you keep each other going and not having so much in-fighting?

I think we learned how to be as empathic as possible with each other. The key is to put the others before yourself. We still have stupid fights though! But they are more fights about “who’s been sitting in the front for six hrs and who has sat in the back of the van” and who’s going first to the shower haha.

 

The latest album was written back in Madrid, where the band is based. Why wasn’t another location to write discussed?

It’s just the way we work when we write we need to be 100% focused on that. On tour, we focus 100% on the shows, and when we are in Madrid, we spend hours and hours in our rehearsing space.

Was it challenging to spend time as you did on the recording process for I Don’t Run? I can imagine that all of you were wanting to get back out on the road.

We went twice to the studio for I Don’t Run, the first time we were there for…14 days I think? And yes, you go crazy but luckily we love Paco Loco’s studio, it’s in the south of Spain so the weather is awesome and the proper studio is the best too. We went on tour in between both of the times we went to the studio, so that made us come back with fresh ideas. But yes, we are so so so excited now to go back on the road!!!

What was the vision going into the writing process for the new album?

We had a “mood-board,” so we thought of melodies and lyrics depending on the mood we wanted, we tried to cover all the different moods for the album, even though sometimes we get sad lyrics with a happy melody but I find that very cool haha.

Having played some shows in the States, what has been your takeaway from touring here?

This tour made us relive how awesome the crowds in America are. We have known so many people that drive for a lot of hours to see a show, and I find that soooo flattering haha we appreciate that so much. Also relived how big that country is!! I think this was the best way to prepare ourselves for the rest of the year

What are some of the long-term goals that the band want to reach?

To change the world and save rock and roll.

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