Interviews / Photography

INTERVIEW: GROVES 20/06/2015

©2015 Francesca Nottola

by Francesca Nottola

Groves are a noise/punk/hippie three-piece band from Manchester. The ‘throat-splitting’ vocals are provided by Luca Corda, the ‘thunderous drums’ by his brother Mattia Corda and the gut-drilling bass by Richard Clarke. There are a few reasons why I asked them to be interviewed for us. I had already heard of them, and when I saw they were organising a launch party called ‘Arc of The Horizon’ for their latest release Give It Some Thrape, I decided to go and check them out. In the middle of the Longsight desert, I found myself transported into another reality. Hosted in a magnificent medieval mansion with an immense garden, the event was one full day of performances by local musicians and poets, vinyl DJ sessions and an annexed market of records, cakes, homemade brews and art. All set in a welcoming chilled-out atmosphere of what it felt like an urban hippie commune. After watching their psychedelic performance seasoned with black lights and fluorescent face paint that I was appointed to put on people’s faces, I saw the light: Groves are noise hippies grown up in club culture who mix it all up in a fantastic blend of fun and drunken bonfires. They label themselves ‘fun+loud racket from Manchester’. Let’s see what the Groves themselves have to say and what their general philosophy is. I met them in the bohemian Northern Quarter for a 90 minutes session of laughs and friendly reciprocal piss-taking.

Names are important. Why ‘Groves’?

LC That was Dan! We were walking through York with our friend Dan – I think he had this name in mind for a while – and we were talking about starting this new band. We were searching for ages. We had come with some great names, like Zebrador. Then it turns out there’s about 5 bands called Groves…

I did notice. How are you going to deal with this when you become famous?

RC They will just join, they’ll just play with us.

LC We’ll worry about that when we need to. I’d love to do a gig with a bill full of Groves. But they don’t want to know, do they, Rich?

RC No, not really.

LC Well, we’d like them to know that we are up for the creation of a Groves brotherhood.

You seem to have a pretty busy schedule at the moment, things seem to go really well for Groves. Are you happy with how it is going?

LC Yeah, it’s going.

Who manages Public Relations? Do you have a manager or is it all D.I.O.? [Do It Ourselves]

RC Luca is the technology man, but we do discuss everything with each other, we have a very good relationship. It’s a nice way to work. At the moment it’s people inviting us, which is very nice. We’ve had plenty of help from friends. It’s a really nice network of people.

It’s an important shift to be invited to play, isn’t it?

LC Yeah. Initially, when you start a new band, you’ve got to put yourself out there: going to gigs, meeting people, and you build this network.

People clearly enjoy your performances a lot. We can see that you enjoy yourselves and it gets back to us, it’s a flow that feeds itself.

MC A very wise lady once told me: there are two ends to a telephone line…

LC …and it helps if the two ends are connected.

Which musicians inspired you and what is your musical background?

LC People would say, among the obvious ones, Shellac, probably Nirvana, anything grunge, basically.

RC Jesus Lizard. Tia? He must have an influence there…

MC Bach…

LC Brahms…

Tia, it sounds like you have a classical background…

MC Yes.

LC Tia’s background and training is more grounded in classical music. He is a wonderful theorbist, great pianist, average conductor [laughs]…

RC …guitarist…

LC Whereas me and Richard grew up more with popular music, a rock’n’roll thing.

I had thought of Sonic Youth and Pavement…

MC/RC Also, definitely.

MC You got a couple of albums of Pavement, haven’t you, Luke?

RC A couple [laughs]

LC For me and Richie, I think, a big influence is a British band called Cable, whom we got to see twice last year.

RC They are a band from Derby, formed in the 90s, between Britpop and grunge. They produced very interesting songs and three albums. Then they disbanded for a while and reformed recently.

RC It’s a band you can always go back to and enjoy, a massive influence for us.

LC They are flipping great! Are we allowed to swear?

Of course.

