THE INSIDER: GROUPLOVE

a little girl talk with grouplove's hannah hooper. as in: gas stations, b.o. and her 10-dude army.

I remember the first time I heard Grouplove. I was driving down San Vicente Blvd. in Los Angeles listening to KCRW, windows down, the usual. Then this song came through my old '98 Honda Accord speakers that made me whip out Shazam immediately (which "could not find a match," since the band hadn't had a proper release yet!). The song was "Colours" by Grouplove, a gem of an indie pop clap-a-long that truly turned the saturation up to 11. Some time after that, NYLON named Grouplove one of our Best Bands of 2010 and no surprise, they're now selling out headlining shows and even sharing a stage with our November 2012 cover star, Gwen Stefani, this month. In anticipation of catching them live on tour, we caught up with the lovely Hannah Hooper, the First Lady and vocalist of Grouplove, to see what kind of trouble they're getting into on the road (+ exclusive photographic evidence below) and in the process found out the best way to pick a stage outfit. Hint: just follow your nose. No, really. You can catch Grouplove on tour all winter long and you should--they'll definitely cure the winter blues.


Hey Hannah! Where are you right now?

Hannah Hooper: Just woke up in Knoxville!

What do you remember about the first official Grouplove show? How are shows different now?

Our first show was at El Cid, a little Mexican restaurant on Sunset Blvd. in L.A. The first dozen or so shows we played together I just completely blacked out the moment we stepped on stage-- now I don't do that.

Ok, real talk: one tour, four guys--how are you holding up?

Now it is one tour, 10 guys! [I am] holding up like a gangster princess. Hard but classy.

You always look rad on stage. Tell us about your favorite look and how you pick your look each night.

I am juggling this jazzercise prom queen vibe right now. If I describe it further it sounds like I'm Sailor Moon coming out of a garbage can, so I'll keep it a little bit abstract. I change up my stage look on tour based on three things: One, how my clothes are smelling. Two, If they will hold together for another show. And three, if they are comfortable.

Have you had time to scour the thrift stores in each city? Any favorites?

I scour thrift stores like it is my second job! The boys and I had an insanely lucky day at a humongous Goodwill outside of Sacramento a few weeks ago. Christian {Zucconi] got an incredible winter coat for $9 and I found these '90s red after-ski boots that I have worn at every show since I bought them. Thrift stores, like anything, are all about timing--can't predict when they are full of gems.

We named Grouplove a "Best New Band" back in 2010, and now you're touring with one of our favorite acts of 2012: Alt-J. How did you first connect with the band?
Alt-J is on our label, Canvasback. We are very close to everyone we work with so when we heard they were signing a new band we started listening to them and it was love at first sound. They are also epic, epic people. Something special happened when we toured. We were like a big peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Gooey.

And delicious. Now picture this: Your bus breaks down and you have to make a meal out of whatever you find at the nearest gas station convenience store. What do you grab?

A bag of hot dog buns, then fill them up with Sour Patch Kids, a liter of Dr. Pepper, two cans of pineapple preserve, and throw on a bag of teriyaki beef jerky and you got yourself one meal you'll never forget!

Creative on and off the stage! Does Grouplove play any covers in your live show?

We cover Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" sometimes when we are in the Whitney groove. I'm personally always in a Whitney grove though. We have been writing so much new material that we are stoked on that covers haven't been a priority. But if we do a new one I'm rooting for [The Beastie Boys'] "Sabotage."

That would be amazing. I clap along to "Itchin' on a Photograph" alone in my room--which song gets the best crowd participation?

"Tongue Tied" gets the most jumping. "Itchin'" gets the most clapping. "Gold Coast" ignites the most swaying and lighters up and "Colours" gets the lil mosh pits and head banging. We have an unpredictable crowd though. I love them!

Most fun and least fun parts of life on the road?

Least fun part is playing a bad show. Most fun part is playing a great show.

Top 5 road trip songs:

We're always changing it up but right now: 1. "Dirt Road Anthem" by Jason Aldean (featuring Ludacris) 2. "Fitzpleasure" by Alt-J 3. "Frank Black" by Pan American Highway 4. "Glimpses" by Alexander 5. "Run That Body Down" by Paul Simon

What would your elevator pitch be for a Grouplove live show?

Like best friends skydiving.

Lastly, what's the first thing you're going to do when you get back to LA?

Sleep!


Just promise you'll be up in time for me to catch you at the Wiltern!
Deal. See you there.