2012 was a big summer on the island for Andy Cato and Tom Findlay; they delivered their usual monster Groove Armada performance for We Love on the Space Terrace as well as debuting at the Ushuaia opening weekend and several smaller, more intimate affairs, rocking dancefloors as they went with a consistency that has been the backbone of their continued success.
Andy And Tom are true musical pioneers, they have consistently showed an ability as Groove Armada to deliver quality tunage no matter which way the studio journey takes them, from classic beach, chill out to festival-smashing hip shakers to more than the odd club anthem. We had a chance to catch the deadly duo in various venues this summer and witnessed their ability first hand. Whether it was the monumental outdoor setting of Ushuaia, the iconic Space Terrace for their annual We Love collaboration or overlooking Cala Nova in Atzaro Bech or Sol d’en Serra in Amante, the result is always the same, they get people dancing!
After bringing an amazing Ibiza season to a fitting end at El Chiringuito closing, we caught up wit Tom Findlay about the amazing summer and what Groove Armada get up to off the island in the winter…
You played a variety of gigs in Ibiza this summer, from intimate beach parties to huge club events, which do you prefer?
We love the terrace at Space, that still feels like home, and in terms of clubs, where we’ve always had the best time in Ibiza. But something I think we do better than most is those sort of up close and personal gigs, house party style. So will be great to do some more of that next year, we just need to find a way of getting paid to do it! (ha-ha)
Do you prepare differently depending on the size of the gig?
The Space ‘We Love’ terrace affair is more of a ‘show’. So we bring in a bit more production for this, which takes time to prepare (though someone else does most of that – thanks Jamie), and I guess during the show you’ve got to search for those moments a bit more, amplify the thing a bit. But essentially it’s the same sort of vibe, but in a slightly different order.
Which gives you more satisfaction, your live performances or DJ gigs?
The live gigs are amazing. We put so much of ourselves into those gigs, hours of rehearsals, lots of blood, sweat and tears, and it’s all our own music, so obviously when you nail a live show it’s like nothing else.
You played a major role in the evolution of the island musically, what are the main differences you have noticed over your years of playing in Ibiza?
That’s good of you to say so. It sort of ebbs and flows really. I think what’s clearer than ever is that musically Ibiza is about as open at it’s ever been, as long as it’s dance music of course. I still don’t feel ‘rock’ has landed here, and God forbid you if you drop a hip hop record – too many DJs over the years have tried and failed, though most lived to tell the tale. But essentially the range of sounds and clubs and tastes is about as rich and varied as I can remember.
You enjoyed a great performance at Ushuaia opening weekend this summer, what is it like playing to such a big, enthusiastic outdoor audience on the island?
That club has definitely got its place, and there’s a special dynamic playing there but you also have to give it a lot of welly and I reckon a whole season of that might wear me out.
Lovebox celebrated its tenth birthday this year, was that something you foresaw when you launched it?
Nope we just stagger blindly from one year to the next. I won’t bore you with the history of the event, but trust me it’s nothing short of a miracle its still going strong!
What were the expectations for the festival when you decided to launch it and how far has it lived up to those expectations?
Well initially it was just about us putting on a gig in a park with some mates, and it has grown into something of a loveable monster. Honestly, I think it’s outstripped everyone’s expectations now, and in a lot of ways (good and bad) it doesn’t feel like ‘our’ event anymore. It’s got a life of its own now.
When can we expect to hear some new music from you?
Well we released a new EP last week on Hypercolour, and dropped three of those trax at the Chiringuito’s closing last week and they all sounded very tough indeed. We’ll always work on something; it just takes a little longer than it used to.
What does the winter look like for you?
Quiet if I’m honest. We’ve decided to take some time off the decks, although we’re planning on being back for Ibiza 2013. I think we’ll both do some writing and some production, but mainly we’ll take it easy.