Download 2017: No. 39 - Grove Street Families - 50 bands in 50 days

By Eric Mackinnon


Grove Street Families

Download Festival

The Avalanche Stage

Sunday, June 11, 2017


Expect to see, and hear, something a little different on The Avalanche Stage at Download this summer as Grove Street Families are coming to rock the shit out of a stage near you.

The Southampton band have been described from being a little bit of Biohazard, Beastie Boys and Suicidal Tendencies and now the band, famously named after the notorious gang from console classic Grand Theft Auto, are looking to steal your musical heart at Download.

“The one thing we've found, since the last release is we remind different people of different artists, we're quite hard to pin point,” says Lewis.

“We have had people say Beastie Boys, Suicidal Tendencies, Biohazard among loads of others. How that works I dunno! But expect to hear something a little different, I think we're a lot different to the rest of the bands on our stage, so you'll have to just come and check it out yourselves!”

The five-piece 'hoodcore' rockers, the saviours of hardcore, dropped an E.P last year and it was the release of 'Las Venturas' which brought them to the attention of Download bookers.

“Yeah its mental to be playing Download,” continued Lewis.

“After dropping the last EP one of the promoters said they were into it and wanted us to play, so we hoped it'd pull though, but we didn't actually hear anything more after that. Then we got the offer through and to say we were stoked would be an understatement.

“We'll be bringing the same energy and fun vibes we bring to every show that's for sure.”

Download is famous for giving new bands a shot at breaking into the mainstream and offering bands a chance to kick ass on a huge stage. 2017 will be no different and alongside Grove Street, Lewis says a number of his mates will be strutting their stuff on the Donington catwalk.

“Some good mates are playing this year too,” added Lewis excitably.

“Holding Absence, Venom Prison and Astroid Boys will all be smashing it this year. Creeper are also playing main stage which is sick, will be checking that out for sure. I'm also stoked for Code Orange, Mastodon, Suicidal Tendencies, Every Time I Die and obviously Dillinger, who are headlining the Sunday on our stage.”

The conversation steers towards Grant Theft Auto and the game which inspired the boys to pick up their (musical) arms in their (band) gang) based on the Grove Street Families bunch on the smash hit console.

“Haha, I think it's safe to say now we're not students any more we generally don't quite as much free time! Cheeky dabble every now and then though,” he smiles.

Which bands or genres formed the bedrock of the Grove Street Families sound? New Rock Times poses the question prompting a pause and a grin by Lewis.

“The first demo, hell, the first EP we ever released has some 'questionable' Terror sounding riffs haha,” he says.

“But generally it really is so hard to pin point with us, we all listen to so much stuff, mostly, a lot of Hip Hop but there's no one artist or sound that really influences us, its just whatever we're vibing at the time you know.”