Grouplove fatefully met at an artists’ commune in Crete about four years ago and ever since then, Christian Zucconi, Hannah Hooper, Andrew Wessen, Ryan Rabin, and Sean Gadd stayed close friends, recording music together. ANDPOP’s Azra Kassam spoke with drummer Ryan Rabin over the phone from Toronto about the band’s relationship with each other, the inspiration for their first album and life on the road. Here are a five things you may not know about Grouplove…
The band was originally going to have a different name
Rabin said the band was originally going to call themselves ‘Group’ because back in Crete, their friends all referred to their tight group of five as ‘The Group.’ After realizing ‘Group’ wasn’t a very marketable name, the band decided on Grouplove. “Grouplove just kind of encompasses us,” Rabin said. “We really do love each other and are true friends first before the music.”
The title of their first album, Never Trust a Happy Song, is actually a quote by bassist Sean Gadd
The band was hanging out one day when Gadd made a joke about never trusting a happy song. “As we actually started making the album, that phrase just kept resurfacing and kept coming up and started to gain more and more meaning as we continued to record the album,” Rabin said. “It’s about that sort of subjectivity in music and how a happy song can be extremely nostalgic and sad for one person and extremely joyous for another and it can also change meaning over time.”
Grouplove are huge fans of No Doubt
Rabin was so excited talking about opening for No Doubt later this month, he could hardly form sentences. “Oh my god…I’m a southern California guy so we’ve been fans of theirs for so long,” he said excitedly. “I can’t even – I’ve been to so many of their shows when I was younger… They’re one of the biggest bands in the world and it’s amazing to think we’re going to be able to play alongside them! It’s really something special for all of us.”
The band members really do love each other
Contrary to what one would think, the band members rarely get into fights when stuck on a tour bus together. Since they have 11 people traveling together including crew members, it’s easy to always find someone else to hang out with if you like you’ve been cooped up too long. Rabin admitted that him and Gadd do get into some pretty serious fights over beverages. “Sean likes to make his tea his way, and I like to make it my way, so it gets dirty…it gets really dirty” ge said with a laugh.
Rabin is happy the younger generation is interested in more old school mediums like vinyl albums.
“Its really great because I think it just shows that despite technology and the online music marketplace doing away with that physical aspect of music, kids still want to hold something in their hands,” Rabin said. Even though kids these days are supposed to be the ones who download everything off the internet, it’s nice to see they’re still interested in albums as a whole. “They do want to read the liner notes, and really have something tangible to hold on to in their hand. I think it makes them feel closer to the band and I think that’s great and encouraging.”