Groove Armada in Dubai

Groove Armada in Dubai Tom Findlay warms up for Sandance with a chat about music

Interview, Hot seat

As the UK dance duo return to spin at Sandance this week, Rob Garratt catches up with the band’s 40-year-old founder

What have you two been up to since you last played Sandance in November 2011?
That was just after we’d disbanded the live band. I don’t think it’s very likely we’ll bring that back. We’ve just been DJing a lot: we’ve done the major label big band phase.

Why the step back?
A different thing is at play now. The last 18 months have seen the rise of EDM, which wasn’t doing it for me.

So you’re not a fan of ‘EDM’.
I suspect it’s just going to burn itself out quite quickly. Obviously there’s a lot of momentum in the States where they’re belatedly discovering dance music. And to do that credibly they’ve had to reinvent it and make it more appealing with a rock star take on it.

What do you remember best from your last time in Dubai?
Great production and a really nice vibe. I always enjoy my time in Dubai. I have friends out there and I always meet up with them.

Why did you quit Lovebox, the festival you founded in the UK?
We’ve been doing it for ten years and there was a sense it was at its best a few years ago. It’s not about paying huge sums for headline talent, that’s not the reason we went into it. It grew into a monster.

You once ruled out making another album.
I don’t know. The days of the dramatic statement album to outdo your last release are over. I wouldn’t rule out new music, but I can’t imagine sitting down for a year and creating a new album again. It’s 17 years since our first release. That’s a long time and we’re both quite interested in doing our own stuff.

What else would you do?
At the moment it’s hard to say, we haven’t quite wound down enough to think about it. It’s not a midlife crisis. It’s more interesting than that.

What’s more interesting than a midlife crisis?
I don’t know. I haven’t had one yet!

What’s the most embarrassing TV ad your music has been used on?
There’s been quite a few. The Marks & Spencer’s one was on TV so much I had to keep turning it off. We have turned down one or two that have been worse, so we’re learning. M&S was a good payer, but it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.

What do you make of your co-headliners, Keane?
Not bad as people say, they’ve had a bit of a tough track record though.

What do you think of what Calvin Harris did to Florence and the Machine’s ‘Spectrum (Say my Name)’?

I think it’s a really good song, but I don’t quite understand how that fits in with who she was before. Hopefully when I see her live at Sandance it will all make sense.
Groove Armada play Sandance at Atlantis on Friday May 10, www.timeouttickets.com

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