Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday September 2nd 2014

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by Jennie McKeon

Most bands are founded by family members or life-long friends. In the case of Grouplove, it was instant chemistry between a couple in love and a couple of strangers at an art commune in Greece.

It was a seemingly average night in August 2008, when Hannah Hooper, who provides vocals and keyboards, went to see singer Christian Zucconi at Essex Street Bar in New York City.

Just a few days later Hooper took Zucconi to an artists’ retreat where the couple became part of a very talented group.

“We’re always aware of how lucky we are, that the band grew in an organic way,” said Zucconi, lead vocals and guitar. “Once you stop trying to make things happen, they happen. The first EP was just for fun. We were playing for our friends and getting good feedback and then we got attention on the internet.”

And then they toured with the powerhouse voice of Florence Welch with Florence and the Machine. They have just released their full-length album “Never Trust a Happy Song” and now they’re spreading the love on a headlining tour.

“Touring with Florence and the Machine, we learned to get in front of thousands of people and play our hearts out no matter how many people are in front of you,” Zucconi said.

It was Ferris Bueller who said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” And it’s a great way to sum up the band’s past three years.

While their lives have been a blur of road trips and catchy songs, they didn’t forget to take notes and soak it all in.

“It was fun exploring new territories and becoming a tighter band,” Zucconi said. “I was excited to visit cities like Portland and Seattle. I had never been there before.”

Grouplove will explore more new territory on Pensacola Beach. Since Grouplove is a Los Angeles-based band, they’ll probably feel at home by the water.

“We’re exited,” Zucconi said. “We’ve never played at a location like this before.”

Grouplove also includes Andrew Wessen on guitar, Ryan Rabin on drums and Sean Gadd on bass. Hopefully, they’ll be able to stop and look around while at DeLuna Fest.
“We’re crossing our fingers that we get to see Jane’s Addiction,” Zucconi said.

Future plans for Grouplove include more recording, more records and having more fun. As for an anniversary trip to the retreat in Greece?

“We haven’t made concrete plans,” Zucconi said. “It might be weird to go back and to not have the same experience. We’ll eventually make it back there in, like, five years.”

And while Grouplove doesn’t want you to trust a happy song, they do want to provide you with an honest and exhilarating set.

“We want the audience to feel elation, a catharsis, to get whatever they’re feeling out of their system by dancing or sweating.” Zucconi said. “We’re coming and we’re coming hard.” {in}

GROUPLOVE at DELUNA FEST
WHEN: 6:00-7:00 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 16
WHERE: Grooveshark Stage