At first glance, you might think that rock-trio GROVES is just another pop-punk band—especially once you find out they are managed by MDDN, which is owned by Joel and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte. But take one listen to any GROVES’ tunes from their debut EP, Not for Nothing, which came out earlier this year, and you’ll realize that you definitely can’t judge this book by it’s cover.
The trio moved to Los Angeles by way of Groves, Texas — with their eyes on making big-anthemic rock songs for all to sing along to. Their latest single “Faded Love” is a vibe-y tune about growth and the start of a new chapter, and it has all the elements of which GROVES does best: intricate guitar melodies with dark-synth underpinnings topped with a dreamlike vocal. “Over time, we learn to come to terms with people and relationships coming and going in our life — The important ones leave a more profound mark on you than others. This song is about getting to a place in a relationship, where both sides decide to go their separate ways,” the band says.
After releasing only two songs, their debut single “Ender” and the memorable “Swim,” had Stephen Salisbury (vocals/guitar,) Reid Guidry (bass) and Will Smith (drums) finding themselves opening for legendary 80’s sensation Culture Club—a moment the three will likely never forget. But as the year comes to a close, the trio is looking back and trying to remember the important things— both good and bad.
“We wanted to put out Faded Love — [which] we’ve been playing live and had recorded for a few years now. The original idea for the song came after a very specific event that happened to the three of us together — it was one of those things where we got that phone call we’ve been waiting for our entire lives after going through some of our toughest times and lowest lows. You never know how fast your life can take a turn — you could be ‘one second away’ from everything you’ve ever wanted,” Reid says.
Check the official visual for “Faded Love” here and our Q&A with GROVES below.
OTW: What was the inspiration for the video?
Stephen: It was pretty clear at the early stages of conversation about this visual, that we weren’t going for a video with a typical storyline with a beginning, middle, and end. We wanted to create a visual that matched the dark vibe and tone of the song, while showcasing a live performance element in a non traditional way. Everything about this video is made with love and care by our hands. This is the first time we’ve taken responsibility for all aspects of what it takes to make a video come to life—even down to editing it ourselves. Because of that, we all feel it’s a true representation of our where our hearts and minds are. In the end, this video was made directly from the band, directly for the fans.
OTW: What do you hope people will take away from listening to the song?
Stephen: Though something may seem like a huge and significant moment in your life at the time, it doesn’t mean it will remain that way forever. People change, and that’s ok. But when you arrive at the end of a chapter in your life— whether it’s a relationship/business adventure, etc. You have two options. Throw in the towel, or start over and continue to go after what you want in life. Don’t let one failure scare you out of trying.
OTW: Of the songs on your EP, Not For Nothing, if you had to assign them “moods” what would you assign to them?
Stephen: The overall mood and message of the EP is determination and just believing in yourself. There is this recurring theme that I became much more aware of once the EP was finished and I got to step away of it. The band hadn’t even played our first show at this point, and we were all searching for inspiration and motivation. Our mantra became “Keep moving forward, don’t second guess yourself and everything will work itself out.” These are the things we were telling ourselves while writing and living together over a summer in Eagle Rock, CA. Hopefully the listeners pick up and feel some of what we were feeling. If any of these songs touch someone with even a fraction of that, that’s good enough for me.
OTW: If “Faded Love” were on a TV show — where would it appear and on what TV show?
Will: “Faded Love” actually wouldn’t appear on a TV show. The visual would appear randomly on people’s television late late at night. Right in the middle of all of the infomercials that happen — it would probably play on loop about 3 times through, then back to normalized television.
OTW: What is your favorite thing about playing live?
Will: I love to get in the zone and play the drums live. My favorite thing is to change certain parts up and keep the songs fresh. I love the idea of someone hearing our songs and getting a completely different experience than they expected. We have also begun to incorporate a light show, which adds a whole new element to our show.
OTW: You designed specific merch this year to raise money for some of the cities affected by the Hurricanes — tell us about that?
Reid: Creating our own merch has recently become quite the hobby. We have our own screen press and we were in the middle of making a new line of tour merch when Hurricane Harvey hit and flooded Southeast Texas. It was devastating to watch from Los Angeles where we felt so distant from our families and the town we grew up in — Everything was under water. We knew we wanted to help and it just felt right to design a shirt and donate the proceeds to those affected.
OTW: What’s next for you in 2018?
Reid: Lot’s of touring, a ton of writing, and definitely new music. We’re having a lot of fun experimenting with where we want to take the band musically. We’ve grown a lot since recording our EP ‘Not For Nothing.’ I think that will show when we get back in the studio to record what we’ve been working on. We’re honestly just having a blast being a band right now — It feels good!
For More on GROVES:
Lyric Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd87JQryiJ8