The day before Hinds very own festival – Party Planet – is due to take place, I hop onto FaceTime with Ana and Amber. And as Carlotta peeps her head round the camera and waves at me frantically, I feel like I’m FaceTiming some of my mates who just moved in together. Because that is what Hinds is, they’re mates. And they make everyone around them their mate. That could be because as soon as Ana and Amber answer they are calling me out for not being there in person. But instead of getting a tour of their new pad through the phone, we are talking about Hinds’ latest album, UK drinking habits, and how this band from Madrid created rock’n’roll.
The band have just travelled from Leeds to London after playing in a church, which was “super loud” according to Amber. But the following day hits new decibels. Party Planet truly took you out of this world, held at EartH in Dalston, Hinds had arranged a full line up of bands, one-off merch and even served up Spanish tapas.
Asking if they were ready for the festival, Ana told me “we were born ready”. As she holds up the wristbands for the following day to the camera for a closer look, it’s easy to see why the guys would be so proud of the work they’ve put in to make this happen. Hinds don’t do anything by half, and live music is part of the raw essence that makes up the band. They explain to me, “We’ve been to so many years going to festivals, we know exactly what bands need at a festival we need to know exactly what the audience needs for festivals so we’re going to try and make it perfect for every single person. This is the beginning of something big for Hinds.”
Speaking of performing their tracks live, Ana explains how the band made an effort to make a more honest second record. “Suddenly when you have to play every night and sing every night lyrics that are so clear about what you are feeling, it is a little bit rougher. But we decided we wanted to that. To sing them every night forever.”
“In the first record, maybe because it was the first record we ever wrote in another language. We were so excited about writing in English and writing lyrics that we thought that the more you build a metaphor, and the more layers you put in the metaphor the more interesting and deep it is. We took a lot of time creating metaphors in an imaginary world. And in the second album, we realised we actually didn’t need to do that. You can be simple with it and be a little bit more honest and straightforward.”
The directness can be seen in ‘British Mind’, a track released in October of last year which explores Hinds as a band for the first time. “[It] was a fun one to write because it wasn’t inside our language of love. It was interesting to feel free to write a single without it having to be part of a bigger thing. And it was really cool because for the first time we talked about Hinds, we talk about touring and being in cities for two seconds. We talk about what people think about us, we talk about what we think of the UK.”
Ana explains, “The more we write the more we realise there are less and less songs where women are the active person, instead of being passive. Whenever you’re singing lyrics, all the girls relate to it by being the one they’re talking about rather than being the ones that are actually talking. We realised that and we purposefully put the word ‘him’, saying the boy as the passive in all these lyrics. We wanted to make it all the clearer with ‘British mind’.” And clearly they did – in the opening of ‘British Mind’, Carlotta sings, ‘I am not the girl they sing a song about / I’m the one who writes the story now / Follow me this is my town / I’ve been here for two hours now.’ The lyrics perfectly epitomises the whirlwind that forms Hinds.
Considering this band just played 17 tour dates in the UK alone, maybe they find it so easy to make each place their home because their home is each other. “It is vital to be best friends. I don’t know how Hinds would be without being friends. Our entire being is based on the fact we’re friends. It’s not easy to live in anyone’s pocket. But we have the best pockets possible because we have a really good relationship, but it’s just not easy to share everything with anyone, to be constantly under the eye of someone.”
Amber says, “You stop having your own life basically. It’s never easy I guess. Touring is really hard, but we have the best-case scenario. Good vibes.” As she grins and peace sign’s the camera.
The busy tour schedule does mean it is hard for them to find time to write, “It was a challenge this summer to write one song, we wrote ‘British Mind’ in-between festivals and it was a big challenge. It was stressful to be honest. I don’t know how people have the time when we’re touring, we’re touring. Maybe if we had a tour bus and we slept whilst driving. But all the time, we’re doing things, designing posters, doing interviews, sleeping, talking to each other about what we’re going to do that night. I never feel like we’re bored. A guitar wouldn’t even fit in the van. I’d have a guitar in Amber’s face.”
Ana continues by explaining how Hinds is a personal band, “I don’t think anyone that is a fan of Hinds doesn’t know who personally Hinds are. We’re that kind of band where the personality is very strong in the records, in the recordings, in the live shows, social media, everywhere. I think you really can tell we’re Spanish in everything we do. Which we’re proud of, but Madrid is a place that first of all is kind of poor so that makes us be in the streets a lot of the time and also the fact its hot means we’re constantly together in the streets. It’s not like in the northern countries when people are sitting on their computers because they don’t wanna go out because it’s so cold. Spain is totally the opposite. We like sharing and talking all the time, constantly talking in the streets together. I think you can tell that not only are we from Spain, but we are from Madrid. Whenever we are [in the UK] and the bar closes at 2am, we are like ‘what?’ We don’t understand. We simply do not understand. But you guys start drinking earlier, that’s something we saw. It’s not because you drink less or we drink more, it’s because you drink at 4pm and at 4pm we’re having the coffee after lunch.” Mid-afternoon espressos might mean you don’t end up peaking after too many Estrellas before 10pm.
Even during their ‘time off’, they are still constantly working. Carlotta’s house is the office, as she has the biggest computer screen. “We go around each other’s houses every day. Mostly because everything you see was designed by Hinds.” Every single thing – the t-shirts, gig posters, the wristbands for Party Planet. “It’s tricky because we would like some kind of help, but first of all paying designers… that’s one reason we’re doing it ourselves. When we tried to have someone else helping us and design things, it often happens that we don’t like it. Everything is so personal and were used to doing every little piece of it that a t-shirt if it is not exactly what we want we feel weird selling it because we know our fans also know that we do everything so I feel like I’m betraying then if I’m selling them a t-shirt that’s not as good as I think it could be. In the end, we prefer obviously when we do it and then there’s never time have 7 meetings with a designer. It’s always like ‘tomorrow we need to deliver this… okay I’ll go to your house and we’ll do it and we’ll stay up ‘til three am’. And we’ll deliver it…”
But hard work is Hinds. As a rock’n’roll band in 2019, “it means working a lot, having a lot of competition, and more parties”. But that’s rock’n’roll isn’t it? And, “We created rock and roll. We love rock and roll, we love being related to rock and roll.” Amber adds, “It’s hard too, I wish people knew how long it takes to set up on drums every night. It’s tricky because it’s not the cool thing right now – rock. It’s not trending in the mainstream. But it makes you want to work harder. And it makes you prouder.”
The upcoming year is just a chance for Hinds to create even more work they’re proud of. With a plan to stop touring and start writing, Ana says, “for the first time we want to take more than two months to write a record and we want to think about what we want to do and have a little break and see where Hinds is going to go. We want to try stuff, change stuff. We want to do a different kind of record, but we don’t even have time to decide what kind of record we want to write.”