Lourdes Hernández has come very far from picking a moniker from her favourite shade of lipstick and singing folk anthems, to selling out shows halfway across the globe with her new, snazzy brand of indie rock and singing the title track of Pixar’s award winning Brave. She’s back this time around with Agent Cooper, her third (and best yet!) full length release. JUICE talks to her about her men, Madrid, and more.
I Love Your Glasses and Fuerteventura had a more lighthearted and folkier feel to it in comparison with your newly released Agent Cooper, which is a tad more angsty. What inspired the change in direction, musically and lyrically?
Well, while I was touring with Fuerteventura, I changed my format to a band, and I grabbed an electric guitar instead of an acoustic one. Ever since then, I haven’t abandoned it. And so, for this record, all of it was created in the context of different electric sounds, and that’s probably why.
Is there a chance that you might one day record some tracks in your native language, to connect more with the Spanish audience?
I sing in English because I’m more used to listening to music in English, and it’s out there for everybody to listen. Well, you never know what might happen, but I don’t have any plans.
For your latest release, you worked with Joe Chiccarelli, famous for his dealings with rock icons such as U2, The White Stripes and The Strokes. How was it like working with Joe, and what did he bring to the table?
It was great working with him, he’s really professional. He knows his dynamics and routines, he loves working with music. It was really working out, in general, and it was great to be around that kind of energy. And of course, LA is such a wonderful place. It was fun and I think he really pushed us to put the best of ourselves in the album. Certain times it was tough but at the end of the day it was pretty much worth it.
How do you find the difference between the music scene in Spain and Los Angeles?
Over here in LA, it’s definitely very rich. Like in Spain you would maybe have one or two things going on at a certain point of time, but in LA there’s so much more!
You kickstarted your career working with singer-songwriter Brian Hunt way back in the mid-‘00s. Do you still keep in touch and work with him?
Yes, definitely! He worked on this very last album with me, and he’s also on tour with us right now.
All of Agent Cooper’s songs are titled and inspired by different men from your life, detailing what seems to be your most personal album to date. Is there an underlying message across the whole album that you’re presenting to your audience?
Well, actually it stands out as a message for myself. It starts off saying, “Hey you’re stuck in this quest for love, but nothing is really making you happy. So maybe before you move on you could make an album out of it and be happier and practical.”
You’ve got a quite a handful of shows lined up across the UK and Asia over the next couple of months. Is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to on your return to Asia this time around?
It’s always a different kind of experience whenever [we come to Asia], and I’m very sure that something different is going to be happening in June.
Have your travels influenced the way you write and produce your music?
Yeah, of course! Everything shapes your personality especially around the world – becoming more of a citizen of the world without boundaries. All that is very, very enriching.
In a recent interview, you’ve stated that right now you’re ‘a woman in transition.’ If we’re getting a rock record in the middle of this phase, can we assume that you’ve got something bigger and more experimental in mind for your next one?
Actually, probably yeah! But I don’t know. I usually don’t go very experimental. But I think I might take a little longer to write the next album. It’s going to be a lot more elaborate and it would probably include a lot of collaborations too.
Besides music, you’re also very much into photography. Did you grow up in a creative environment perhaps?
Not really! (Laughs) I guess it’s just that I couldn’t help it. It came out of pure necessity, of I don’t know, perhaps being in my own world and trying to make sense of it.
Russian Red’s latest LP Agent Cooper is out now.