LC They are fucking great!

Why do you make music and what pushed you to start?

RC We just wanted to have fun, be in a band and make music, I guess.

LC I don’t think there is an ultimate goal. Me and Richie have been playing together for quite a while since when we were in York. When I moved to Manchester, I wanted to be involved with the local scene and play more music. So, did I mention to you, Richie, that I wanted to start a new band?

RC I’m pretty sure you did, and there was no question that that was going to happen. We were looking for a drummer, though.

LC Yeah, and that’s when we called little brother Matthew in.

MC Well, it’s perhaps a slightly different story for me.

RC Go on, please.

MC Well, I’m trying to think what it was that drew me to music. And probably it’s something to do with… I’ve always looked up to my older brother, I think.

RC/LC Awwww.

I was just going to ask the question about being two brothers in a band.

MC I remember sitting in his room, watching him play computer games and …

LC Why are you bringing this into this, Tia?!?!

RC [laughs, amused]

MC …[in his best storytelling mode and voice] and then I remember a band that you guys were in before. You did a gig in our living room when I must have been about 7 and my parents dragged in all these pallets from outside to make a stage in the living room. Do you remember that?

LC Yeah

RC I remember this.

MC Maybe I was 10…

Richard, were you there as well?

RC I was in the band, yeah. I was about 16.

LC The band was called Treehouse.

So you started quite early. Were you schoolmates?

MC They were, and Richard’s hair hasn’t changed since then. But we shan’t get distracted.

RC I’ve kind of lost the question.

The question was if making music was just to have fun or if you wanted to make something specific, different from other bands.

RC I think we just wanted to make music at the start, and it took a long time searching for what we wanted to do. We had Antelope [the US indie band] in mind as a band, and then we just turned the amps up.

LC That was it. Turned the amps up and it just felt right.

MC There were a couple of things that helped us find our sound, weren’t there?

RC Oh, just a few [they laugh]. I think it’s grown more since starting it. I don’t think we had something in mind that we wanted to achieve, but, since starting it, the direction has become clearer.

I see. So you don’t seem to be necessarily affected much by what’s happening in music nowadays.

LC Yeah, we are on our own trip.

RC Yeah.

Is there anything that you dislike or were inspired by in old or contemporary bands? Attitudes, behaviours…

RC Ooooohhh! One thing that annoys me is when a band just looks like they are not having fun. It’s just fashion and looking cool on stage. What are you doing? Why are you on stage? Why are you not having fun?!?

MC There are two ends to a telephone line! It’s 50% the audience and 50% the band. It’s two way. You’ve got to work together with the audience. Get them all in circle holding hands and get their vocal chords vibrating.

RC True!

LC It’s a choice that we make, something we consider. We want to be connected and involved with the people, but for a lot of performers this is not what they’re all about. For us it’s a big factor.

RC It has taken us a while to get to this point, performing live and then adding this extra element of getting the audience involved, but it’s kind of what we want to do. If a band does not want to do that, if they just want to play their music it’s fine. Some bands don’t say anything to the crowd, but they can be very engaging to watch anyway.

Do you think that when performers are not able to connect with the audience this can be due to anxiety?

MC Perhaps Richard would like to answer this question. Richard has a phrase that begins with ‘release’.

RC ‘Release the inner child! It’s just about being silly, letting go and not take yourself too seriously.

Which is why I see you guys as ‘noise hippies’!

RC ‘Noise hippies’, wow!

Noise’ and ‘hippies’ are two categories that don’t usually go together. It’s either noise, cool, distorted guitars from New York or folk, flowers, long hair and beards from some small town in Southern England. The ‘noise hippy’ is something new!

RC I had never thought of that!

LC Hey, we may have hit the niche market there!

You label yourselves as ‘punk – noise’. In which way are you ‘punk’?

RC Well, for me punk is about being open to everything.

LC Be who you want to be and do what you want to do.

