Five Ways Grouplove Plans to Avoid the Sophomore Slump | West Coast Sound | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Five Ways Grouplove Plans to Avoid the Sophomore Slump

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Tue, Sep 17, 2013 at 3:25 AM

click to enlarge PAMELA LITTKY
  • Pamela Littky
A chance meeting at an artist colony on the island of Crete brought together the five members of Grouplove, and the Laurel Canyon-based act's blend of indie pop and alt rock turned their first single, "Tongue Tied," into a surprise hit last year. (It's also featured on an iPod commercial.)

Their first album, 2011's Never Trust a Happy Song was a success, which makes the stakes high for their new work, Spreading Rumours, out today. Second albums are notoriously weak, so we caught up with singers Christian Zucconi and Hannah Hooper to ask: How do you avoid the dreaded sophomore slump?

5. Work non-stop

Christian Zucconi: "As a band, we've always had a lot of material. Even going into the record, the reason why we weren't worried was because we came in firing after two-and-a-half years of touring. We became a really solid live act and we wanted to harness that energy and not take any time off. We wanted to strike while the iron was hot. We only took a week off between the final show, the holidays and recording. We had almost 10 songs and ideas done from stuff we worked on on the road, we'd so we knew we were in good shape."

4. Don't hate each other

Zucconi: "We were excited to meet the challenges of making the next record. We enjoy being around each other, even though we spent so much time together. We've lost touch with all of our friends from back home, we don't see them like we used to. We're like our only family outside of our real family. I think that's a big reason why we're able to go in and make a good record is all of us getting along."

Hannah Hooper: "We realized we were all kind of stuck together. It was this beautiful love/hate dynamic that was really powerful and really flowed through every song on the album. Even when we were done for the day recording, we'd still be working on the album."

3. Get High

Hooper: "Smoking marijuana is good. It keeps me -- and Christian -- focused on the art. It also keeps [one] focused on food and friends. When you're living in a bubble already in a sense, it helps amplify your art for yourself. It keeps you focused on your own shit and makes distractions [like your smartphone] fade away. It gives us to focus on the strength of what we're doing."

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