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16th Annual Artist Survey: Hinds

Carlotta Cosials on 2018's Best Albums, #MeToo, The Muppets, Social Media, and Swimming in Selena Gomez's Pool

Jan 28, 2019 Web Exclusive
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For Under the Radar‘s 16th Annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to the last year, plus some fun personal questions. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2018 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions. Here are some answers from Carlotta Cosials of Hinds.

The Spanish all-female quartet released their sophomore album, I Don’t Run, last year via Mom + Pop. It’s the follow-up to their 2016-released debut album, Leave Me Alone. Hinds co-produced I Don’t Run with Gordon Raphael (The Strokes, Regina Spektor), and it was engineered by Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Perfume Genius, The War On Drugs, John Legend). A press release announcing the album said that the band weren’t satisfied with just writing songs about being young and carefree. “On this album the struggles are clear. We want to be brave,” said guitarist and vocalist Ana Perrote.

For our annual Artist Survey we emailed the same set of questions to musicians about the midterm elections, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh, Kanye West visiting the White House, the #MeToo movement a year later, mental health conditions in the music industry, whether or not they have Flossed, childhood birthday parties and vacations, which Muppets character they are most like, whether or not they are going to The Good Place after death, and much more.

Top 11 Albums of 2018

1. Kali Uchis: IsolationAll the ideas in these albums come just from an imaginary that blows my mind. It’s so inspiring and so different. best album of 2018.

2. Grapetooth: GrapetoothIt’s an album you can’t know when it was written. Maybe in the ‘80s but recorded in 2020, maybe in 1991 and recorded in 1999, it’s aweesome. Love how they keep simple all the melodies and focus in other stuff, sometimes is cool to prioritize different parts of a song.

3. The Nude Party: The Nude PartyThey made the most classic rock ‘n’ roll cooler than ever. Sometimes it’s nice to hear classic from nowadays.

4. Rosalía: El Mal QuererThis is a masterpiece. Maybe (and only maybe) it’s not that “easy” to listen to it, but all the meanings and how it’s produced and all the metaphors are genius. Plus, it’s kind of impossible to give it a gender and I love that.

5. Los Nastys: Música para el amor y la guerraThey write better songs every year. Just let them keep doing it.

6. Parquet Courts: Wide Awake!How can an album really make a difference in someone’s career? I love when that happens and Parquet Courts are the best example. I really can’t wait to meet Danger Mouse someday.

7. Cardi B: Invasion of PrivacyWho you gonna call? Cardi Cardi! Best rapper in the scene right now.

8. Courtney Barnett: Tell Me How You Really FeelI think, in this case, it’s about the way she writes lyrics. Plus she’s become a stronger and tougher singer.

9. MØ: Forever NeverlandShe’s finally back and doing something similar to what she started with. So it’s awesome.

10. Amen Dunes: FreedomIt made me fall in love with him and now its one of my favorite artists.

11. Hinds: I Don’t Run(Of course :))

What was the highlight of 2018 for either you personally or for the band? What was the low point?

Probably playing Fuji-Rock in Japan, the amount of people watching us and the vibe we were receiving from them was like ecstasy. Probably the lowest point was in the May American tour that it felt all our team wanted their personal interests instead of team-working in the same direction and it felt everything was falling apart around us.

What are your thoughts on how the U.S. midterm elections have played out? What do you think the results mean for the Democrats’ chances of taking back the White House in 2020?

I just really hope they kick out Trump far from any power. Apart from being openly racist and misogynistic, I find his speeches and thoughts really, really dangerous for humanity. I know its very complicated, but my biggest hope would be for them to realize they have to invest more in the education system so people don’t vote in people like Trump, just because he speaks clear, anymore, please.

Despite compelling testimony from Christine Blasey Ford and sexual assault allegations from other women, Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in a Supreme Court Justice and many Republican women didn’t believe Ford’s story. What does this tell you about the general state of the #MeToo movement in 2018?

That’s so fucked up. There’s still so many people confused about feminism and what it means, still people that are like “against” it or that calls it a radical posture. They still don’t get that feminism means equality and that trying to protect men in these situations is the least thing you’ve got to think about.

A year after the #MeToo movement, do you feel things gotten better or worse in terms of issues of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and misogyny in the music industry?

I think speaking out [against] sexual harassment is always, always going to be great. In Spain it is happening too, and I think it only can bring a better behavior and less fear for women. It’s a good thing to feel stronger together. It’s a good thing that people know they just can’t assault women and there will be no consequences.

