“We love to party,” gushes Hinds’ lead singer and guitarist Carlotta Cosials. So, when we asked her to share some photos from the band’s life on the road, we knew we’d see lots of beer and cigarettes.
The Spanish indie rock outfit started when Cosials and her best friend Ana Perrote started writing songs together, having being introduced by their then-boyfriends. After simultaneous breakups, the duo recruited bassist Ade Martin and drummer Amber Grimbergen and began turning the garage rock ballads they wrote in bedrooms into raucous live performances across the U.S. With barely any experience, they released their debut album Leave Me Alone in 2016. It cemented their raw yet endearing surf rock sound; think The Beach Boys meets The Shaggs, with a bit of The Strokes.
Hinds have grown up since then. On their sophomore record I Don’t Run, released late last month, the band maintain their no-fucks-given attitude with raucous tracks like “Bamboo” and “Garden.” But after two years of playing around the globe, Cosials, Perrote, Martin and Grimbergen have tightened up their musicianship and established a stronger sense of identity.
“When we started, we just had no idea what we were doing,” says Cosials. “We didn’t even know how to play our instruments. But we risked it, and we figured it out. Now, we know what we like and we know how to do it.”
Scrolling through the 27-year-old’s photos, that evolution is obvious. From traveling in a rented minivan and sleeping on strangers’ floors to performing at Glastonbury and posing on Colbert’s desk, Hinds have transformed from playing for kicks to thinking, “Dude, this is real, we’re in a band,” as Cosials recalls. “Of course, we know we don’t sound perfect, but we sound like Hinds, and we like it—and people seem to like it, too. So, we’ve just learned to trust ourselves.”
On the heels of the release of I Don’t Run, Cosials takes us on that journey.
CARLOTTA COSIALS: This is when we were recording I Don’t Run in Spain. The studio was in one area of the house, and we stayed in rooms above it. So, you have this kind of weird experience of being locked away from the world without contact, just working on music.
ALEXANDRA WEISS: Tell me about the album. What inspired it?
COSIALS: On the first record, we made the decision we wanted it to be about love. This one is really more about what comes after.
WEISS: So, I Don’t Run is a breakup album?
COSIALS: Not necessarily a breakup album—it’s almost easier to explain in Spanish. In Spanish we have “amor,” which is love, and we have “desamor,” which doesn’t really have a word in English that can describe it. Kind of like, in love and out of it. So, it’s not a heartbreak record, it’s just about when love goes away.
COSIALS: This was at Fib Bencassim, the festival in Spain. This is the first festival all of us had ever been to, before we were ever even a band, and basically, this festival is just the definition of perfect for us. In this picture, Ana is hugging our friend. Because we’ve gone so many years in a row, we’ve made friends with all of the security guards. Here, we just asked him to look really, really serious—I’m not sure why. We party a lot.
COSIALS: This is the worst night we’ve ever had, for real. We were in Leeds, sleeping at a friend of the promoter’s house in 2014 or 2015 and we were fucking freezing. Basically, we trusted the promoter and slept there because he said it would be cool. Then we got there and it was so awful, there were no pillows on the couch and I remember sleeping in my shoes. This was before the first album and we were just totally broke, had nowhere to sleep, had no money for hotels or anything. We probably shouldn’t have even been touring. But we didn’t care, we just did it.
WEISS: How do you think you’ve grown since then?
COSIALS: We’ve grown so much. Before we really didn’t even know what we liked or how we wanted to sound. Now, we get there a lot faster.
COSIALS: This was one of the best tours we’ve ever had, right when we first started. We were touring in this tiny little minivan and we were just completely lost. We brought these giant suitcases that wouldn’t even fit, with all the merchandise. But I think it’s cool to see where you’ve come from, you know?
COSIALS: We’re in Denver here. This was when we were the headliners on our tour, and that was one of the best experiences we’ve ever had, still. We were on the road with Public Access T.V. and it was just like a crazy summer camp. But that was really when we realized, ‘Whoa. We can actually make music and tour.’
COSIALS: This was also at Fib Bencassim. To be honest, I wasn’t actually sleeping. But this was the year we actually got to play the festival, which was huge for us because we had been going for years. But yeah, like I said, we love to party. Everybody who goes on tour with us knows we’re just going to be running around, drunk.
