As a young rock fan in Madrid, Carlotta Cosials once made a scrapbook full of Arctic Monkeys lyrics. “When [2011’s] Suck it and See had just come out and nobody had a printer, I handmade this book,” recalls the singer-guitarist, 27. “Our obsession with lyrics began with Alex Turner.”
Cosials’ band, Hinds, is one of the most exciting new rock groups to emerge in recent years, but she and her bandmates – singer-guitarist Ana Garcia Perrote, 23; bass player Ade Martin, 26; and drummer Amber Grimbergen, 22 – still think like fans. So when they heard that Arctic Monkeys would be playing a show in New York the same week as Hinds were in town earlier this month, they didn’t even think of missing it.
On a Whole Foods raid in Williamsburg the morning after the gig, Cosials, Perrote, Martin and Grimbergen are still pleasantly reeling from the previous night's aftershow shenanigans. If you look closely, you can spot their all-access Arctic Monkeys wristbands and the venue stamps on their glitter-polished and blistered hands. "We stayed until they turned on the lights and the bartender asked us to leave," Cosials says with a smile.
Walking over to McCarren Park with their food, they continue to debrief their night out. (Turner, they say, greeted them with a tentative “Do you guys have a band?” even though they’d met before at a festival.) "We started a band for ourselves," says Perrote. "It wasn't like we said we're going to tour the world and meet Alex Turner at an afterparty in New York City. We never even dreamed that could happen!"
It’s just one of many wildly fun, slightly surreal experiences they’ve had since releasing their debut, Leave Me Alone, in 2016. Their second album, I Don’t Run, arrived in April to glowing reviews and bigger crowds – when we meet, they’re psyching themselves up for their own sold-out show at the Brooklyn venue Warsaw, one of many clubs they’ve headlined throughout North America this spring. Not bad for a group of best friends whose first time picking up a guitar was also the first time they thought, "Dude, we should make a band," as Perrote recalls.
After their debut, Hinds quickly gained a reputation as a live garage-rock sensation. Even after spending a few years straight on the road, the thrill hasn’t worn off. “We really try as hard as we did the first time,” says Cosials. “And it’s still like, ‘Oh my God, I’m on stage, I have people looking at me, I have my friends, and we’re playing music that we wrote.’”
Hinds’ charm comes from the fact that, as much as they clearly do care about the energy and emotion in their songs, they also don’t give a fuck about many other things in life. Though they co-produced the album in Cadiz, Spain with Gordon Raphael (known for his work on the first two Strokes albums), they largely stuck with their carefree DIY approach. “We don’t follow too many rules about music in general,” says Cosials. “We know the vocals are pretty fucking loud. We know sometimes it can even sound disturbing. But we like that.”
The development on I Don’t Run happens in their songwriting, which reveals a more candid side of Hinds without losing their edge. “[On Leave Me Alone], we would spend hours and hours making the craziest metaphors about the simplest feeling,” says Perrote. “So this time we said, ‘Okay, if we are going to say it, we are actually going to say it the way we would say it.”
When you primarily write about love without a filter, you wind up with songs like “Tester,” a jagged, catchy highlight of the new album where Cosials and Perrote sing, “I should have known you were also banging her.”
“It’s curious, because love can save your life,” says Cosials, pausing to take a drag of her Lucky Strike cigarette. “But it can also throw you life down the toilet.”
After lunch, we relocate to a nearby coffee shop before the band heads to Warsaw for their show. The hours that follow will include a dance and vocal warm-up to a playlist that Cosials shows me on her phone: There’s lots of Dua Lipa and Carly Rae Jepsen, some Camila Cabello, and even more Bruce Springsteen, ABBA and Stevie Wonder. “We play bangers,” explains Grimbergen.
When I ask about their reputation as party animals, Perrote, laughing, says, “The thing is, I don’t know how people don’t party as much as we do.” Adds Martin, “It’s the only moment of freedom we have.” Being stuck in a van half the time and alone at a venue the other half means that staying out afterward becomes a really valuable moment, Perotte says — “and meanwhile, we get drunk too.”
At the show that night, Hinds hold their audience’s attention until the very end under a large banner reading “Hi we’re HINDS, and we came here to rock!” There is moshing, there are crowd-surfers (including Perrote, Cosials, and Grimbergen), there is a bit of synchronized dancing from the guitarists, even a kiss between Cosials and Martin. There is lots of shouting “New York fucking City!” between songs. Even as the house lights begin to rise, Cosials is popping champagne over the crowd and pouring it down her bandmates’ mouths.
“We know what it is to be on the other side,” Perrote says of the rock star-fan divide. And they always find their way back. “We are onstage and playing the music, but we are the same as you guys,” says Cosials. “The whole Hinds concept is you can do it, too.”