Chats with Ana of Hinds
Hinds. They appeared like all things should – suddenly and into thousands of loving arms. A few years ago two of the members (Ana and Carlotta) couldn’t play guitar, so the story goes. Now they’re pumping out hits all over the globe, grinning and chugging beers (and coffee) and being smart, confident, Spanish, and very very lovable.
I talked to Ana Perrote, guitarist and “second” singer. I wanted to ask more in depth-questions like “Do you guys wear lipstick in the daytime all the time?” and “What’s your actual favourite guitar tone?” and “Do you think more female bands have double singers because we’re taught to put our own singular desires aside?” and “Do you have any advice for me in my love situation?” Instead, the following is what I asked, and this is what she said, in a fluffy Skype call where I managed to hide that I was only in a midriff top, and Ana’s lovely face was mainly turned into a balaclava’d marshmallow thanks to a wobbly connection on the Birmingham side.
My advice is – go watch a few minutes of Ana talking on the youtubes so you can read this back in her voice…
A: Where are you at the moment?
Ana: I’m in Birmingham in the UK. Where are you?
A: I’m in Paris?
Ana: Paris?! We’re going to be in Paris in a couple of weeks.
A: Really? I’ll be here, I’ll come and see you.
Ana: Nice! Perfect!
A: What have the England shows been like?
Ana: Very good, very good. This is the first tour we do knowing it was sold out before, all the shows were sold out before we started so it felt like… We feel like queens, seriously, so so so so lucky. I mean there’s so many gigs, and every night it’s sold out and every night people are just so happy just because of us being on stage, like when we walk on stage, people is already happy! I dunno it’s just fantastic, it’s very exciting.
A: Has there been anything else you’ve done in your life that has been able to produce that? – Not for so many people, but where you’ve felt you can really change how people feel?
Ana: I used to be on a theatre drama thing and I felt that a little bit but it’s not the same cos… When you go to a theatre you don’t expect anything, you just go and suddenly feel, but when you go to a gig you’ve already felt something about the music, so when you come and you actually see it live, that makes you feel, like, stronger, you know what I mean? Just like you already have a feeling and suddenly it connects with another feeling you are having in that moment. An explosive sort of a feeling you know what I mean? It’s just stronger.
A: I read in interviews you guys saying that in Madrid the music scene you’re part of is pretty small and friendly. Do you think that that has changed how you’ve made music or feel about what you’re doing?
Ana: Yeah for sure! That’s how we started, with other friends helping us and telling us like “Ok this is a guitar amp, this is how you should set up.” We really started out of nowhere, really from zero so all these bands were helping us just because of friendship you know what I mean? Just because of love of art and new bands and stuff and they were like “Ok you wanna support us in this gig?” “I’ll help you..”
Like one of The Parrots, he’s the producer of our single and of our album – everyone helps each other just because of nothing, just because of friendship and art. So it’s definitely stuck in our brains and it feels like the way we would love the whole industry to work or something, like whenever we are touring with other bands we really start to get friends with them and we’re like “Ok I’ll send you my deemos for the next album” (“deemos” is the only time I’m gonna put in Ana’s bewdiful accent) or “Do you want to listen to this new song?” or “What should we call this album?”
A: That’s what it’s like where I’m from too, Perth!
Ana: Cool. Plenty of love.
A: What made you guys decide to write in English?
Ana: It wasn’t really a decision. It just came that way cause when Carlotta and I wrote our first ever song it was ‘Trippy Gum’, and we were pretty drunk and we were like, “Ok imagine, imagine, ok just be free be free be free be free” and when we write melodies we’re like “Wahwhwhwwahwahhh,” like we’re not saying anything but we’re doing a melody and you just could tell what we were saying in those melodies were in English.
I mean the music we do is the music we want to listen to, so it just makes more sense for our ears and it’s, like, better. All the music we listen to is in English you know what I mean, we’re similar to what we like, so it was just because of that.
A: I think it’s good because whenever you’re writing in a different language – even if you say something very simple – because you’re not expressing it in exactly the same way as a native speaker would, it always comes out more like poetry.
Ana: Yeah, yeah! It’s kind of like our own language or something. It’s not Spanish and it’s not English, it’s just like a Hinds vocabulary.
A: Are there any bands from Madrid that people wouldn’t know about that you wish people would know about?
Ana: Yes. I’m going to write in down in here.
PRESENTING ANA’S SKYPE LIST OF MADRID’S (AND FURTHER) GREATEST LESSER KNOWN BANDS the parrots los nastys baywaves lois miqui brightside John grey ex novios novedades caminha
Ana: Parrots, this is the band where the singer is our producer, and then Los Nastys, and err…
A: Your face is very fluffy
Ana: Oh really?
