Album release parties should be exactly that -- parties. The four women who make up Madrid band Hinds know this, and they designed their Jan. 6 album release show at Brooklyn's Palisades to be the kind of charmingly slapdash, group-oriented, fun party that fits perfectly with their music. Their debut album, Leave Me Alone is a 12-song saunter of drunk texts, beachy vibes and group singalongs -- and it deserved a real-life replication of all that.
Ana García Perrote sings and plays guitar in the band, which she co-founded with fellow vocalist/guitarist Carlotta Cosials in 2011. When they team up to emotionally demolish a chorus or sing a hooky line, like "'Cause I can take you dancing" or "I'm not always gonna be around," you remember it. On the page, the words are too simple to be memorable. But when Perrote and Cosials attack them with everything they've got, unsynchronized and slightly off, they create an explosively memorable moment.
Leave Me Alone is littered with these moments. When Hinds played an intimate in-store show at Manhattan's Other Music the night before their release party, these lines still connected, even over levels of reverb and clanging drums. That's what makes Hinds so hard to forget.
MTV News caught up with Perrote as she and her bandmates packed up and prepared to hit the road for a world tour, which kicks off Wednesday night (Jan. 13) in Lille, France.
MTV News: How are you doing after your wild album release party last night?
Perrote: To be honest, pretty hungover, but very happy. Did you come?
MTV News: No, but I went to the smaller one on Monday at Other Music.
Perrote: Oh, nice. Well, it was very different.
MTV News: I saw you guys were advertising karaoke. Did that go down?
Perrote: It got so crazy. Like, we played a 40-minute almost-normal show, but in the middle of the show, we were having Shamir coming to play “Garden,” and then we had Public Access T.V. [member John Eatherly] -- he played "Between Cans" -- and then Alan from Neon Indian, he did "Davey Crockett."
And then Ade, our bass player, was feeling very bad, so she had to leave. When we finished the show, she was like, “I really can’t be here, I have to leave right now, I have to go to my bed.” So we're like, "But we didn’t do the karaoke!" She was like, “Yeah I know, but I can’t, I really can’t.” So she left, and we asked John from Public Access T.V., he’s the guitar player, we asked him to play our songs on the bass so we could do the karaoke. So it was such a mess but so, so much fun.
MTV News: I saw a photo online that looked like there were about seven or eight people all singing up on stage.
Perrote: Yeah, 'cause we were like, two people can come onstage and sing “Bamboo,” so at the first song, there was only two people. And then the second song, it was four people, then at the third song, six people. At the end, there was more crowd onstage than where the audience should be.
MTV News: Compared to the in-store show, that’s super wild.
Perrote: At the in-store show, I don’t know why everyone was so calm. I get that it’s not a venue, it’s a store. But still.
MTV News: It might’ve been the lights or something. I think people like the darkness of venues so they can dance and not feel awkward.
Perrote: And not having beer also makes a difference.
MTV News: So when Shamir and Public Access T.V. came out, that was all planned beforehand?
Perrote: We spoke with Shamir because he really loves “Garden.” He picked it, and when it came out, he was like “I’ve been singing ‘Garden’ for the whole week! I really love it, I love it, I love it!’” We didn’t plan it but we knew it wasn’t gonna be a show -- we planned a party. So we were like, ‘Do you want to come onstage and perform, or maybe you can just cover it or whatever?’ and he was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, I’m gonna do it.’ So he came and knew the chords and the lyrics and he sang with us and played with us.
But the Public Access [appearance], for example, wasn’t at all planned. Ten minutes before we went onstage, we taught him the chords and he improvised the riff. He played Carlotta’s guitar. And then from there, it was so, so, so improvised. He didn’t even know the lyrics, but he just came onstage and sang and danced with us.
MTV News: After the in-store show, my friends and I were talking about how everyone in your band seems legitimately super excited all the time. Does it ever feel like work for you guys when you’re onstage?
Perrote: It’s kind of weird because we really have to prepare ourselves. We don’t just go onstage like, "OK, yeah, let’s do it." We really focus, even if it’s only five minutes before, so it kind of feels like work during the day and before going onstage and during the soundcheck and stuff, like when you just feel so tired because we’ve been touring for three weeks and we’re tired and it’s cold and maybe I’m sick or maybe I'm sad because hmm, I have this message from my mom or my boyfriend or whatever, like "miss you." But we have to go onstage anyway and we have to smile and try to give everything we can.
