Hinds Talks Collab With Steve Madden and Feminism in the Music Industry
Madrid-based indie rock band Hinds is all over the map -- literally. Between constantly touring, playing giant festivals like Coachella, launching an exclusive clothing line with Urban Outfitters and recording a new album, they have little time to breathe. But both on and off stage, the band -- comprised of Carlotta Cosials (lead vocals), Ana Perrote (guitar), Ade Martin (bass), and Amber Grimbergen (drums) -- maintain their upbeat attitudes and quirky humor.
Before their performance for the Steve Madden Music 2017 Concert Series at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY, Billboard had a chance to talk to the group's Ana Perrote (vocals/guitar) and Amber Grimbergen (drums) about collaborating with the footwear icon and breaking down stereotypes for women in music.
How do each of you express your own individual style, and how do your styles blend together as a group?
Ana Perrote: I think we all have [similar] fashion tastes because we were all friends before [we became a band], and because we’re constantly touring we are always together. We see the same things and like the same things.
Amber Grimbergen: But we also include our individual style.
Perrote: Carlotta [Cosials, vocals/guitar] is definitely the girly one -- she loves skirts and dresses more than the rest of us. Ade [Martin, bass/backing vocals] loves oversized things -- well, all of us do, but she tends to stick with it more -- and she’s always in dungarees and overalls. [To Amber] You’re more of the sporty one, in a fashion[able] way, with your jackets and sneakers, no?
Grimbergen: I love sneakers. [To Ana] You’re more of the rock one.
Perrote: Really? I didn’t know that, thank you. For me, any kind of jewelry that shines and is gold, that’s me.
Grimbergen: She has a wallet just for her earrings…
Perrote: I always travel with it. It’s not even that big, because it’s just earrings, but when I pull them all out… There’s a lot. I always ask [the other girls], “Which ones am I wearing today?”
Grimbergen: You know, we normally try on t-shirts trying to figure out which one we want to wear, but Ana tries on her earrings.
Perrote: People try to tell me that any hoops will go with any outfit, and I’m like, “Not at all, you’re so wrong!”
Tell us about collaborating with the Steve Madden brand.
Perrote: We first heard about Steve Madden in that movie, The Wolf of Wall Street. They don’t have Steve Madden in Spain, so this is our first interaction with the brand. They have been so nice in bringing us here. Just the fact that there is a brand that is giving away a free show to our fans, proves that they are amazing people. They could have brought us here, paid us to come, and then also made fans pay, but they didn’t do that. This is such a big show in a huge venue and they’re just giving away the tickets.
Grimbergen: And I can’t believe all the amazing bands they were able to bring in.
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How important are shoes to both your sense of style and your performances?
Perrote: While we love fashion and we try to be “into it,” we travel so much that our first priority is our live show. And [the way we see it], we can’t give our best live show in heels, with all the jumping and crowd-surfing we do. Comfort comes first. Play then fashion. That’s why we’re always in sneakers. We all have these slippers that we love, and we always ask ourselves if we should try performing with them, but it wouldn’t work.
Grimbergen: Especially for me -- I can’t hit the pedals with those.
You must get this question all the time, but can you tell us what it’s like being an all-girl band? It’s a pretty rare thing, since women in music are often pitted against each other.
Perrote: Girls [in the music industry] totally view each other as competition, but that’s never the case with us. We’re family.
Grimbergen: We are one.
Perrote: It’s so awesome that we’re a four-piece; I think about it every time we’re onstage. We support each other, and it sounds cheesy, but it makes sense that we would [be in an all-girl band]. We’re more sensible than guys, in a way. [Laughs.]
It must be so difficult to be a solo [female] artist on the road with a band. [Girls] go through things that men don’t go through, and having each other to talk to about how we feel really helps. It’s like having your sisters on the road with you. Sometimes, people will ask us what we are proud of. And we’re proud of what we’re doing, that we started this band and we’re doing this together. There’s so few women in the music industry in general, especially instrumentalists.
Grimbergen: You go to any music festival and look at the lineup, and you realize that there’s maybe only two [acts] that are all girls playing onstage.
Perrote: We played at Coachella this year, and we were the only band that played with only girls onstage. Really? Coachella? In 2017? For real? Having Steve Madden compile this lineup of [female-led] acts and putting us all together is really awesome. It’s very common that, because there’s so few girls [in the industry], we’re looked at as competition -- that it’ll be her or me, that band or us. But out of all the bands [we’re compared to], very few of them can actually relate to what we’re going through.
It can be tricky though, because [people] try to [profile] us as just an all-girl band, like, “Girls rocking!” or “Girl Band!” but they don’t really give a s--it about us.
Grimbergen: They’ll say, “Oh you must be having so much fun!” or “You girls are so cool!” but we’re not just a girl band -- we’re a band that happens to be girls.
Perrote: The music should be as important, if not more important, than the fact that we’re girls.