"When my mom found out we were adding two more members she sent me this article about Ed Sheeran. She was like “look a boy, a looping pedal and his guitar selling out The Garden.”" We chat with Grouplove's Hannah Hooper
With their fourth album, Grouplove, have continued to grow there sound. Turning to a bit of a harder edge they're slowly leaving their frothy pop beginnings behind. The band's Hannah Hooper spoke to us about that evolution and what would have been their cool album release party, had certain events not conspired against them.
Hey Hannah, thanks so much for answering a few questions for us. What have you been up to today, and where are you right now?
Our drummer Ben, my daughter Willa, my husband Christian and I have been building a coffee shop in our garden. Ben usually wakes up and drinks a coffee at a local spot so we are trying to recreate that experience for him during this quarantine. We have mediocre drip coffee and some stale pretzels for him to enjoy.
Tell us something about you that we don’t know.
I’m interested in holistic healing.
What can you tell us about your new album, Healer, in two sentences?
I had brain surgery while we were making this album. I used the making of it as my way to distract and heal from that experience.
I’ve only got three minutes; which song should I listen to from the album?
‘Deleter’, but it’s 4 minutes.
You’ve talked about this a lot I imagine, but how did your health issues last year affect how you approach music now?
Healing happens when I am lost in the art not fixated on the fear.
The group’s sound has changed quite a lot since Never Trust A Happy Song (I totally adore ‘Itchin’ On a Photograph’ by the way) has that just been an organic thing, or have you made conscious efforts to evolve?
It has been very organic. Everything we write is a reflection of where we are. With each album we’ve been able to trust ourselves more which inevitably led us to be more honest which made the art stronger. The big fear would be we sound the same as we used to.
What did you do on “album release day”, obviously this year it was probably a bit different, but is it a big day for you?
We had a wild arty psychedelic festival release party planned. We were going to play the album live in its entirety and had been practicing as a seven-piece to really bring the album to life. The night before the release party everything in LA was cancelled and everyone was quarantined. It was really heartbreaking. Our tour was postponed the next day. Our tour family dispersed back to their homes and it’s honestly been quite a comedown since then - obviously not only for us but for everyone everywhere.
You guys are a seven-piece band now, bit much isn’t it? How do you keep everyone fed?
You're funny. When my mom found out we were adding two more members she sent me this article about Ed Sheeran. She was like “look a boy, a looping pedal and his guitar selling out the garden.” I think the prospect of us making even less money freaked her out but honestly to give this album justice live we needed two more members or we would need to use tracks. Tracks can make a live show clinical and redundant and honestly not cathartic. So here we are now, a seven-piece surviving on chips.
There’s a lot of talk about equality in general at the moment, what’s your view on how we get a better representation of diversity in music?
If the tastemakers are more diverse then hopefully their influence will be more diverse. We also need funding for the arts in general and to empower people from every walk of life to take leadership roles, so that young people have role models from within their community to take inspiration from.
Talk to me about LA, the City of Angels or a money-rich slice of fakeness?
Like many cities it is really whatever you want it to be - just a reflection. I’m surrounded by family and friends who don’t really give a shit about much more than making art and making love.
Who (or what) inspires you?
Love inspires me.
What kind of music do you listen to in your spare time?
Earthgang and The Pixies.
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
To find out more about Grouplove you can visit their website, and check out their social media. Their new album Healer is out now.