BOOM! : Groenland 'A Wider Space'

BOOM! : Groenland ‘A Wider Space’

Following the success of their recently released sophomore effort ‘A Wider Space’. We caught up with Sabrina Halde from the band and spoke to her all about her favourite gigs, Montreal and the band’s love for animals…

What brought the band together?

We met through school, jobs, friend connections. I met Jean-Vivier in CEGEP, and we reconnected at the University of Montreal. I was working at the student cafe, and he often came to chill and listen to some music. We quickly realized that we liked the same kind of music and that we both wanted to start a band. We started as an electro duo, but quickly looked for more people to join us to get a more organic sound. 

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We know your second album is already out but is there anything more coming soon in the pipeline for you guys?

A lot of touring ! We hope to go back to Europe and the rest of Canada a couple of times, and maybe start playing in the States. Our mind set is to take it day by day. 

String arrangements seem to play a key part in your sound. What was the process of getting string arrangements on the album? Did you write and record them yourselves?

Yes. The strings have been an important part of the band almost since day one. Jean-Vivier and I write the songs together, then we bring them to Jonathan (drummer), and then we work with the bassist and the string players. Everyone’s input is taken into consideration, but Jean-Vivier and I make the decisions. We often have string lines in mind before we bring the songs to them. If we don’t, we figure them out together. 

You guys have maintained quite a distinct indie pop sound. Are you planning to explore different styles of music in the future?

Who knows ! We’ve listened to a lot of hip-hop in the past couple of years (the Quebecois hip-hop scene is quite big). I’m pretty sure the voice will remain the main focus in the songs, but it’s hard to say if we’ll feel like taking a completely different direction for the next album. 

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Marcus Paquin has produced music for the likes of Local Natives, Arcade Fire and The National. What was it like seeing him work creatively and producing with you on the album?

It felt like an absolute privilege. This man is full of positivity, creativity and fun ! He was never tired, or never showed it. He kept pushing us. This album was a pretty hard one to write, and we needed someone to help us get our confidence back. He did exactly that and more. Such a pleasure to work with him. He played instruments with us, he worked constantly to get the best out of us, he shouted in excitement, danced, laughed ! Haha ! I only have nice words for him. 

You guys are from Montreal of course. What do you love about the place?

It’s a small family of musicians, really. There aren’t a lot of venues, so you end up knowing almost everybody. The city is creative and displays its art everywhere, in every form. It’s also pretty cheap for artists to live here. People are friendly too. 

You have a long list of tour dates coming up from playing Quebec to America. Where would you say are your favourite places to play?

I personally enjoyed playing near the Rockies, in Canmore, Alberta. Berlin is always fun. We also went to Trouville in France for an artistic residence, and it was an awesome experience. We were near the beach. The welcome was amazing, the food even better.   

What’s something everyone should know about Groenland?

We’re a bunch of sensitive people who are always struggling to become better and to move forward. Also, we love dogs and cats and any kind of animals, really haha ! We’re 50% vegetarians.