Hannah Hooper met Christian Zucconi late one evening on the lower east side of Manhattan. They had both been living in New York for years and had never crossed paths before. But from that night forward the two could hardly be pulled apart. Soon after their connection Hooper was invited to an art residency in Greece on the island of Crete and Hooper insists "without any hesitation" she invited Zucconi to join her on this journey. "Seriously, we had only known one another for a few days but are both so inspired and alive when we are together that going to Greece seemed like a magical and natural thing to do" recalls Zucconi.

On Crete, in a small remote mountain village, Hooper and Zucconi met the members of their future band "GROUPLOVE" a year before it was officially formed. Sean Gadd, a natural songwriter and guitar player, born and bred in London instantly bonded with the two eccentric New Yorkers. Their relationship became apparent through the music they were making day in and day out. Andrew Wessen, a pro surfer and musician from Los Angeles and his childhood friend Ryan Rabin, an accomplished drummer and producer, were also at the residency and quickly joined in with the musical trio. These five musicians make up the members of what we now know as GROUPLOVE .

Like all good things, the summer and the residency came to an end and the five friends scattered back to their homes all over the globe. With Sean in London, Christian and Hannah in Brooklyn and Ryan and Andrew in Los Angeles GROUPLOVE was faced with the challenge of what to do now.

The Rubens

Although they've only been together since 2011, The Rubens have already won over a legion of fans with their rich, soulful take on blues rock. In a few short months they've erupted from bedroom-recording obscurity to sharing the main stage with the likes of Jack White and Bloc Party on one of Australia's biggest music festivals: Splendour in the Grass. They also opened for The Black Keys in New Zealand and have just been selected to support Bruce Springsteen during his tour of Australia this March.

The Rubens consists of three brothers and a childhood friend who hail from Menangle, a small town south of Sydney, who decided to form a band that might one day become the biggest band not only in their native land but in the world. The four band members would mix their love of rock, blues and soul with an emphasis on song craft. Their collective goal would be to become classic songwriters and confident performers that would leave their stain on the world of alternative rock music for all time. A burning work ethic and sheer determination would result in their debut single, "My Gun," rocketing to the top of the Australian pop charts with an album to follow, both attaining certified Gold sales status at home.

There's an uncanny chemistry resonating with the discipline of siblings who play music together all the time; this may be why The Rubens sound more seasoned than most new bands. Add producer David Kahne (Paul McCartney, The Strokes, Regina Spektor, etc.) to the equation and songs like "Lay It Down" have an identifiable style that comes from more than the band's will to succeed. There seems to be no limit to what possibilities lay ahead for The Rubens in the foreseeable future. For now, they have the rest of the world within sights.

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