True, but punk also conveyed a strong political message. So, does your punk have anything to do with politics? The first time I heard ‘Frack the Shit Out of It’ I did wonder if it could be a sarcastic reference to fracking and how it is imposed on territories and communities without anyone agreeing to it.

LC Personally, I’m not heavily into politics.

RC I do think you don’t like fracking, though.

LC There are obviously things that do sound like daft ideas, such as fracking or building a massive rail network just to save a few rich people 5 or 10 minutes on the train to London.

MC I think you’ve put it all marvellously, Luca. I do agree with you that fracking seems like a daft idea and probably that’s the message that our song maybe wanted to portray, even though it seems counterintuitive. That’s, perhaps, our sarcastic side.

LC Yeah, I think the title has a hint of sarcasm. We are all anti-fracking, but we are not activists.

RC We are all definitely very anti-fracking.

MC Personally, politics doesn’t influence my drumming style one bit.

RC Do you not get angry when you are drumming?

MC I don’t get angry in the band, ever! Maybe pre-Dale I might have got.

We’ll talk about Dale later. Who is the angry one?

RC We all have our moments…

LC Does politics influence you, Rich?

RC It does influence my life, but I wouldn’t say the music so much. It’s more on a personal level.

Talking about your lyrics… I got some of your lyrics and I know that lots of people have been asking about the meaning of your lyrics. Who writes the lyrics?

LC It’s me, but sometimes I take inspiration from these guys. For most of the first two albums (Tape and Give it Some Thrape), most of the lyrics came from…Well, we’d write the music together and then we’d just start jamming and the lyrics come as a stream, they just develop in the rehearsal room. A jam, a phrase, a sentence. I just start singing nonsense. So far, we’ve always tried to keep everything fun, starting with some vocals, some silly words and then a little bit of thought brings it all together. More recently, though, with some of the newer songs, there’s been, for me, much more thought into them.

Now that you are becoming serious?

LC Now that we are going soft!

MC Do you think that your poetry has influenced your lyrics, Luca? (My brother is a fantastic poet!)

LC I don’t think I would class myself as a poet…

RC Luca has a notebook with his poetry.

LC It’s a little notebook with some thoughts…

Since we are focusing on you, Luca, what is it with your screaming? (I’m very jealous of your screaming). It’s your main vocals mode. Why? What is it that drives you to scream like that? I ask because it’s quite strong, quite intense.

LC I have a bit of history of the screaming. Back in York, many moons ago, after the band with Rich [Treehouse] when I was 12, then I got in a band called Loki, a metal band, when I was 18-19, and that’s when I discovered how much joy I got from screaming.

Why is that? You seem so quiet..

LC I don’t know. It’s just an amazing release.

Release of what? Anger?

LC It’s not really anger. You know, sometimes you get a build-up of shit in your brain, for whatever reason: a silly day in work, someone saying something mean to you, or you feel a bit down about something you’ve said. You get a bit clogged up in your brain, or I do. Today for example, we hadn’t been playing together for a few weeks, and then to go and have our rehearsal, after a day of work, my head is just clear now after a bit of shouting, it’s like an eraser, a rubber. But I actually fell out of my relationship with screaming for a long time.

RC You nearly fainted once.

LC Yeah, I used to nearly pass out! I gave up, and I was enjoying singing a lot and when we got back together with the Groves, then I tried it again and it was like YES. I enjoy it!

RC And you don’t faint any more now.

Do you never feel the need to sing a melody?

LC Absolutely, I think that’s where we are heading now with the new tracks.

Are you going pop?

LC A little…

MC I’d probably use the word ‘wet’.

LC …and soft. Yeah, there’s gonna be singing now!

Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

LC It’s a punk thing, because we do what we want!

RC And it feels right at the moment. I’m loving it.

LC I think we are all enjoying the new stuff. There’s a bit more melody there, we’ll still have some punky rocky stuff though.

RC Just a bit more varied, I’d say.

