WORDS: DEC SHERRY | PHOTOS: ABBIE SHIPPERLEY
Following on from a tumultuous appearance at the first Upsurge Festival and UK tour with Puppy – Grove Street Families are in the midst of an evolutionary period. The band’s Vol 1 mixtape took them from a party band writing GTA inspired hardcore tunes to new styles, both lyrically and musically, that stays true to their initial fun atmosphere yet holds a more mature and serious edge to it. Discovered sat down with guitarist, Lewis, from the band to talk about what the future holds for GSF and what they’ve learned in their time as a group.
Speaking on the creative process of their last two releases, The Las Venturas EP and their Vol 1. Mixtape, Lewis tells us the story behind Grove Street’s decision to veer away from the GTA influences they became known for. “We kind of got to a junction where we were like, right, we can either just stop the band now or start a new band – because we definitely wanted to continue playing shows. We knew we wanted to be a band, but we didn’t want to just be known as that GTA band. So we, kind of like, tried bringing some more serious, well not serious but like general influence rather than just GTA, GTA, GTA. We brought that in on The Las Venturas and I think the mixtape was the first record we did with no GTA references at all.”
Moving on to discussions about the record GSF are currently working on Lewis tells us “We’re writing at the moment and we’re not focused on having to sound like this, or having to sound like that; or like – oh, can’t do that! That’s not hardcore, can’t do that it’s not thrashy. We know who we are as a band and we just have to do what we think is cool. If you spend all your time on focusing what you think other people are gonna think then there’s no point in doing it”. It makes sense that the band are biding their time constructing this record; not only is it their debut album but in a sense they’re finding their feet as a rather different group to the one who released their first three EPs.
Lyrically speaking, Lewis says that “We’re not trying to be deep and meaningful, we’re just talking about shit we feel is happening at the moment. Real shit – not tryna be fucking philosophical or anything like that, just about tryna be the best person you can be.” The band already has material following this perspective on both the mixtape and with the release of ‘Shift’, that came out the day before their appearance at Upsurge, that Lewis and the rest of the band saw had a massive reaction. A clear indication that the band is on the right track with their new formula.
Closing off the interview, Lewis goes on to say where exactly GSF’s debut is in terms of production and it’s all very positive. “We’ve been recording some things… It’s shaping up, like I said, we’re really slow at writing, we’re just not that band, we can’t just bash songs out, we’re way too critical, it is what it is. I find playing these shows and being out on the road is really a good inspiration to get home and write. You spend a lot of time with the band, you get into a certain vibe… we will have news soon. Preferably we would like to have it out early next year but you know how things go. It’s our debut album, we’re not gonna put it out till we’re really happy with it – it feels like everything’s built up to this album – we want it to be GSF.” Whether it’s early or late 2019 it certainly will be a very interesting release for GSF.