So it feels like work before going onstage. But whenever we’re onstage, we just see everyone smiling and dancing to our songs and a couple making out when we’re playing a slow ballad song, so we forget about it, you know what I mean? It’s very tough to get ready sometimes. Like, OK, we have to do it and we have to do it well, but once we’re onstage it doesn’t really feel like work.
MTV News: This probably feels more like work, what we’re doing right now, than actually playing onstage.
Perrote: Yeah, exactly. We have so many interviews and stuff. We work a lot of the time. We do a lot of things. We design everything...we never stop. But yeah, the proper show when we play and go onstage is like the best part of it.
MTV News: When you’re not doing press stuff, what do you try to do for fun if you’re in a new city? Like if you’re in New York and you have a little window of time, what do you try to do?
Perrote: We love being with friends. We spend so much time, just the four of us touring and writing and doing interviews and stuff, so we really love our friends and we love meeting people. For example, we came here to New York for one week or two before Christmas for holiday, and we were just hanging with Public Access T.V., who we met last year and toured with in October and we really went on with each other.
We love traveling. We were at the Christmas dinner with our families and we were like, “Yeah, we’ve been touring, but we’re gonna go on holiday, the three of us, to New York.” And they were like, “I can’t believe you want to travel with them! You spend your whole life with them. You don’t even want a rest?” You know what I mean? We just are really friends with each other and have fun with each other, so it’s kind of fun just being here all together not doing Hinds work.
But even when we go back from a tour, we spend 10 hours at our places doing laundry, then we get sick of being home and we write each other. We just hang together with other people, like other friends, but still always together.
MTV News: I saw on Instagram you bought a new guitar when you were in New York. Was that a total impulse buy or did you legitimately need it for your shows?
Perrote: I had no idea about guitars, so I didn’t know which one I wanted, and we just got money for the first time like one week ago, so we really couldn’t afford to buy one. So it was kind of like everything at the same time. I don't know, I was feeling great. I love the city, I love New York...I really haven’t had time to think about buy a guitar...We’re like, OK, we’re gonna be in New York for one week. We have friends that are musicians that are from here so they can bring us to the best stores and the cheap secondhands and stuff, and I have time, I have money to buy like a mediumly-good guitar.
MTV News: You could look at your Instagram and think, “That’s cool, they were probably just wandering around and bought this guitar.” But it sounds more like, “No, I have to do this right now.”
Perrote: Definitely. Seriously, the old guitar is so bad. It’s so, so, so, so, bad. So old. Everything was breaking. The strings were breaking all the time. It was detuned always. Whenever I played a song, I had to tune afterwards.
MTV News: You’re about to go and do a world tour. What do you do to prepare, and more specifically, do you load up on snacks that you know you can’t get in certain countries?
Perrote: We really don’t have time to do that. I wish we did, but we just go with whatever we have and whatever is clean. We just think about clean panties, like that’s the only thing we have to have. For example, right now, we’re doing interviews and stuff at the office, and then in three hours, we’re going to go to the airport, and we land in Madrid the day our album is out. We’re going to be flying when it’s out, so we’re going to race to Madrid. We’re going to have two hours and then we play in Madrid 'cause of course it’s the day we’re playing in Madrid, and then the day after, we’re going on tour -- we’re driving to London. And the day after, we’re taking a train to Paris, so it’s like we really don’t have time to do our luggage right now.
We’re getting worse and worse because at the beginning, we’re like, OK, I need two hours to pack everything I need and to be sure I have everything I need for three weeks. It’s very important. But right now, it’s just like, f--k, I don’t have time. Is it even worth it? I prefer sleeping five hours instead of two hours and then having the same T-shirt for two weeks.
MTV News: If you are all in the van or getting ready to do a show and you need to get pumped, what music do you throw on to have a big singalong?
Perrote: We have this song from Creedence [Clearwater Revival]. I don’t know why we started singing the bass line, and it really cheers us up. Whenever we’re tired or in a bad mood cause it’s been a bad day or we had a bad review or we just feel down because of feeling down because we’re human beings, we sing this song. It’s like: “DUNNN-duh-duh DUNNN-duh-duh” [sings bass line from “Down on the Corner”] and it really cheers us up, I don’t know why! We also have this jazzy song called “In the Mood,” I don't know if you know it [sings the brassy horn melody]. Without lyrics, just music that feels good!