Spanish four-piece HINDS (fka Deers) first burst into America at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW), playing more than a dozen shows over the course of that week in Austin. I discovered the band while doing research for my first SXSW — their song “Bamboo” caught my attention immediately — and somehow didn’t manage to see them live that week. But they’ve long been on my conscience and have continued to release explosive high energy lo-fi garage rock jams, and with a gig coming up next week at the Echoplex on Friday, October 16, I got a chance to speak with Carlotta Cosials, one of the founding members of the band as well as one of the main vocalists and guitarists.
Interview feature by Mark E. Ortega
GRIMY GOODS: A lot has happened for you guys since SXSW earlier this year. Do you feel like you’ve been prepared for everything that’s come since your first trip to the States as a band?
CARLOTTA COSIALS: Yeah, definitely. We know it’s not the normal thing and we know it’s kind of fast but we’re not scared about it. We have no fear.
GG: I actually didn’t get a chance to see you at SXSW…
CARLOTTA: We played like 16 times and you didn’t have a chance? (laughs)
GG: I know, I failed. But what was that experience like, playing so many shows in such a small period of time? Especially considering you hadn’t been a band for that long?
CARLOTTA: It was a crazy, crazy, crazy time. A lot of craziness, coffee, beer, and we were like all the time drunk and all the time hungover. I don’t know, it was so much fun. We are thinking like we are gonna do the same thing again. There are so many things we want to do again, we met so many good people there so it’s like we have to go back. I bet we’re gonna do another crazy thing like that.
GG: You have a new album coming out early next year. How quickly did the process of recording that come together after you guys just sort-of blew up out of nowhere?
CARLOTTA: Kind of slowly. Even though you don’t believe it, kind of slowly. We write songs very slow, we really take our time. We are very perfectionist, we take like two months to finish a song, to say, ‘Okay, this song is finished and we don’t need to review it again.’ This year-and-a-half since the demo came out – demo was out in April of 2014. From then to when we recorded the album — which was in April of 2015 — during that year of touring and all these things that labels and interviews and all the work you have to do, we wrote 11 new songs.
GG: You all always look like you’re having so much fun on stage and you bring a ton of energy. Does it ever get hard bringing that same energy when it is a tour and it is night-after-night?
CARLOTTA: I don’t think so. We sometimes have bad shows, of course as everyone does. I think that we made the decision to take every show differently. We have the good faith that if you see us twice you’re never gonna see the same show. If we have a bad day or only one of us has a bad day or something, you won’t really notice because we are ourselves on stage and we are real on stage. I think it’s a decision we make, to don’t make annoying routine of the playing. Enjoying every night as its own thing. It’s like living – you can go out and go to the same bar every night with your same friends and you can be boring off it or you can enjoy every fucking single day.
GG: I know that when you started out, it was just you and Ana but once the demo sort of blew up, you recruited Ade and Amber to fill out the band you’d be touring with. Was it a conscious thing to get two other girls in the band or was it just coincidence?
CARLOTTA: We REALLY wanted girls. We talked about maybe if we could find any drummer, the last, last, last option would be a boy but we really preferred girls always because it wouldn’t have been the same. Plus, it would be a bit weird to try and call ourselves HINDS [female deer] with a boy in the band, no?
GG: We covered a show a few months ago called Burger-a-go-go that featured female-featured acts only. It was an awesome show and it was great seeing lots of younger girls getting to attend a show where they could look to the stage and see dozens of women they could look up to and feel like it was a possibility to become a rock star. In Spain, did the landscape of the scene there ever make it feel impossible?
CARLOTTA: Of course. Right now, when you do interviews you ask yourself so many things that you haven’t asked yourself before and we realize we have been surrounded by music and friends, guy friends that were making music and they have the resources and we spent so many hours in these places, and seeing them playing, going to gigs, etc., and never even had the idea of playing music. Never even be brave enough to say, ‘Hey can I use the guitar for a moment?’ you know what I mean? It had to happen when we were all alone, only Ana and me and there was no pressure and we can do whatever we want with our lives in this moment. It was like, okay I can play guitar and we can sing, no pressure at all, let’s start a band. In Spain, music is almost completely dominated by men. I didn’t know any bands but us that were all women. Right now, I think there’s two? Two Spanish bands that have girls in their band that I can think of.
GG: One of you ladies described your sound when asked about it as “lo-fi lo-fi.” I’m just curious if on the album you’ve recorded, does it maintain that same feel or did the production change at all?
CARLOTTA: Mark, you can’t imagine how lo-fi lo-fi the album sounds, seriously. Seriously, maybe even too much, you know what I mean? The producer was exactly the same as the demo and it’s like the biggest thing he’s ever done, same as us, Everyone in the studio was learning so you can really tell it is a first album of everyone, but it is great. We had a lot of fun recording it and if you enjoy the stuff we’ve done already, I’m sure you’ll like what we did.
GG: We are very much looking forward to seeing it and can’t wait to see you guys headline the Echoplex next week! Thanks for your time!
CARLOTTA: Thank you so, so much!
HINDS NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES
OCT 11 – The Vera Project, Seattle, WA
OCT 12 – Holocene, Portland, OR
OCT 14 – Slim’s, San Francisco, CA
OCT 16 – Echoplex, Los Angeles, CA
OCT 17 – The Irenic, San Diego, CA
OCT 19 – Kilby Court, Salt Lake City, UT
OCT 20 – Larime Lounge, Denver, CO
OCT 22 – Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL
OCT 23 – Beachland Tavern, Cleveland, OH
OCT 24 – Lee’s Palace, Toronto, Canada
OCT 25 – Bar le Ritz, Montreal, Canada
OCT 27 – Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
OCT 28 – Great Scott, Boston, MA