Preview: Grouplove at Echostage Nov. 9
Grouplove bassist Dan Gleason discusses what to expect at the concert
The popular indie rock band and 2013 Student Union Board headliner Grouplove will be performing at Echostage in D.C. on Nov. 9 to promote its most recent album, “Big Mess,” which was released Sept. 9.
The Los Angeles-based five-piece began its Big Mess World Tour last September in California and will end this January in Australia.
The Eagle had the opportunity to speak with the band’s bass player Dan Gleason, and asked him what can be expected both from the new album and the tour.
“‘Welcome to Your Life’ gets a strong reaction from the crowd when we play it live,” Gleason said. “‘Enlighten Me’ is also one of my personal favorites off the new album.”
The new record, which features 11 songs, is the band’s third full-length album, preceded by “Spreading Rumors” in 2011 and “Never Trust a Happy Song” in 2014. Grouplove is known for its unique fusion of synth-pop and hardcore rock sounds, and this trademark is present in “Big Mess.”
“Big Mess” took approximately six to seven months to complete, according to Gleason, as the band recorded in Seattle for about three months before returning to LA to continue recording with drummer Ryan Rabin.
“The band doesn’t have a set writing process,” Gleason said. “We really focus on creating naturally, experimenting with chords or melodies that happen in the moment.”
He added, “[the album was] not created around a specific concept, but that the goal was to produce an album covering a full spectrum of emotion, and to have a song for any mood.”
Gleason emphasized how Grouplove focuses on being present and taking each moment as it comes. Before he began to play with the band, he prefered to work in the studio, because he considered himself a perfectionist. Now, Gleason said he prefers touring, because it allows him to take every experience live as is.
Austin, Texas is among Gleason’s favorite cities for performing.
“The venue doesn’t really matter because everything depends on how the night goes and how the crowd responds to the music,” Gleason said. He added that so far on tour, the fans have responded positively to the album and the live show.
“I try to stay away from reviews because the band does not aim to make music to please the critics, we make music to please the fans,” Gleason said. “I’m really proud of the new album and that’s the most important thing.”
MUNA and Dilly Dally, the groups which will be opening for Grouplove at Echostage, both have very different sounds from Grouplove and from each other, Gleason said.
“Both bands have been on our radar for some time and they both portray different sides of Grouplove,” Gleason said. “MUNA is catchier and more upbeat while Dilly Dally has a rawer sound.”
As for what to expect from Grouplove’s live show, Gleason said that the audience will see each of the band members give everything they have.
“Five people who are such good friends and are so happy to see each other living out their dreams of sharing their music with others,” Gleason said. “Because the band is having so much fun performing together, the audience is able to pick up on it and have as much fun as we are.”
Echostage is located at 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE. Doors for the show open at 7p.m., general admission tickets are $44.45.