What about the instruments? I was a bit surprised not to hear a very noisy loud distorted guitar in a noise band. Tia’s drums are very prominent, your screaming and Rich’s bass are too. Is it a choice or does it just happen?

LC I think it’s just hard to compete with such thunderous drums! [laughs] I’m trying!

MC Luca is aided by a certain custom pedal that I designed for him.

LC The pedal I use helps me match these two powerful people, these two galloping horses! It’s a pedal that Tia made at school, it’s the only pedal I use.

A hand-made custom pedal?

LC Yeah! It has three knobs: ‘happiness’, ‘love’ and ‘friendship’.

MC So that would fit into your ‘noise hippie’ label.

LC I’m trying, but Tia wins at the moment, at least when the cymbals don’t have a crack in them.

Let’s talk about the merchandising, which plays a very important role in shaping the Groves identity. I love the fact that you basically hand-make everything.

LC So far…

So far. I merrily purchased the tape from the Groves briefcase and I got a digital download too, but I don’t have a tape player, so I was not able to listen to the extra song on tape. Why this choice? Do you really want people to listen to your music on tapes?

RC It’s like with vinyl, having an object to hold, an object that you go and buy. When there’s something that you really appreciate it’s so much nicer than just a standard CD that you see in a shop and you buy hundreds of the same things over and over. We couldn’t afford vinyl, so I guess tape was the best option, really.

LC If we had some label involved, even just a small label that could help us with funds to getting a record press that would be great. Cassettes and vinyl are getting back in, the physical format.

RC It’s just stepping away from the digital and CD that is just so common right now. It’s nice to have something different that is kind of unique. I don’t know, you might dig a tape from your mum’s loft, pop it in and see what happens.

Having used them all, tapes and vinyl as a child, CDs as a teenager and digital as a grown up, and having had to carry dozens of boxes of tapes, vinyl, CDs and VHS when moving house, I have to say that I prefer the portability of the digital format. Also, tapes and LPs were so common when I was a child that perhaps I am not able to grasp this vintage fascination.

LC There is something different, though, when we listen to that tape in the tape player, through those rattly old speakers. It’s quite different.

RC [does the rattling sound] The whole process of getting it out, I don’t know if it’s like a reminiscence or if it brings out old memories if you got a tape player: get it out, put it in. I remember doing this, or recording off the radio.

It’s a bit of 1980s nostalgia then.

RC It is a bit nostalgic, yes.

Tia, have you ever played a tape? You are the youngest here.

MC As a child, I remember going to bed, every night, and my mum used to put a tape on for me and my little brother and I used to like listening to stories and Fabio [the third Corda brother] used to like to listen to the Spice Girls and we always used to argue. So the answer is: yes, I have.

I did not know the Spice Girls had been released on tape. But let’s go back to the Groves tapes. You guys printed some text backwards and included a tiny plastic mirror to read it! What an idea! That required a bit of effort!

LC Good!

You clearly target people that have got time and take time to listen to your things and want to have that little extra minute to place a mirror in front of your tape inlay!

LC Did you do that?

Of course I did.

LC Brilliant!

Beside the credits, which include Manchester taxis for being so expensive, what was the other philosophical bit about?

LC ‘Between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out’.

That’s the one. Where does that come from?

MC I forget the source of that. I believe that came from the Internet, possibly.

LC That is linked to the production of that record, because one thing seems to lead to another. We had the initial idea: let’s screen print some CDs! Then it moved to making some tapes, then we started making the inlays, and then Richard suggested: ‘Oh! Why don’t we reverse the notes and put little mirrors in?’

RC That comes from work, actually.

From work?!?

RC I practise writing my name backwards and upside down, just when I’m bored. And then it popped into my head: the mirror! Because I do it all the time. That’s us just trying to engage the audience.

I did try to use the little mirror provided, I was very active: I even used an extra mirror. It was not an easy business, but I appreciated the idea a lot, it was fun.

