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Wednesday October 22nd 2014

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Hangout ’13: Letting the Love Grow

By Sarah McCartan

It’s the story of an unforgettable journey, driven by love and steered by spontaneity. Everything about Grouplove has been unforeseeable, right from the very start. The story begins when five individuals from different backgrounds and geographic locations find themselves drawn to an artist commune on the island of Crete in Greece. Here worlds collide, music is shared, relationships forge, and the seeds are planted for what would blossom into the celebrated, indie rock band Grouplove.

When it was time to leave Greece, the group parted ways and returned to their respective homes. Unable to deny the long-lasting bonds that were formed, a year later they reunited in Los Angeles. And from here the love grew.

Although at the time still not officially a band, the group wrote and recorded a self-titled EP featuring the song “Colours,” which remains a signature track today. During the fall of 2011, Grouplove released their debut album, “Never Trust a Happy Song.” The album boasts upbeat tracks that highlight each band member’s diverse talents, yet flow together effortlessly. Memorable picks include their first number one single, “Tongue Tied.”

After two years of extensive, nonstop touring and having written ample new material, Grouplove recently made their return to the studio. A follow-up album is well underway and set to be released later this year. On top of touring and crafting a new album, Grouplove teamed up with good friends Manchester Orchestra for a special Record Store Day release.

While embracing a relaxed, rainy day off between tour stops, lady Grouplove, singer and painter extraordinaire Hannah Hooper, shared some love with the IN.

IN:  When did this surreal experience start becoming real for you?
HOOPER: The moment bassist Sean Gadd flew in from Britain and got in the car in Los Angeles it felt real. It’s been a backwards journey for me as a singer though. Everyone except for me knew from the beginning. I never planned on being in a band. I was still coming to terms with it until lately. It wasn’t until recently that I felt like I can do this and not worry that I don’t have the same musical background as the rest of the band.

IN:  How has having multiple songwriters shaped the atmosphere of the band? Would you say it has given Grouplove a unique synergy?
HOOPER: Definitely. And it’s kind of like our friendships. Our friendships are based on doing art together. They are all so different too. It has definitely shaped us as a band and as people. It’s a nice thing.

IN:  What is the Grouplove writing process like?
HOOPER: We don’t have any kind of set process, which is what’s fun about being in the band. We are constantly guessing what’s going to happen next.

IN:  How did the decision for a new album come about?
HOOPER: After our first album we toured for two years. We were ready to get the new songs polished. A lot of it happened outside the studio, jamming on the road. We went in with a lot in mind and recorded way too many songs to be on an album.

IN:  On your current tour you’ve been playing college stops. Has it been a different crowd?
HOOPER: Normally our audience is all ages. To look out and know our audience is between 17 and 22, we can be a little naughty. It’s different if you see a six year old in the front row.

IN:  Anyone you are especially excited to see at Hangout?
HOOPER: I have missed the Yeah Yeah Yeahs every single time they have played. If the band tries to make me leave before they play I am hiding. Karen O is so original and comes from her own place. She is a badass.

IN:  Do you think you will ever return to the artist commune in Greece?
HOOPER: I’m scared to go back. This has been such a bizarre experience. I feel like if we went back, we might undo this dream.

IN: What is Grouplove’s mantra?
HOOPER: I don’t think we have one necessarily. We stand by making music that we believe in and jumping in with full hearts. There’s no point in doing anything when it’s not fun and inspiring, and we aren’t lacking either. I see this being a long career.

GROUPLOVE
Sunday, 1:15 – 2:15 p.m.
Hangout Stage

Back to IN’s Guide to Hangout Fest ’13