Culture & Conversation

From soul mates come band mates


GROUPLOVE, an L.A.-based indie rock outfit, gave a show in Montreal on May 8 that had the crowd dancing incessantly, fueled by the band’s infectious energy. Rover sat down with three of the six band members – vocalist/bassist Sean Gadd, vocalist/guitarist Christian Zucconi and drummer Ryan Radin – to discuss their 2011 debut album, Never Trust a Happy Song.

Rover You all met spontaneously. Was there an immediate connection?

Sean Definitely. We met in Greece [at an artists’ commune] and discovered that all of our disparate characters, which while very different, were also very similar.

Ryan Hannah and Christian had one of the only showers… and I would always go up there and use the shower, but I had to kind of get in good with them first before they were cool with it.

Rover So that’s why you became their friend?

Ryan Yeah, and I’m glad I’m that hygienic because it all worked out.

Rover How would you say all of your different personalities influenced the band?

Sean We all have different backgrounds, and we listen to different music. I think that’s why on our album and [2010’s] Grouplove EP there’s a variety of styles.

Rover Can you take me through the songwriting process?

Christian Whoever’s singing it brings in the blueprints of the song and then it goes through modifications.

Ryan Everybody’s role changes on different songs… We try to approach every song in a new way.

Rover The album’s titled Never Trust a Happy Song. What’s the meaning behind the name?

Sean [Vocalist/keyboardist] Hannah [Hooper] made this book that had all of these pictures of us together, and there was one photo of me that said “never trust a happy song.” We were always being categorized as a sunny California band that wrote happy songs, which is not true.

Rover How’d you keep in touch while living in different places?

Christian After Greece, Hannah and I went with Sean because we didn’t want to go home and he had invited us to London.

Sean …Then I’d never been to America before, and they were living in New York, so I went there and then we went to Los Angeles and recorded at Ryan’s place. We had never intended to be a band – it was just a thing that happened.

Ryan From all my past musical experiences, being in bands with people can ruin relationships, but for whatever reason, the way that this one came together worked. It wasn’t until after we did the EP and then everyone went back home again that we decided we could do it.

Rover What’s the meaning behind the band name?

Christian We were originally going to call ourselves Group. We all got tattoos, but after we were all thinking about it, it was kind of an ugly word and it was really hard to find online. I think Ryan started signing Grouplove.

Ryan Instead of “Love, Ryan” I’d be like, “Grouplove!”

Sean Grouplove sums up our whole story.

Never Trust a Happy Song is available for purchase here

Photo by Ethan J Edwin Scott

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