Groove Armada are without a doubt, one of the most loved and influential electronic dance producers out there. Although they never really planned it, they grabbed the attention of major record labels from their first single back in the 90’s. After 6 studio albums, countless anthems and radio hits, they are now finally back to where it all started. Underground dance singles, strictly for the floor. To celebrate ‘Pork Soda’, their latest single for Jaymo & Andy George’s Moda Black imprint, we sat down with Tom Findlay from Groove Armada for a quick brief about all that they’ve been up to, then and now.
During the last few years, starting from the Red Light Trax EP (2011), Groove Armada focused more on club tracks rather than your obviously better known ‘song structure material’…
“Well it’s been a slow process, and sometimes the crowds haven’t quite caught up. But we’ve been doing the DJ thing at ‘We Love’ for years and people get that that’s always been part of us, so nothing has changed that dramatically, apart from us being deafer and having a few grey hairs, me especially”.
Nothing has changed that dramatically, apart from us being deafer and having a few grey hairs
Your recent release ‘Pork Soda’ has like your earlier recordings for Hypercolour, a lot of old Chicago Acid and NYC House influences. As a couple who have been around since those early days, how do you feel about most of the new interpretations of that old school sound, coming from the new generation of producers nowadays?
“I think they’re great, in fact you can hear people more and more being less faithful to those sounds, taking it somewhere altogether ruder. It’s exciting. Tracks like ‘don’t hold back’ by Dungeon Meat, or ‘Bangt’ on that Jack for Daze series which is faultlessly brilliant”.
Groove Armada – Pork Soda, Moda Black 2014
What’s the key to Groove Armada’s longevity?
“I don’t know really. I don’t think we’re alone. There’s plenty of bods from our era still doing it to some extent or other. I guess what we all share is that we still love music, we still need it in our lives, and none of us have got a clue what else to do.”
For many years now, you’ve been attached to major record labels. How did that effect you as an artist?
“Well it drives you to singles, it keeps you grafting. Inevitably the music you make becomes a bit more commercial, or at least ours did. I think maybe the relationship between artists and labels has shifted in the artist’s favour now”
What is the worst thing about dealing with a major label?
“There’s a bit of a wall of insincerity to confront, but there’s some good people in all labels, you just have to look for them. Oh and business affairs, no one likes business affairs”
Groove Armada – My Friend, Zomba Records 2001
From dub to disco, house and techno all the way to jazz, is there any musical influence or great desire that you feel like you haven’t got the chance to really use or produce?
“Not really, we even had a bit of an ill-advised dalliance with folk with a track called ‘Remember Me’. It’s a lovely chilled Balearic thing, but the parts and the chords progressions especially were a bit of a headfuck.”
You just released a remix for Arthur Baker’s classic ‘Walking on Sunshine’. Any thoughts on any other re-editing or remixes for disco classics?
“Would love to do a bit of a series of these. It’s such a joy to work with those sorts of parts, there’s also some late 80s house classics, some early 90s too, actually while we’re at it some early noughties stuff would be ripe for a re-rub. Anyone got the parts to the Chicken Lips remix of ‘It rough’ by Headman, that would be fun.”
What does future holds for GA?
“Summer is looking busy. We’re talking to a few labels about some album projects, though this might be more on a re-edit tip than full throttled new material.”