What do you get when you mix five talented friends, diverse, relatable anthems and epic high-energy stageshows? Loyal, dedicated fans showing Grouplove… wait for it… serious group love. Since the release of their first album, Never Trust a Happy Song with their platinum-selling hit “Tongue Tied,” their brand of feel-good catchy melodies, sensational cover art and unforgettable videos remain their trademark. Back with their latest album, Spreading Rumours dropping September 17th, an attention-grabbing video featuring an adorable tween dancing dictator type for “Ways To Go” and a short tour run that’s already sold out, suffice to say, the word on how great this band is, has obviously gotten out.
mxdwn spoke with the lady among the lads, Hannah Hooper, on a mini-break during the calm before the album release storm. Check out her answers to our odd assortment of questions below and follow Grouplove on Facebook for more album and tour info!
If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
Hannah Hooper: I’d spy on the guys in the bus to see what they’re really doing when I’m not around. (laughing)
If you were to play one album on “Repeat” at 10 years old, what was it?
What I was really playing was Bonnie Raitt. Not sure which album but whatever my dad gave me and it was definitely a cassette tape cause I had an old boombox in my room that I thought was so cool. If I could give an album now to little Hannah, it would probably be Bjork’s “Homogenic” cause that album just blew my mind. It was so inspiring and you could actually visualize the music. I don’t know what I would be if I could hear that at 10 years old but it would have been really cool. I’m kind of am myself at 10 years old now just with more experiences.
When did you first start drawing and painting?
Seriously, I started drawing when I was a junior in high school. I started noticing that I was the oddball out in the classroom and was doodling more than learning even though I was trying to stay focused. Yeah, that started that.
If you could use one word to describe each of your bandmembers, what would it be?
Christian- I’d say cathartic. Ryan-I’d say determined. Sean-I’d say British. Andrew- I’d say easygoing.
Here’s a series of questions so quick-fire let me know who in the band is most likely to do the following:
• Get lost in a city you’ve never been to- Sean
• Show up late to a venue- Sean
• Be the “cheerleader” or the person you’d go to with a problem- Hannah
• Play a practical joke on other bandmembers- Ryan
• Forget something and remember after you’ve left the city-Ryan
How did it feel when you found out “Tongue Tied” went platinum?
It’s still, to this day, anytime we talk about the band, so abstract. None of us can believe it. I still don’t believe it. It’s hard to take what you’re making and put it in numbers in a certain way but when you’re up there at a festival and everyone is singing along, you get the sense that the song has been anthemic for certain people. We had someone the other day say that “Tongue Tied” is going to be their wedding song. It’s an incredible thing and to be a part of the band that wrote that song, it’s crazy and I’m grateful for everything… I love our fans. They’re like family. They’re there to have a good time. They’re so many artists in the audience and people there to have a good time and to be lifted up, that’s what we’re trying to do.
Speaking of fans, what’s the oddest fan experience you’ve had?
We’ve gotten tons of weird letters but I like that stuff. With a letter, you don’t know the age of the person so it could be someone’s mom who wrote it out and they’re actually six and it’s not actually creepy. (laughing) We had a show in Brussels where it was the first time we had people rush the stage and start crying when they were touching us, jumping up and down and had security pull them off. That was so strange for me. Just the fact we’re just like everyone us. We’re just friends hanging out. It’s crazy that folks get so emotional around us. It’s so touching but also so bizarre. It was really moving. We were like “Oh My God! They started crying when they touched you! That’s crazy!”
What would someone be surprised to know about you?
My favorite thing to do now is sleep. It’s currently become literally my favorite pastime. I don’t get to do it often; that’s why it’s become my thing. It used to be stay up late and eat dessert, now it’s like… sleep. (laughing) I think it’s become everyone in the band’s favorite thing now. It’s ridiculous and so boring to say. Napping is a gift.
Who’s been your favorite band to tour with and why?
I’d say the biggest surprise for me and probably my favorite album of the year was Alt-J’s “An Awesome Wave.” They’re just a combination of something alternative and creepy mixed with this hip-hop and organic sound. I can run to it, draw to it, fall asleep to it, they’re an incredible band. They’re all like just turned 21 and they’re the sweetest British guys. We just had a fun, crazy late night with them in Vegas and I just love those guys.
If you had to read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I just read The Paris Wife. I can’t remember the author’s name [Paula McLain] but I wish I could. It was about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife and their time in Paris. Just hanging out, drinking Absinthe, meeting Picasso, meeting the Fitzgeralds. It was just an incredible picture of that time in Paris. I could read that book forever. I am always so curious about these artists that link up and make these movements together. Whether you’re a writer, you’re a painter, you’re a musician, they kind of all link up based on the energy and an understanding of the time. I thought she painted it perfectly and from a woman’s perspective, it was just beautifully done.
Who came up with the great concept for the “Ways to Go” video featuring a dancing dictator?
We as a band knew collectively we wanted to have a high energy, more literal video that tells a story like videos were in the ’90s where people would go home and actually watch them on TV. We fell in love with Cameron Duddy’s treatment as we wanted something bold and in your face and we’re working with him again. He’s so talented and I’m so excited for our next video. The next single we’re putting out is “Shark Attack.” It’s going to be wild and it’s a song Christian and I wrote in the desert in Palm Springs when we had a few days off. I’m excited to see how we’re going to attack it visually.
When did it seem like all the pieces fit together to create Grouplove?
The idea behind Grouplove is that it’s a continually growing group of love. We just wanted to put out energy and see how far we could push that idea which is basically being nice to each other, being honest and being powerful. Not putting on a performance or a show but just keeping it real up there and going crazy and just not holding back. I think every time we appear onstage, the pieces fit back together. For me, the idea of Grouplove is really complete when we’re playing live cause we have the audience involved. Even older brothers who escort their siblings to the shows who are all tatted up and don’t want to be there are like “Who is this band?” but then by the end of the show, they’re like “Dude, I love this band!”
Our live shows are so crazy. We get lost in our shows. Sometimes I get offstage and I’m like “What did I just do up there? Was I naked running around?” We just get caught up and it’s so intoxicating.