Grouplove

Walking down the street in NYC in the Spring of 2007 I met a girl on a park bench. Her name was Hannah Hooper. When we met I spoke about the Ikarus Artist Commune. She happened to be an amazing artist which at the time I was unaware of. She invited me to her studio in Chinatown for an afternoon rendezvous. When I walked in I almost fell over when I saw her work. There was one painting of a beach scene that I will never forget.

  Hannah Hooper at her NYC studio

Hannah Hooper at her NYC studio

A few weeks later she called and wanted to come to the Ikarus and asked if her boyfriend can join her. His name was Christian Zucconi. I later found out he has a voice that sounds like Kurt Cobain from Nirvana.

  Christian Zucconi and Hannah Hooper

Christian Zucconi and Hannah Hooper

Christian and I spoke on the phone for a while and loved the idea of the two of them coming for the summer. They are now the lead duet singers in Grouplove.

  Ryan Rabin (left), Christian Zucconi (right)

Ryan Rabin (left), Christian Zucconi (right)

Ryan Rabin is the drummer, I call him skunk boy for the patch of white hair on the side of his head. The first band that my brother Andrew Wessen played in was called The Anthem in which Ryan was in as well. They were only freshmen in high school playing all over the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, CA at the age of 15. Now Andrew Wessen is the lead guitarist in Grouplove. I have been listening to him play music since he was learning Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, the childhood nursery rhyme on his guitar. Sean Gaad is the bassist in the band. He is from London and we met in Greece at the Ikarus in the summer of 2007. It was a special time that summer. Where someone like Hanna came as an artist and found inspiration to become a singer. Every night the group gathered together to play music and talk about life. That experience planted the seed for a band to be born.

  Hannah and Christian

Hannah and Christian

  Grouplove with Hannah's art

Grouplove with Hannah's art

  in Hollywood, CA

in Hollywood, CA

  Hannah, Ryan, Christian, Andrew and Sean in Matt Wessen's van

Hannah, Ryan, Christian, Andrew and Sean in Matt Wessen's van

  Pouring rain in front of the   Wiltern Theater   where Grouplove's show sold out

Pouring rain in front of the Wiltern Theater where Grouplove's show sold out

  Hollywood Hills, CA

Hollywood Hills, CA

  Grouplove's show at the   Bootleg Theater   where Anna and Matt Wessen went on their first date

Grouplove's show at the Bootleg Theater where Anna and Matt Wessen went on their first date

  Atman, Anna Wessen, Hannah Hooper, Andrew Wessen (bottom); Nicky Berger and Matt Wessen (top) at   Amoeba Records   in Hollywood, CA shot by a fan

Atman, Anna Wessen, Hannah Hooper, Andrew Wessen (bottom); Nicky Berger and Matt Wessen (top) at Amoeba Records in Hollywood, CA shot by a fan

  Grouplove's studio in Hollywood where they recorded their second album "  Spreading Rumors  "

Grouplove's studio in Hollywood where they recorded their second album "Spreading Rumors"

Photography and story by Matt Wessen, editing by Anna Wessen