LC As long as the thought was there, I’m sure that you found the way to read it.

And then I read the sleeve in my big mirror and the text was revealed to me.

MC And how did that make you feel, after you had achieved?

Success! ‘I’m initiated now’, I thought.

LC There you go!

MC There is a famous saying that goes: No pain…

…No gain!

MC Well remembered!

LC May I just say what I was going to say earlier about that text. Between saying that you are going to do something and completing it, it takes a lot. That’s why that saying was fitting for us. It did take us a long time, didn’t it, Rich and Tia?

RC A long, long time.

MC Those two gentlemen over there….The amount of hours that they spent in the production line is unbelievable. The courage that this chap Richard showed screen printing those sleeves is quite something.

RC I’ve had a lot of help. We are quite lucky because our friends are absolute legends!

MC On the merch thing, we need to thank all the people that have helped us. Our sister Daniela Corda designed some of the badges, and a great friend of ours, Cecile Hoezelle, designed the t-shirt logo.

LC And our friend Dan Vallins designed the album cover.

There is a lot of fun and play involved even just in opening the case. Even if I don’t have a tape player, it was still fun. And then Dale came. I saw this picture of an early 20th century man and I thought: who the hell is this? I initially thought Dale was some old man from Yorkshire you may have met in a pub that would give some drunken common sense advice, like ‘Don’t drink drunk [see inlays]. I found out, instead, to my surprise, that Dale is actually a very famous American author of self-help books from the 1930s, Dale Carnegie. Why is he in your tape, is it ironic? Is he a real source of inspiration?

LC Are we going to open up about Dale to everybody? Ok Tia, let loose.

MC To cut a very long story short, after we had recorded our first album, we were very excited about getting some new songs written but, unfortunately, even though we had all the ideas inside us, when we came to the band room this translated into frustration and we couldn’t channel our creative efforts.

When was this?

MC Over a year ago. We were all pissed off about not being able to create what we wanted and a friend of mine recommended a book. I hadn’t read a book for about 15 years, so I thought ok, I’ll read a book, see what this reading thing is all about. And I read that book and I thought: this is going to sort out Groves! I bought a copy for these two boys here and they both read it and from the moment we all finished it, we all started getting on.

LC I think me and Richie were very inspired by Tia’s interpretation of the book, because you could read that book and take it in many different ways, but the way Tia implemented into his own life and into our lives was just magic, really. He’s very wise, my younger brother.

MC Well, we all bring a lot to the band.

So, Dale is no joke!

MC When somebody prints out 200 pictures of a person, it’s a serious thing. When our Facebook profile picture changes every week to Dale, it’s serious. The reason why Dale features so highly in practically everything we do is because without Dale there wouldn’t be any Groves.

LC Rich was running out of the room pissed off, throwing his bass down, saying ‘I can’t be doing this’.

RC I can confirm. I was getting stressed. The music wasn’t coming out and it was just getting a bit stressful, because it was there, but we couldn’t get it out. I knew it was there, I’ve worked with Luca for ages, but it wasn’t happening. Then Dale came along and changed everything.

MC Dale did wonders for me to embrace other people and other people’s differences. Perhaps we should focus on the book. For me the message of the book was ‘be sound’.

RC Just be nice, be sound to each other.

MC That, for me, is the essence of the book and the essence of the band now.

LC And maybe have a little less ego. I think being in a band, performing…

RC …makes you a bit self-indulgent.

LC A little bit of ego is necessary to do a good performance and to be an interesting person, in a way. Tia might disagree with me on this now, but there’s a limit, isn’t there? between being sound and being not sound and having too much ego. You’ve got to stay cool!

RC Keep grounded…

LC Keep true to who you are.

Let’s talk about the dresses. Why did you decide to wear dresses on stage? I like them very much and you all look wonderful in them. Is there any gender-bending agenda at work there?

LC This is the question I thought we might be asked.

