Grouplove, the ultimate tale of throwing caution to the wind

The way a band meets is always an interesting tale. Whether they formed as 14 year olds at high school or as cousins under their grand parents roof, the tale of how a band has come together often says a great deal about the music they make. There has never been a more shining example of this than Grouplove. There has also never been a story, quite like the one of their formation.


When Christian Zucconi was invited by aspiring artist Hannah Hooper whom he had just met at one of his gigs a few days earlier, to join her at an artists retreat in on the island of Crete of the coast of Greece, he could only imagine where saying yes would lead him.


'A few days after we met I got a call from Hannah saying 'Hey, do you wanna come to Greece with me for the summer?' and I'd never been that far out of the states so I thought wow, that would be amazing' explains Zucconi.


Grouplove bass player Andrew Weston's older brother Matt had been the one to initially invite Hannah to Crete after he seeing her work. Matt and one of his friends had just set up a program to send American artists to Crete to help them with their work.


'Hannah was one of the first ones who was invited to this thing and she asked if she could bring some one and he [Weston] said yes, I dunno why but he did. We were both struggling artistically in New York at the time. I just kinda went out there with her and took a chance and we got there and it was obviously the best decision I've ever made.'


'We met Andrew when we first got there. He was obviously there 'cause his brother was running the thing and they put on a festival in the small town there. Sean [Gadd, guitarist] was there 'cause his friend's band was playing the festival and he'd met Matt's partner randomly in Athens a month before. And Andrew and Ryan [Rabin, drummer] grew up together and Ryan had just finished university in the Czech Republic and Andrew told him to come out too.'


It almost sounds scripted. Five strangers meet on an island paradise come together by literally passing an acoustic guitar around a campfire. It was that organic. While they never recorded together in Greece, Grouplove was most definitely born in Crete. It wasn't until a year later however that five of them regrouped to lay down the their EP.


'Sean came to the States to visit Hannah and I in New York but Hannah had this family thing going on out in San Francisco where she's from so we went out there with Sean. L.A's only a short drive from San Francisco so we went down there and we all got together again to kick around for a few days when Ryan was like 'Lets all go to to my studio and record some music.'


'We went in and did Naked Kids cause its just a kind of easier song to do and it turned out great. Things were flowing really organically and naturally and we were like 'Whoa this is fun, lets keep doing it'. One song turned into eight and we all cancelled out flights back home.'


The rest as they say, is history. The ensuing success of the self-titled EP has seen Grouplove 'pop their festival cherry' by playing Glastonbury, earning support slots for names such as Florence and the Machine and warming the stage at Optimus Alive festival in Portugal fro Blondie and Coldplay. Needless to say Grouplove's stocks explode, the world falling in love with their dreamy brand of indie pop, which seems to carry with it a sense of the bands formation.


'There's such a group dynamic in this band. Everyone writes and everyone sings. There is a very big element of how we met in our music. It just kinda naturally came out that way and I think that after we recorded the album it's becoming more apparent, the whole group kinda vibe.'


The new album, due out in September, was recorded over three weeks in Rabin's studio in L.A in a very similar manner to which the E.P was recorded. Produced by Rabin the band opted to stick with their drummer on production after his work on the E.P.


'The album covers a lot of ground musically and emotionally and I think its gonna be awesome that people get to hear it. We're so excited to share it with the world,' laughs Zucconi. 'When we come to Australia we'll be showcasing 80% of the album. Its gonna be exciting to just play it for people live.'


With Grouplove having enjoyed a lot of love from this corner of the world, Zucconi and his band mates are thrilled to make their first trip to our shores for Splendour in the Grass and some accompanying side shows. He admits that it's been a weird sensation hearing about the band's success on the other side of the world.


'The whole trips been surreal, you know but its supposed to be like this I guess. We all met and we're just on a path. We're staying present and we're just humbled by the whole thing really. Its all a bit unbelievable you know?'

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