A: You look like you’re wearing a riot girl mask. A balaclava.
Ana: Hahaa :)
A: Hahaa :) I can just see eyes and a mouth.
Ana: Yes. I think, from Madrid that’s mainly everything I really really love. But then there’s also, not from Madrid
there’s this band (mujeres). There you go, there’s my favourite bands.
A: Do you guys ever get worried that touring so much you’re not going to be able to keep writing, or you know playing songs a million times that it will lose any magical –
Ana: It already happened!
Ana: Yeah it already happened last year – not losing the magic – but this version of our record wasn’t written when we started touring, like we just had five songs and then we started touring and touring and touring and touring and suddenly… We only write when we’re at home, and suddenly we stopped being home, at all.
So I remember we were in Christmas and we were looking to the calendar and we were like “Ok so basically we are recording the album in April so then there’s like 3, 4 months, and we have like 10 days in Madrid. How the fuck are we going to do it.”
It was very very stressful for us because writing music is not like studying or something, it’s not about how many hours you spend. Just like randomly maybe you’re going to write four songs in one day or maybe like you’re going to be one month without writing anything you like, so it was very very tough for Carlotta and I cause we had to stop doing the laundry, stop sleeping, stop watching our friends and family when we were home.
We were like “Ok we just gotta focus on this” and “Ok come to our place,” so I drove to her place we got drunk as possible and we were like “Ok next song, Ok what about this?” and “We gotta close the next song, and another one,” and “We gotta change this one! and “I don’t like it anymore!” and “Yeah but we have one month to do it!” It was so so stressful but we made it and we are happy with the album and we really really like it so it was worth it.
A: Well I mean it’s hard to say no when someone’s saying “Do you want to come to this beautiful country, have thousands of people cheering for you…”
Ana: Exactly. It’s hollywood. At the same time at the same time I seriously didn’t even realised the world was this big until we had this band. Like there’s places all around the world and people listen to music everywhere so it’s just like wherever we just say “Ok Australia, we just have like these five dates, we’re coming in May!”, people are gonna say “Why don’t you come to this city! Why do you go to that one?” It’s just like “Dudes please like we’re travelling so much you could travel a little bit for us if you really want to see us.”
Ana: Like it’s so shocking for us!
A: But Australia’s big!
Ana: Yeah but it’s incredible that people all around the world wants to see us so we’re like “Ok, they wants to see us, we better go! We gotta go!” But then we can’t go everywhere and write and be healthy at the same time!
A + Ana: lols
A: But you’re happy with how you’ve chosen so far?
Ana: Yep. It’s like really one of the most tiring jobs in the world but at the same time it’s one of the most incredible and satisfying ones.
A: Do you think you guys will keep going for a long time? Til you’re 60?
Ana: I think so.
Ana: I really think so.
A: Hinds reunion tour, 2060.
Ana: For another couple of albums at least. We have a lot of things to say yet.
A: I know that you guys are very very proud of where you come from. If I go to Madrid what should I do first that people wouldn’t usually do?
Ana: You should go to this neighbourhood called Malasaña. Whenever we’re in Madrid we’re always in that area, all the clubs that we like are there, all our friends are always gonna be there, there’s so many cheap restaurants, it’s just so nice it’s like a little town it’s just four streets.
And I dunno there’s just something about the streets in Madrid, the weather is very good and everyone is drinking cans for one euro in the street and talking to each other and there’s so many great bars with great music that we love to go to.
A: Yeah do you ever drink anything apart from beer? I always see photos of you guys chugging brews! Never a coffee.
Ana: Yes! No, I have two coffees here! (shows them) Yeah we drink a lot of coffee cos we’re always very tired. Cheers!
clink Ana and Amber’s coffees across Skype
Ok, so we drink coffee in the morning, during the day we drink water, and early like coca cola, and then when we get to the venue we’re very tired cos we partied the night before so we’re probably going to have a Redbull, and then after soundcheck we start drinking beer and if it’s a crazy night we will probably have a tequila shot or a gin and tonic or a Bloody Mary if we’re feeling very fancy and they’re for free.
A: I’m gonna write a detox program for people based on that.
Ana and Amber: Hahahaa
A: Hinds detox “Wash it down with a tequila.” When you come to Perth, which is in May, in Australia, I’ll show you good bands and good places if you like.
Ana: Perfect, awesome.
A: I better let you go to the next interview. It’s nice to meet you.
Ana: Nice to meet you!