RC Some are quite tight to put on… Did it come from the video? [‘Frack The Shit Out Of It’]

LC No, I don’t even remember the first time.

RC Is it after that night we walked home and then just… It all revolves around our house.

LC Me and Rich were walking back from a wonderful day, I don’t know what happened on that day.

MC There was a lot of ‘false energy’ included.

LC We were feeling the love for everyone, really. And we were walking home from a gig.

Synthetic love?

LC Even before that, that came after. There was just a pile of kaftans in the street, so we picked them up and we thought: ‘these are beautiful!’. And then we put them on and went into the house and…

As simple as that? Is this how it started?

RC Yes. We were just enjoying wearing them and we took it from there, I think.

MC Another gift from the universe, 5 words.

LC A gift from the universe, there you go.

Groves speak detected. What is the ‘gift from the universe’?

MC The kaftans! They were in the road, on a wonderful day…

Not a coincidence you mean?

MC Well, these things can be interpreted in many ways.

LC I also think that now they are linked to our rituals on stage.

I confess I’d be a bit disappointed if you didn’t wear the dresses…

LC But we don’t wear them all the time.

Of course, it’s the philosophy of the band, you do what you want, it’s your punk bit.

RC We do try to mix each ritual up a bit every time.

The face paint doesn’t happen every time, does it?

LC No, that was a special thing for that event.

Do the dresses have anything to do with gender boundaries then?

MC I’m not sure the boys would agree with me on this issue and it’s not necessarily related to the band. For me, personally, an issue like that is a little bit too specific for my philosophy. I would probably think more generally about human beings expressing themselves in any way, shape or form they wish to, and gender for me focuses a lot on specific issues that are maybe deeply rooted in people having a need or feeling to express themselves in another way. So, perhaps the dresses are one manifestation of us expressing ourselves or feeling comfortable with an audience or bridging that gap, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s about gender …We could quite happily convey that message without the dresses.

LC I find it strange that people even notice that. I get a lot out of it and I think it’s very important to be in touch with your feminine side as a guy and your masculine side if you are a woman.

I dream of a world where these concepts of masculine and feminine did not even exist. So are you happy when these borders are crossed?

LC Extremely happy. As long as people express themselves as best they can and feel comfortable, that’s fine.

RC It’s interesting for me because I found it quite hard to put on a dress the first time doing it, but now I love it. I enjoy it and it’s given me more confidence on stage and I can just express myself more and I feel more open to…whatever. It’s really interesting and it also somehow relaxes people, it intrigues them, they go: what’s going on here? We are so used to chinstrokers at gigs. They seem more engaged.

It depends on the context. In some contexts men wearing a dress is definitely no big deal. At the same time, in rock-indie there are quite strong stereotypes about the image of a rock or noise musician. And this is related to where we started from and how Groves break this mould of the ‘noise’ band.

LC Maybe we do without being totally aware of that ourselves.

MC Well, if you want a stereotype of the rock musician and the rock’n’roll lifestyle then definitely 2/3 of the band fit the bill for that one. Look at the two boys in the smoking area, enjoying a little puff on a cigarette and their pint and a smile on their faces.

But they were still half naked on stage with a dress, not the stereotypical Yorkshire lads…

MC They tick most of the boxes…

LC Tia, it takes time a lot of time to learn that, and we are working on it.

MC I’ll remember that.

Are we going to add the dresses to the merchandising desk? I’d love a Groves dress.

MC We can recommend you an excellent shop.

Islamic Relief in Longsight? I don’t have a loyalty card though.

LC You can get one and give me the stamps if you go there. The Sunday £1 rail is good for a bargain.

MC What else do we endorse in our band…Very cheap drumsticks, mostly from China, and we go through a lot of drumsticks and cymbals.

LC We still haven’t found a good cymbals outlet, have we, Tia?

MC We are looking for a sponsor…

Surely your fantastic video will contribute to finding a sponsor.

