Just ahead of Leave Me Alone's release, Billboard spoke with frontwoman Carlotta Cosials and bassist Ade Martin (guitarist/singer Ana Garcia Perrote and drummer Amber Grimbergen round out the band) about the indie musicians they consider influences/gods, falling in love with Woody Allen after playing New York City, and why they want you to invite them to your next house party.
I wasn't surprised to see you cite Ty Segall as an influence on this album. Who else is a touchstone for your band?
Carlotta: We actually had him in mind when recording, and while mixing and doing the album, we were thinking of the Strokes and our god, Mac DeMarco. He's our god of music.
Ade: The producer for Leave Me Alone was our friend Diego from the Parrots, and the Parrots are a big influence, too.
How long have you been together?
Carlotta: A year and a half. The name change [from Deers] was in January . Ana and I started the idea of a band two and a half years ago, and we started to learn how to play the guitar and do covers of Bob Dylan. And in the winter between 2014 and 2015, we recorded our first two songs, with just two of us. Then in April we formed the four piece with Ade, who plays the bass, and Amber, who plays the drums.
How do you all know each other? Did you live in the same area?
Carlotta: Kind of. We kind of grow up together and met a long time ago. Our ex-boyfriends were friends, so we went to gigs together. I met Ade because she was dating one of my best friends in school.
You're touring now. Are you able to write stuff on tour?
Carlotta: No, it takes a lot of time for us. We are perfectionists with songs. Almost the only rule we follow is that we have to like it. So in writing a song with only that instruction, the thing is that it always could be a little bit better. So it takes us two months for one song. We don't start all songs at the same time but finish each song within two months or so. We only write songs when we're home. We don't stop working on tour and we usually don’t find the time. We had a week off recently, six days off, so it was like, "Let's write, let's take advantage of what we're living now and what happened in the American tour." And now we have two new songs.
That's a much faster than two months.
Ade: We probably need five more months to finish them. [Laughs]
Carlotta: But the seed is there.
That's surprising each song takes so much time. If you guys had a bigger budget for the next album, would the sound be more polished?
Carlotta: No. No, no, no. We were in a great studio for the album, actually, and we chose distortion and putting the guitars or voices through another amp so it records double recorded. It wasn’t a decision the first time we recorded [our demos] because we recorded it with one mic in a rehearsal space. But then we loved it, and we think it's very close to our way of life in the band.
Ade: I think it would be a lie to go to the studio and use the best instruments. Because then we would go on stage and have our shitty guitars and nothing would make sense. So it has to be equal.
You've gotten a good amount of international buzz in a short time. Has that taken you by surprise?
Carlotta: Yes, yes, we never expected anything even close to what we're living. It's not by chance, of course, or suddenly. We've done small venues, we created a tour, we chose a label, but all super fast. We didn't expect it at all but we're not like, "Oh my God what happened?" It's not like I was in my bed and now I'm buying a ticket to China to play there.
What's the craziest concert you've played so far?
Carlotta: That's a very tough question. Maybe Kansas?
Ade: We were touring in America the last tour we did. You know Glass Animals? We were supporting them and we played Kansas City with them. So we got a message from a guy before the tour saying, "Hey, I love your band, I'm having a house party, I live in Kansas City, you want to come? We're big fans. There will be other bands playing and we'll all be drunk, want to come?" So we play [the tour stop] with Glass Animals and we go to the party and it was crazy. Twenty people in a basement getting super drunk and super high. We told Glass Animals about it and said, "Want to come?" And they said, "You're going to play there? Think we could also play?" And we're like, "Of course, this guy will go crazy." They were touring in a huge bus. We were in the house, on these little streets, and this huge monster tour bus shows up like the beginning of Star Wars at their house. And they played a few songs. The play a super complicated set but they were using my 200-year-old bass. And then we partied until 5 a.m. or something. We gave them the best party.
Are there not a ton of house parties in Madrid?
Carlotta: We don’t live in houses, we live in flats.
Ade: No one has a basement! Most people live with their parents. If I had a party at my house I'd have to tell my mom, "Go to granny's."
Carlotta: You rent rehearsal rooms to practice and it's horrible, man.
When you're not touring, what are you doing?
Carlotta: It's difficult to find a moment now. We used to love to go to movies. We love movies, we love cinema -- it's the other art we all love. I used to make videos, and I still do, I directed the last video for the band. But now, 99 percent of our brain, life, time and money goes to Hinds. But in a happy way.
What movies do you love?
Carlotta: I love... I can give you a top 5. The Big Lebowski is a movie the where the second time you see it is even better than the first. I love Forrest Gump. I love Wes Anderson. I love any of the films of Wes Anderson, except Moonrise Kingdom. I think Royal Tenenbaums is a masterpiece, and Fantastic Mr. Fox is great, and Rushmore. I love Woody Allen. It's our medicine when we feel everything is going down in our hearts and our lives, Woody Allen is the best to not take life that seriously.
Ade: And we love Pixar movies.
Carlotta: Yes. We came back home and were so in love with New York, now we're obsessed with Woody Allen after only seeing some of the city.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Ade: If you want to have a house party with us….
Carlotta: Send us a message! We run every single social media we have. So please, write us.
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