Interview | GROUPLOVE’s Ryan Rabin: “Our biggest influences are each other.”

Photo by Pamela Littky

Tonight in St. Louis, an extraordinary double-bill is on tap with GROUPLOVE and alt-J set to rock the KPNT 105.7 The Point Ho Ho Show at The Pageant.

And as you might have noticed, we released our 150 Best Songs of 2013 yesterday, and Grouplove’s “Ways To Go” checked in at #72.

Let’s have a listen to “Shark Attack,” another killer song, now.

GROUPLOVE released Spreading Rumours in 2013 to critical acclaim, and we recently chatted with band member Ryan Rabin over email. See you tonight at The Pageant!

First off, tell me about how you met. You’re all from around the globe, so what sacrifices did you have to make for GROUPLOVE to become a reality?

We all met about four summers ago on the isle of Crete….there was an artist residency in a small village in the mountains, a sort of “commune” vibe. It was beautiful out there, and the five of us somehow became quick friends and stuck together for the rest of the summer. There were a lot of great people out there, but the five of us were just drawn to each other. A year later everyone visited Andrew and I in Los Angeles, and that’s when we officially started making music together.

How did your new album, Spreading Rumours, begin to take shape? Were there any challenges you had to overcome while recording the songs?

Spreading Rumours is a bi-product of an intense amount momentum that was built off of three straight years of touring prior to this album. I think there is always an instinct for every musician to challenge themselves as they grow, and for us that definitely rings true, but our biggest influences are each other. So at times the closeness can turn into claustrophobia. On one side of the coin, we’re best friends, and on the other side, siblings. We can’t get enough of each other but we also spend every second together, so there is a general tension within such a close relationship that makes for great chemistry in the studio, and forced us to push the tangents we took on the last album even further — sonically and genre wise.

Tell me — who writes the lyrics? Is it a collaborative effort? 

On Spreading Rumours, Hannah and Christian wrote pretty much all the lyrics. On the first album, it was usually the person who sort of “quarter-backed” the song that writes the lyrics.

“Ways to Go” is immediate and catchy. When you’re recording a song like that, how early on do you know that you’ve captured something great? 

You definitely know that you’re on to something special once a chorus starts to come together and you feel like dancing…. which we did, A LOT. “Ways to Go” came out very spontaneously in the studio, and sometimes the best songs or ideas come the quickest.

Describe a normal day on tour with GROUPLOVE.

Wake up, drink, pour up, drink, head shot, drink, sit down, drink, stand up, drink, pass out, drink, wake up, faded, drink, faded, drink.

Finally, you’re co-headlining The Pageant with Alt-J on Decemeber 10th. Any memories of past trips to St. Louis? 

Yep, last time we played there was also with alt-J…. those guys are crazy about soft core porn. As our tour prank we printed out a bunch of it and put it on their mic stands. They loved it.

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