Grouplove: Healer is "an honest reaction to the last three years of our lives"

“It’s an honest reaction to the last three years of our lives”, says Grouplove’s Hannah Hooper reflecting on the release of their fourth album Healer.

The Los Angeles outfit have experienced three years of growth and change to return with their most ambitious album to date.

Recorded with TV On The Radio legend Dave Sitek at El Paso’s Sonic Ranch and at Larrabee Studios in Los Angeles with Malay, Healer encompasses the five-piece’s evolution through “big life stuff”, including Hannah’s brain surgery and raising a child.

The troupe broke through in 2011 with album Never Trust A Happy Song, which produced hit singles Colours and Tongue Tied – a track that hit number one on the US Alternative Chart and earned them “best new band” tags from a variety of music publications.

New single Deleter, released in January, marked the beginning a major 2020 for the band, consisting of Hannah, Christian Zucchini, Andrew Wessen, Daniel Gleason and Benjamin Homola, which has seen them partner with the organisation CHOOSE to measure and reduce the carbon footprint of touring and The Ally Coalition – a group that supports at risk LGBTQ youth at each show.

In their own words, Healer is “addressing that life is hard. We understand and we are going through it with you.”

Daily Star Online caught up with Hannah ahead of Healer’s release to discuss their year, how the album was recorded, what listeners can expect from the album and how they’ve evolved as a five-piece.

Hi Hannah, how’s the past year been for Grouplove?

"It’s been a lot. I had brain surgery. I had a solo art show. We wrote a record. Chrisitan and I are raising a child. Non stop big life stuff. Always growing."

New single Deleter is relentless in its pace, featuring pulsating drums, deep bass lines and a euphoric chorus, how did you form that sound?

"Liquor, mushrooms and instruments."

What is Deleter about? What influenced the track?

"It’s about whatever you wanna say NO to, and these days there are a lot of things."

What can listeners expect from your new album Healer?

"An honest reaction to the last three years of our lives. We pushed ourselves further creatively than ever and became an even tighter knit family then before."

What was it like working with someone so revered as Dave Sitek? What did he bring to the table? You also worked with Malay, how was the contrast between the two?

"They’re both legends. One of them was meaner than the other. Guess who?"

Is there a song on Healer you’re particularly proud of?

"I love ‘Promises’. We recorded it at the Mexican/American border in El Paso where families are still being detained and separated from one another.

"We could hear the megaphones and protests throughout the night. It’s probably the most literal song we’ve ever written regarding important social issues."

Chris Blauvelt, who was cinematographer on the film Mid90s, directed Deleter’s colourful companion video. Are you pleased with the outcome?

"Overjoyed. Blauvelt is the homie of all homies! He also just directed our Youth video which is a total trip! Collaborating with him is a dream. Honestly just being in his presence is inspiring."

You’re famed for your energetic live performances, what makes a truly great show for you?

"Complete and utter chaos but also total perfection."

In addition, you’ve partnered with The Ally Coalition and HeadCount for your forthcoming Healer tour. How important was it for Grouplove to link with those organisations?

"We want to use our platform to support the causes we believe in, it’s important to follow our conscience. Helping out LGBTQ youth and also getting people registered to vote are two causes that are important to us."

You’ve performed at the main festival players like Glastonbury, Coachella, and Lollapalooza. Do you enjoy the festival circuit? Do you have any stand out moments?

"One of the cool things about playing the festival circuit is it connects you with a community of artists and we also get to reconnect with the friends we've made over the years.

"A lot of time touring can feel disconnected, and it’s important for anybody to have a community with people who are sharing similar experiences."

You released your debut in 2011, what have you learned since then? What kind of band are you now?

"The only thing that I’ve really learned is to trust myself.

"When this band started I was really insecure. The more I trust myself, the more honest I can be and the better art and music we can make."

You’ve notched up hundreds of millions of streams across a variety of platforms, what does that mean to Grouplove? How important is streaming?

"We take it as a sign that people are engaged with what we are creating. It really doesn’t matter the platform people chose, we are just stoked people are listening. Also vinyl is still QUEEN!"

Where do you see the future of the music industry?

"I hope the future of the music industry is still people sweating in mosh pits and not self isolating at home in a dark room with earbuds in, staring at a screen."

Healer is out now via Canvasback / Parlophone

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