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Grouplove interview

Sophia Aiello chats to LA band Grouplove before their gig at The Ruby Lounge

Published on February 10th 2011.

Grouplove interview

Bringing together musicians from LA and New York, Grouplove are a five-piece indie rock band whose debut self-titled UK EP was released earlier this week. The group were recently in the city to play at The Ruby Lounge. Sophia Aiello went along to learn more about them…

“You can’t really get a good steak pie or good pub food in America. There’s a few English pubs in every city, but they’re never the same as they are in England. Everybody likes good pub food.”

SA: Ok, for people that don’t know you, can you introduce yourselves?

Ryan: Hey I’m Ryan, drummer of the band.

Hannah: I’m Hannah, keyboardist and singer.

Christian: Hey I’m Christian, lead singer and guitarist.

Andrew: I’m Andrew, I play bass.

Sean: I’m Sean and I play guitar.

SA: So what do you think of Manchester so far?

Hannah: Manchester’s so different from what I imagined; it’s pretty beautiful it’s got its own architecture for sure. Everyone keeps telling me about these vintage shops, I might get sucked in.

Ryan: Yeah we’ll have a good time in Manchester.

SA: I read recently that you love coming to England because we have prawn cocktail crisps. What else do you love about England that you don’t get in America?

Ryan: Well you can’t really get a good steak pie or good pub food in America. There’s a few English pubs in every city, but they’re never the same as they are in England. Everybody likes good pub food.

SA: You all first met up in Greece. How did that come about?

Ryan: We all went to Greece for separate reasons. There was a big group of us, but the five of us all made friends first. The band didn’t start until a year later. We made friends first and kept in touch and played music to each other.

SA: Were any of you in other groups before you got together?

Ryan: Yeah, we all have experience of being in other bands and playing music for a long time. The thing that was different about this was that it wasn’t a band. We weren’t trying to be a band, we was just hanging out and we’d occasionally play music together. It never really became a thing until after we recorded the first EP.

SA: Are you now all based in LA?

Ryan: Yeah everybody just packed up and moved to LA.

SA: Is that where you class as home?

Hannah: Erm I think our van is home right now (laughs)

SA: A couple of you are from New York and a couple are from L.A. How does the LA music scene compare to the New York music scene?

Ryan: Well it’s a little more supportive in LA. In the music scene, everyone knows each other and likes to play shows with each other - kinda building the scene together. Whereas in New York, it’s a little more competitive and introverted. People are much more concerned with what kind of band they’re starting, where the scene is and in L.A it’s kind of a big communal thing where everybody helps each other out.

SA: Do you have any festival plans for the summer?

Hannah: Yeah we’re going to do SXSW. We basically booked up as much as we could. We’re kind of seeing how much we can do. We’re gonna do SXSW, then go do a tour immediately after a bunch of other people, and then I don’t know we might be coming back here - there are rumours.

SA: If you weren’t touring right now, what would you be doing?

Christian: I’d be working in a bar in New York.

Hannah: I’d probably be painting.

Ryan: Feeling depressed (laughs) or working at a bar in Shepherds Bush Empire. Sean used to be a bar hand at Shepherds Bush Empire in London and we’ve just played there.

SA: You recently released your EP in the UK. When is your album out?

Hannah: We’ve just finished recording. It’s about to get mastered so it should be out in the summer.

SA: If there was a space in the band for another member, who would you like to fill it? They can be dead or alive.

Hannah: Whoa, that’s an amazing question.

Ryan: Freddie Mercury.

Hannah: I’m thinking Flounder from the little mermaid. I’m thinking really abstract.

SA: I’ve been on your Twitter page and I noticed someone put a quote from the David Bowie film ‘Labyrinth’. Which one of you is the big Labyrinth fan?

Ryan: I love Labyrinth. We sang the lyrics back and forth to the crowd, then we realised our audience is so much younger than us, nobody knew the words, nobody catches on, then it becomes awkward, and then this one girl who we met in London, she ended up wearing a Labyrinth shirt to our show and we didn’t do it. We were looking at the show and it was full of 15 and16-year-olds.

SA: Give me five words to describe your music.

Hannah: Love.

Ryan: Alive.

Christian: Real.

Sean: Honest.

Andrew: Erm...fun.

SA: Anything else you want to add?

Ryan: Yeah - everything in Manchester should be in a Harry Potter film.

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