The alt-hitmaking band Grouplove's been covering Beyonce's “Drunk in Love” on their most recent tour, so when they saw the diva sitting backstage at last week's Coachella festival, they knew they had to make a move.
“[Guitarist] Andrew [Wesson] is the most fearless, unintimidating personality to everyone, so we always make him approach people,” said drummer Ryan Rabin outside the band's trailer immediately following their killer weekend two set. “He [approached her first,] then [frontman] Christian Zucconi and I creep up once it's clear she's cool with the conversation and the bodyguards aren't freaking out. She's like, 'Aw man, I gotta look that up, so cool you did that.' I was like, 'It was my idea! via my girlfriend!' [Beyonce said,] 'Your girlfriend's my GIRL.' I told my girlfriend that and she melted.”
It was a major highlight of a year already full of them: the Southern California band's second album, “Spreading Rumours,” was released in September, and its first single, the catchy, electro-pop “Ways to Go,” hit #2 on the alternative charts. “I think the beast that was Lorde's 'Royals' kept us from #1,” says manager Nicky Berger, of Berger Management. “I'm OK with that.”
Berger's most excited that the brand's branching out from the standard touring cycle, with members getting into scoring and soundtrack work, including a song for the upcoming summer movie “Fault In Our Stars.” “They're an incredibly creative band, and it's great that they now are at a place in their career to showcase that talent.”
That included a visual art show of works from frontwoman Hannah Hooper, which was organized with the help of agent Jenna Adler from CAA. “To be able to to help and showcase a gallery for her and tie it into the record [was really special],” Adler said as she popped into their backstage area. “I think collectively as a team we have really worked well together and we're not in a rush. It's all about the tortoise and the hare. The steps we're taking are the right ones.”
That included turning down some good-looking early offers. “I remember the first time I sat with them, they wanted to play Coachella,” she said. We said 'don't do it -- you don't even have an EP out, and you're not going to be able to come back next year.' They actually listened -- which is unbelievable, and very rare.'”
They've also listened to the advice of Atlantic's VP of brand partnerships, Brad Rains, who has helped negotiate deals for the band with Apple and Chevy. “The brand partners continue to come in strong,” he said. “It really helps with expanding the music to a different audience when you've constantly got commercials that are using the song.”
He continues: “From day one, Nicky and Christian and Hannah always understood the power and value of brand partners and media dollars and the exposure value that can come from that . . . it's fantastic to just keep moving on that side.”