Meet Splendour virgins GROUPLOVE
SPLENDOUR in the Grass first timers GROUPLOVE are looking forward to their Australian festival initiation.
With just a five-track EP to their name and a full-length album on the way, the American indie rockers are newcomers to the local music scene.
“We can't even believe it,” said singer and keyboardist Hannah Hooper.
“All I know is Jane's Addiction is playing and I'm excited.
“I'll pretty much be at the festival immersing myself in music. I've heard nothing but incredible things about Australian festivals.”
The band spent several months touring North America and the UK with 2010 Splendour headliner Florence and the Machine last year, playing what were easily their biggest shows to date.
“We went from playing rooms with a couple of hundred people to a couple thousand in sold-out shows every night,” said Hooper.
“We heard she (Florence Welch) had about a stack of, I don't know, 20 CDs her manager gave her. She had a couple of weeks to listen to all of them and choose one to be her main support and she chose us, which was really humbling and beautiful.
“I wish it was because she was a really good friend of mine (laughs).”
Having another woman on tour was a bonus for Hooper, who is the only female member of the five-piece band.
“It's insane, but it's also kind of simplifies things. Boys are simple,” she said.
“I'm lucky to have four incredible guys in the band. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to jump on a tour with a band with another girl in it.”
The band's most widely known song from their self-titled EP is Goldcoastcorrect spelling of song title, which was used in the movie The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
It sounds like homage to Australia's surfing and tourism mecca, but Hooper explained that it was actually about another well-known surfing destination.
“Our lead guitarist Andrew (Wessen) spent two months surfing the Gold Coast (in Australia) a few years ago, but Christian (Zucconi) actually wrote the song,” she said.
“It's more to do with California, which he calls the Gold Coast, but maybe when we go over there we'll do a tiny fib and say it's about the Gold Coast.”
The band, which Hooper and Zucconi founded when they met at an artists' residency in Crete, is set to release its full-length debut album Never Trust a Happy Song in September.
Australian audiences will get a sneak peek of the material at the band's performance.
“The new tracks are more electronic,” said Hooper.
“But there are some that slow down a bit more. There's a love song. Basically it's a full spectrum now of sounds.”
The album title isn't a sign that the band has abandoned its infectiously happy sound which first earned it recognition, right?
“We definitely have those (on the album),” she said.
“I'd say it's a lot harder to make a happy song than a sad song.”
Their first single off the forthcoming album, Itchin' on a Photograph, is out on Australian radio now.
Hooper said fans can get a good feel for the band's live shows from the song's film clip, shot in an abandoned motel outside of Los Angeles.
“We shot that in one day,” she said.
“We really just wanted to show people what a live show would be like except in the context of a hotel room.”
Hooper, an accomplished artist, is also doing the artwork for GROUPLOVE's debut album.
“I had two weeks off and I stretched this enormous canvas and painted it,” she said.
“But then I realised we have to get this down to the size of a CD (laughs). I'm trying to find someone who can take good art photos. Everything I make is always way too big.”
Splendour in the Grass plays Woodford from July 29-31. GROUPLOVE play at the Amphitheatre on July 31 at noon.
They also play Melbourne's Corner Hotel on August 2 and Sydney's Oxford Art Factory on August 3.