The Statesman and “The Press” were able to sit down (literally, we sat down in the grass in the Kenneth P. Lavalle Stadium) with GROUPLOVE. All questions below, unless otherwise noted, were asked by The Statesman (Will Rhino).
Will Rhino: WR
Sophia Marsh: SM (VP of Communications for USG)
Christian Zucconi: CZ
Hannah Hooper: HH
Andrew Wessen: AW
Ryan Rabin: RR
Sean Gadd: SG
WR: So my first question was why you guys came to Stony Brook, and what’s most exciting about performing with Ludacris?
HH: Well, Ludacris is performing with us. We just discussed that. No, I’m just kidding. No, it’s awesome to be here. We been in freezing Ohio for the past few days.
RR: We like N.Y. too.
CZ: I’m from N.Y. It’s nice coming out here. We’re SUNY supporters. I went to SUNY, too.
WR: Oh, which one?
CZ: Buffalo. For two years. Then I went to Honduras.
WR: So, you guys are kinda like a sleeper hit with “Tongue Tied.” So, even though it was a little while ago, how did it feel to get your first studio album officially released?
RR: It was amazing. It’s what you dream of, being a musician your whole life. To then have it actually do well and have people respond to it and have a fan base—it’s still surreal today to be coming to a place like this. A stadium, I suppose?
SM: I have a quick question. I see you guys have some tattoos going on. Does everyone have one?
HH: Pretty much.
CZ: We got them the day Sean landed in America.
SM: You all went together?
HH: Yeah, it was like skipping our way into the tattoo parlor, and then I immediately I got a phone call from my mom and she was like, “What the f**k is on your arm!” I was like, “Don’t worry it washes off…one day. It washes off one day.” I just got “Mars” on my finger too. It looks like a big birthmark.
CZ: We colored in the O too because one night when we were in Greece on a crazy night there we saw this eclipse of the moon and this 3,000 year old cave that used to be a church. It was this crazy full moon, so we colored it in.
WR: Were you guys surprised “Tongue Tied” was the song that jumpstarted everything?
HH: 100%. I was 100 percent surprised.
WR: What song did you think it was going to be?
HH: My mom thought it was going to be “Naked Kids.” She still thinks it should be. She tells me that like every day. My mom is like, “I just don’t understand why ‘Naked Kids’ didn’t launch you.” I’ve come to learn that you can’t predict what people are going to like. You know. Now I understand. We probably had the most fun as a group recording that song of any of the songs on the album. I mean, we had a lot of fun doing them all, but collaboratively, that one stands out when I think about the first album is us jumping around and really getting into it together. We covered ourselves in ties and jumped around.
WR: I saw on your website you guys announced you have another album coming, but you weren’t really specific. Do you have any information at all you can share? Or do you not have any information yet?
HH: Oh, we have information.
RR: Hopefully September. Mid-September.
HH: We had this amazing two and a half years of touring for the first album, and then we decided not to take any time off and not to take a vacation and hang out with our families, and just go right into a studio. We recorded, like, a lot of songs, and now we have this f***ing awesome album that we’re going to put out in September. That’s the plan.
WR: I was a huge fan of that “xoxo Grouplove.” I thought that was hilarious. Whose idea was that, or did you just do it?
HH: Just do it.
AW: Like our little sign offs?
HH: XOXO, Gossip Girl. I might have had something to do with it.
CZ: We like the x’s too. X’s are a fun letter to look at.
HH: Triangles were like the biggest symbol of last year. I just meant like every single album cover I saw had a triangle.
SM: People were getting triangle tattoos.
HH: What if the square is in this year? What are people going to do then?
WR: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for my xoxo comment to spark a shape debate.
AW: Anything you say sparks something with the five of us.
RR: Sean usually talks about ferrets. He’s a big animal debater. You know how people measure things in distances like miles or kilometers. Like, Sean likes to see how many ferrets a distance is. How many ferrets, do you think, Sean, to the dressing room?
SG: Depends if they’re moving or not.
RR: How big’s a ferret? Like this big. (Gestures)
AW: It’s like a foot.
RR: So like, 400 ferrets to the dressing room?
HH: I think 4,000 thousand. In the dressing room?
GL: No, the distance.
HH: Oh, from here? I’d say a couple hundred. Like 800. You gotta think stairs. Do they bend?
SG: I’m daydreaming actually about how many ferrets fit into the stadium.
Evan Goldaper (The Press): Slightly more typical music questions, roots and influences? Do you guys cite any bands as that?
HH: Picasso. Picasso was a big influence on us.
AW: Don’t put me in a painting box.
WR: Why does he inspire you?
HH: He doesn’t. I mean other mediums inspire me. I feel like when I’m playing music it’s much more colorful. If that makes any sense.
RR: Hannah hadn’t actually played music at before this band started. She has the most objective perspective of any of us because of that.
HH: Full time painter. I do album covers.
SM: Did you do the album cover?
WR: I was going to ask what the inspiration was for the album cover.
HH: I had this weird dream about this girl drowning. It sounds so morbid now. I found the right girl to be that model. I worked from this girl that was in a bathtub. If you see the original painting it’s actually this topless girl.
AW: I saw the naked picture. It was awesome.
HH: No, I like to work from stories when I’m painting. Dreams are a good place to start from. I really want to do a golden ticket, but I have to ask our label to see if we can do it. See if we can put a golden ticket into one of the albums and they can win the actual painting. No digital downloads man. Well, there can be a digital download golden ticket, but that just wouldn’t be as cool.
SM: Your albums are pressed? You guys have vinyls of it?
RR: You always do a certain number of pressing of vinyl, and, obviously, CDs still.
AW: You know why tapes are great? You can go down a dirt road and they don’t skip.
RR: The only people who buy CDs are people who buy Taylor Swift at Target or Best Buy.
WR: Don’t hate on Taylor Swift!
RR: I’m not! I’m just saying in terms of people who buy albums. “Trouble.” Best pop song ever. …Trouble trouble…
WR: Gotta have “Red.”
RR: “22.” Don’t tell them, I’m in an indie band. Sorry, we’re just talking about Taylor Swift here. That’s no big deal.
WR: Are you on a college tour?
GL: Yeah, a college tour.
HH: We know that, come September, when we release our album, it’s going to be the crates again.
WR: Do you like the college shows?
HH: It’s nice to play to a specific age group. There’s something really fun about being able to say s**t. It’s nice to know your range.
WR: What kind of message do you want to say to people who have never heard of you?
GL: No. Just come early, watch the show and have fun. Lose yourself.