COSIALS: This is in Chicago. Sometimes when you’re on tour, you don’t really get to do regular girl things. So, this was on our day off and our tour manager bought us these face masks, which we’ve never done, then we watched 50 Shades of Grey, which actually sucks. But little things like this can be really important when you’re on tour, in a new city every night.
COSIALS: This was when we played Glastonbury. It was so, so cool. We’ve played there twice and this was the most recent time. It was a really fun show, but this was like the worst time we’ve ever had.
COSIALS: I don’t even know. Everything went wrong. Amber couldn’t properly put on her shoes to play drums because of something with her foot. I was sick and puking so bad. Our tour manager almost died. Seriously. He was so sick we literally had to call an ambulance right after we stopped playing. It was just too much.
COSIALS: I can’t wait to go on TV again in the U.S. It was so nice, we loved it.
WEISS: Was this your first time?
COSIALS: Yeah, this was our first time on TV, and it was actually the first time a Spanish band has ever been on late night. For a lot of bands, being on TV is super cool, but for us, it’s almost like we’re making history for our country.
WEISS: What song did you play on the show?
COSIALS: We played “Garden.” And we were so, so nervous. But Colbert was actually really nice.
WEISS: This was my favorite of all of our pictures. It’s like 100 of you guys and then suddenly one of Leo.
COSIALS: Oh my god, I knew you were going to pick that one. I told the band that it was a mistake to put it in there. But we have this game we play for hours when we’re bored and sick of reading or doing something productive where—and this is so cruel—but we see who was prettier when they were younger, Brad Pitt or Leo. We’re terrible.
WEISS: Who won?
COSIALS: It depends on the night and the photo. Sometimes it’s Brad, sometimes it’s Leo. But it’s actually pretty even.
COSIALS: This was last April with our booking agent. I have a thing for karaoke. I just love it.
WEISS: Sometimes you just have to do some bad karaoke.
COSIALS: Exactly! And you see everyone’s faces, they’re like so ashamed and embarrassed and don’t want to do it. But of course, I force them. I actually used to work at a karaoke place as the master of ceremonies. Like, ‘My name is Carlotta and tonight you’re going to be singing Adele!’ That’s my past and I can’t avoid it, so I embrace it, and force everybody else to, too.
WEISS: What’s your karaoke go-to?
COSIALS: I don’t know, but here I think we’re singing “American Pie.”
COSIALS: This is in Manchester. The audience in the U.K.—I don’t know what happens in Manchester but they always just go crazy. It’s amazing. When you’re playing a show there’s that second of doubt like, ‘Should I finish the song or should I crowdsurf?’ In Manchester, you always crowdsurf.
WEISS: Looking at a photo like this, you can see how much bigger your shows—and your fanbase—have gotten. Did that put any added pressure on you when you were working on the album?
COSIALS: We don’t really care about that stuff. I mean, we put enough pressure on ourselves that anything else would just be crazy. Plus, we take so long to write each song that by the time we’re done, we’re pretty sure about it.
COSIALS: This is Shawn Everett, he mixed the album. He actually just went to the Grammys and won. I still can’t even understand why he worked on our record and couldn’t be more grateful. But this photo was at the house after we flew him to Spain to work on the record. He had this really cool style of working where he made us choose images that showed him how we wanted the songs to sound. It was almost like we were doing this college exercise of looking for photos on the internet to try and express how we wanted our album to sound. Kind of like synesthesia—they were images, but we had to find photos that made sense for what we were trying to convey.
WEISS: And what’s that?
COSIALS: I don’t know. I know this is too much to ask, but I’d really love for this album to be historic in some way. I would love it if we were able to change something or someone, even just a little bit. Maybe that’s too crazy, but we put everything we have into our music, and I’d love for people to feel that.
COSIALS: This is the size of luggage we use now. So, we definitely learned our lesson. But I think people who aren’t in bands really don’t realize how crazy it is. It’s so different from real life. I mean, you have you everything in a tiny suitcase. That can be really difficult, but also really easy at the same time. On one hand, you miss so many things—your family, your friends, even just having all of your things and making simple decisions. Like, when you’re on the road, you don’t get to choose where you’re going or even when you have to be there. But on the other side, you really have everything you need right there.
HINDS’ LATEST ALBUM I DON’T RUN IS OUT NOW.