MC Let’s hope so.

Since we mentioned the amazing video for ‘Frack The Shit Out of It’, shall we name its very talented director? It looks like you had a great time shooting it. Who had this idea of the masks? Was there a concept behind it or was it just random improvised fun?

RC I’d say it was spontaneous.

LC The guy who did the video was recommended to us. His name is Jordan Greenwood, from Halifax, and I believe he just recently finished his degree in Film and Media Production. His art name is Jordangelo. I think we cobbled the storyline together.

What’s the storyline?

LC There’s not really a storyline, but Jordan had an idea that he always wanted to make a music video where someone puts on the headphones and the music turns up. That sort of triggered this weird thing…

MC/RC Journey!

LC …journey, where I’m listening to the music and then I end up at the room playing the music and these guys are sort of my ghosts, or partners in crime.

MC Bodyguards!

LC Bodyguards.

MC Wingwomen!

LC And what about the masks, Rich? There’s the Gatekeeper (Richard), Mr Cool and the Hobgoblin. The Gatekeeper is a mask that I made for Pink India, a mini festival that we held at the mansion. Mr Cool came from the Easter Egg hunt that Tia set up when we had a yard sale. The Hobgoblin came from the Crystal Slade, which is when we did the Crystal Maze at home, another event. They are all connected to our house.

MC Another way to put our soul into the music.

LC Yes, Tia.

And now a question for the Corda brothers. So you are half Italian and, specifically, Sardinian. Were you born and did you grow up in the UK? What role does your half Italian identity play in your lives and, if any, in your music? Has it ever been a problem? Is it a good thing?

LC I believe we were born in Scarborough, by the sea. I can only see it as a blessing, really, to have family abroad, to have the opportunity to visit them. It has given us an opportunity to experience a different culture. It probably has influenced me as a person. But I’ve always lived in the UK so I feel I’m from here, but maybe I have a few stubborn Sardinian traits. [RC giggles].

MC I would say that I’m very grateful not necessarily for having Sardinian blood in me, but for having had the opportunity to grow up with two cultures, which gave me the openness to other ways of being and other ways of doing. My dad is from a village in the middle of nowhere where there’s about 60 people. Most of them don’t even speak Italian, they only speak their dialect and…it’s brilliant! You go there and it’s like going to Mars! And it’s so wonderful. I think they might think the same about coming to England. It made me realise form an early age that there’s not only one way of life.

Is there anything specifically Italian that you think makes you guys different? Has anyone ever told you: oh, that was so Italian!

LC Mmm, just lovemaking. [the other two burst into a massive laughter at Luca]

Are you involved in other individual or collective projects?

MC I’m a passionate lute player in a very successful chamber ensemble called The Castello duo. Luca is involved in many projects, perhaps the most prominent being the band Locean, which are…

LC …improvised noise and poetry. I play the drums.

MC You may not approve the way the band relates to the audience. Locean take a slightly different stance.

RC I’m involved in a band called Easter, from Manchester, with my brother and two other friends, and I play bass there too.

Would you say that Groves is the main project?

RC I would say so.

MC We’ve all got to pay the bills, haven’t we, Francesca?

LC Well this is definitely not doing that!

Alright guys, thanks a lot for the very lovely conversation. Before we go, I’d like to ask Groves what is the main message that you want to share with our readers?

LC It’s a big question.

RC Don’t drink drunk!

LC That’s not a bad one, Rich. The one that pops to my head is: Have fun with what you do.

RC Don’t take yourselves too seriously…

LC …if you are performing and if you are watching.

RC yeah, just go with the flow.

LC Be yourselves, be sound. It takes a lifetime to learn life. Enjoy every moment.

RC Appreciate every moment.

Groves will be playing in Manchester in October at A Carefully Planned Festival in the Northen Quarter. Their music and merchandising are available from https://grovestheband.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/grovestheband

Twitter: @thegrovesband

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