Be honest, did you Floss in 2018? (Meaning the dance craze, not the dental care.)

I mean, of course, who do you think I am???

Which Muppets character are you most like and why?

No doubt, it is Kermit the frog!!! When I used to study drama and cinema Kermit was the school pet, so the awards given were little Kermits. Ha-ha I have two at home.

Are you less of a fan of Kanye West now that he’s visited the White House and has in other ways supported President Trump?

I always thought he was doing it to get buzz around his new album release, but he really made me hesitate now. I never liked his persona that much anyway.

Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit tragically took his own life this year. What should be done to improve mental health conditions for musicians?

I don’t know who should we ask for that. I think as artistic people, we’ve been so lonely at some point of our lives. Maybe for a long time, maybe a little, but it’s something we have in common and that’s why we understand each other and usually end up together in this life. But sometimes you even feel lonely among artists. I really don’t know who would be in charge of this, but all I can say is that in Hinds, we always try to make everyone happy, artists and audience with the same effort.

In 2018 there were more dire predictions about climate change and we witnessed some of its likely effects firsthand with various deadly storms and forest fires. What should touring musicians be doing to better offset their carbon footprint? How bad do you think it needs to get for governments and corporations to take stronger actions to fight climate change?

All of us travel with a canteen so we don’t use plastic bottles, also with the menstrual cup, and with personal wood/metal cutlery so we don’t use plastic daily. I think it’s very important to start doing a change in your personal behavior, but the real change only will arrive from the big stuff. A change in politics, it just has to happen, and it will. I feel we all are united in this. It took time, but we all are definitely fighting for a more sustainable world.

Are you ready for artificial intelligence and a more automated future? Some predict that it may come sooner than we think and will lead to massive job losses.

I feel 100% ready. Don’t be fatalistic, of course a machine will do some jobs, but this will lead to new ones, different ones, probably even better ones. Don’t be afraid and please stop [scaring] people with that intention in the question.

What’s your favorite birthday party memory from childhood?

I don’t think I could choose one in particular. All of them were awesome. We used to go to my mom’s drama academy and dance. Dance, dance, dance, and sing and playback and different performances and plays and games. Everything was pretty farandulero already. Ha-ha.

What was your favorite family vacation as a kid? What was your least favorite?

I use to go with all my mom’s familyincluding aunts, my grandparents, etcto a rural house in the north of Spain. Every year we chose a different village, but it was always somewhere with the mix of countryside and coast too. Those were great years. The least favorite was with Ana (co-vocals and guitarist) in Granada. I wasn’t supposed to be there. Everything went wrong. We fought so much. We even broke up the band. Ha-ha.

What’s been your most surreal experience in the music industry?

Ending up in Selena Gomez’s mansion after our show in Santa Barbara. She loved it. She made a fire in her garden and we swam in her pool, smoking marijuana, and eating In-N-Out French fries. Yep.

When you die, do you think you’re going to the Good Place or the Bad Place?

When you die you’re dead. It won’t be anywhere. And in case there is, I only ask to go to where the musician’s bar is.

Tell us about your first job. Also, what’s been your most disastrous job interview or business meeting?

I used to work in a karaoke bar from 12 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Wednesdays. Meanwhile, I was studying at uni to be a doctor. I was like the master of ceremony, introducing people to sing and all that stuff. It was so well paid. Sometimes it made me feel very happy, and sometimes very miserable.

Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee also passed away this year. Which of his characters (Spider-Man, Hulk, X-Men, etc.) meant the most to you/did you most identify with?

Spider-Man always, no doubt. Your friend and neighbor.

If you were Nancy Pelosi, what would you do with the Democratic control of the House over the next two years?

I really need more time for answering this and they’re calling me to sound-check urgently!

Where do you stand on social media in 2018, is it uniting humanity or ruining the world? And which platform do you find most useful and which one do you think is doing the most harm?

I think people love AND hate social media equally. Even myself. I feel I wish I were born before. When you love it, it’s awesome, because it makes you feel powerful just for being yourself. But being above hate comments? You gotta be really confident literally 24 hours a day. And I am not, and that sucks. Letting an unknown person evaluate your work/creativity/goals/face/lifestyle is just useless, but sometimes it happens. I’d say again, education would solve this!

If you were to have a hip-hop side-project, what would your rapper name be?

I already have a hip-hop side project and still don’t have a name.

What turns you off the most on a first date? And what’s the most disastrous date you’ve ever been on?

Probably religion, yeah.


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Jack Millor
May 20th 2019

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