Music For The Mess

Grouplove gets transcendent in NYC

grouplove_credit-james-marcus-haney-silo
Grouplove (Photo by James Marcus Haney)

“We’re back in business, You’re such a big mess, And I love you, Yeah, I love you,” croons Grouplove vocalist Hannah Hooper, providing the perfect introduction for the pop-rock outfit’s latest album, Big Mess, which is largely about enjoying life and falling in love, but doesn’t turn a blind eye to the chaos of life.

For Grouplove, that chaos included returning to domestic life after a nonstop tour and recording schedule, and the birth of Hooper and Grouplove lead singer Christian Zucconi’s first child. It was havoc that lent itself well to the writing process, as the band penned 40 songs, ultimately recording 18 and deciding on 11 to put on their third album.

“We left some really good ones behind, but they didn’t feel right for what we were doing in the moment,” said Grouplove bassist Daniel Gleason. “We got to the end of recording and felt like we chose the right songs that fit where we are as people.”

Recording was very collaborative, with all five of the band’s members offering input. And while they all put in their different voices, their goal was collective.

“A goal of ours for sure, was to have a complete conversation with the audience in terms of emotion,” Gleason said. “To go across the spectrum and be able to do a lot of different things, and I think that seems to be something that inspires us and keeps us engaged, to be able to do a lot of different sounds.”

Best known for their 2011 hit, “Tongue Tied,” Grouplove’s latest project features the celebratory anthems and hyperactive hooks that devoted fans have come to love and which translate excellently on stage. Currently in the middle of touring, Grouplove has two stops scheduled for New York City; Friday, Nov. 4, at Warsaw and Saturday, Nov. 5, at Hammerstein Ballroom. The band is no stranger to playing the Big Apple—Hooper and Zucconi call the city home and the band also held their album release party there.

Grouplove (Photo by James Marcus Haney)
Grouplove (Photo by James Marcus Haney)

“New York is a heightened reality for everyone. It’s always memorable because it’s the center of the universe,” Gleason said. “You start to figure out how good you actually are as a band, because if you can make the crowds in New York go crazy, it feels a little extra special, because you know those [crowds] have seen everything.”

A Grouplove show is electric, packed full of energy, dancing and positivity. Gleason says this has been the best tour yet, thanks to next-level production, the dynamic songs and pumped up crowds.

“It feels like there’s a good conversation happening between the crowd and the band. We’re giving out a lot of energy and they’re giving it back,” Gleason said. “Those are the good ones, when you’re interacting with the crowd and it pushes the crowd to a new height.”

And for Grouplove, shows aren’t just about playing great music, but fostering an environment where people can escape life’s chaos and as Gleason says, “feel part of something bigger than yourself.”

“We’re striving for us to get together in a room with people we love—the band, crew, the fans. And all of us lose our minds at one time together and let the music take us to a different place,” he said. “It’s not just the songs we’re playing, it’s that people are opening themselves up together and that’s a powerful feeling, when you’re surrounded by thousands of people and everyone’s pouring their emotions out there.”

Check out Grouplove this weekend at the Warsaw in Brooklyn or Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan. For tickets and more information, visit www.grouplovemusic.com.

Betsy Abraham
Betsy Abraham is senior managing editor at Anton Media Group and editor of The Westbury Times and Massapequa Observer. She also writes for Long Island Weekly.

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