HINDS have mastered a raw and playful sound all their own. Debut album, ‘Leave Me Alone’ is twelve charmingly lo-fi tracks inspired by contemporary American garage rockers like Mac DeMarco, Ty Segall and The Black Lips – is an exciting first look at to the Spanish quartet who are pioneering the burgeoning indie music scene in Madrid.
Carlotta and Ana met through the band of their then-boyfriends. Sometime later, they went on holiday together and picked up guitars themselves and started playing. That was 2011, but in 2013, they got serious and began writing their own songs. A year later, they recruited Ade and Amber, and the band was born. The brief years since have seen a name change due to legal reasons, a host of well received debut tracks, becoming the first Spanish band to play a main stage at Glastonbury and the release of their debut album in January.
With the band in Cambridge to play a sold out show, a continuing theme on their current tour, bass player Ade Martin took to some time to discuss the band, Madrid’s music scene and The Strokes with us…
At the time of writing, ‘Leave Me Alone’ is just about to come out, what is this pre-release period of time like for a band?
Preparing the release and getting more and more nervous every day and feeling your life is going to change in a way.
Were the songs written specifically for the record or have they been knocking around for a while?
Both really. The thing is that since the beginning we knew we’d want to have a record so everything we wrote we knew it was gonna be on it. And as we’ve been touring so much we didn’t have 50 songs to choose from, we had the 12 songs you can listen to in the album and the songs released before it haha.
How was the recording process for the album?
It was great but tough. It was the first time we ever recorded in a real studio so we had to learn very, very fast as we only had 10 days in the studio. It was great having our friend Diego as a producer and Paco Loco as engineer. They helped us so much and were patien. They also made us be more punk than we were about the recordings and everything!
Is there a specific theme or concept running through most of the songs on ‘Leave Me Alone’?
What was the hardest track on the record to finish and why?
‘Fat Calmed Kiddos’. We had been playing it almost since the beginning and we don’t know what happened but when we started mixing it we couldn’t figure how to make it right and make it sound the way we imagined it. We did it in the end, but it took us a very long time.
We’re most looking forward to hearing ‘Castigates En El Garnero’ live, which track off the album is your favourite to play live?
Wow coooool! Mine is definitely ‘Castigates En El Garnero’ too. I love the way it sounds live and everyone gets pretty crazy.
Do you ever write material with an eye to how it will sound live?
Mmm it depends, at the beginning we wrote songs to play them live cause we didn’t have many for the live shows so that’s what we thought about when writing them. But later on they were thought more for the album so it was the other way around, we have to change a little bit of some songs for the live shows.
As a band, are you constantly working on new ideas for new material or are you going to get all the debut album touring out the way before thinking about the next release?
Well, both really. We never write while touring, we never find a moment and we’re used to doing it at home. But when we’re home (not very often) we try to have a moment to start coming up with ideas.
Is the writing process quite democratic within the band?
Well, it depends. At the beginning it used to be. When we started touring we didn’t have much time to go to the rehearsal place to jam and be there for hours so Carlotta and Ana started writing at Carlotta’s place. But we still write our own instrument parts each.
How did the HINDS story start?
Ana and Carlotta met first. They started playing covers and when they started writing and recording their own songs 2 years ago, they realized they needed a bass player and a drummer so they found Amber via Facebook and I was their best friend and knew how to play bass!
What was the music scene like where you grew up?
Well, we all discovered the music scene in Madrid when we started going to bars and clubs but all we saw were local bands and maybe once a month a band we liked from another place in the world.
The thing is that most bands who are touring Europe don’t come to Madrid, they go to Barcelona because it’s easier to get there from France, so most bands would just go there and then go to another country. So the only way we had to see the bands we liked was either traveling or going to festivals in the summer. I once went to Germany just to see The Strokes
Your sound is clearly influenced by American music, but how much, if at all, is your music (whether it be sounds or lyrics) influenced by Madrid?
Of course. We listen mostly to American bands, but Madrid has a very special feeling and way of living which is reflected in everything we do, even music.
How has Madrid and the rest of Spain taken to the attention you’ve gotten from the UK and American press?
Well, it depends. Some people are taking it great and some horrible. Spaniards are very passionate people and like to have an opinion about everything and we like to talk a lot. There’s a saying about it: 1 Spaniard, 3 opinions.
Why has it taken so long for a band to break out of Madrid?
I think it’s because we’ve never been part of the industry… 7 years ago people didn’t use social networks like we do now so bands depended on the press to be known and no one thought of Spain as an interesting country about music. We were lucky we live in this moment when you upload 2 songs to the internet and maybe a person who writes for the NME will see it. And you can be in Madrid, Albuquerque or the North Pole.
What is your biggest aim of 2016?
Keep Rock n Roll alive.
HINDS play the Cambridge Junction on February 15th
‘Leave Me Alone’ is out now