Disco DJs Cal Mawson and Dan Andaloro are collectively Groove City. Their Facebook profile says it all: “retro schmooz, lifted from the dirty depths of boogie wonderland… with deep, sexual bass lines set to a permanent strut.” Dan and Cal may have been born in the 1990s, but their sound and aesthetic is all ‘70s. We felt the nostalgia creep in as we chatted to the lads.
You have a really cool vintage vibe — how did you get together as a duo and agree on the Groove City ‘70s-funklord-disco-DJs aesthetic/sound’?
Dan: Haha, thank you kindly… We were just starting to become really close as friends – Cal worked at a restaurant with a bunch of my high school buddies and actually lived around the corner from my house growing up (we just had no idea until we were in our 20s) – and Cal’s previous band had broken up a year or so prior to this. He must have been ready to get back into producing original music, so he picked up the phone one day and gave me a call confirming if I liked Disco/Funk, to which I replied, “shut up, you know that I do.” We started making our own original songs and then formed the fun electronic throwback style set people have been dancing to the last few years.
For those who haven’t experienced Groove City — how would you describe your set?
Cal: Groove City sets are so much fun, for us at least. I think most of the time we are the most excited people at the event about the music we are playing, which seems to translate well onto the dance floor. We are dancing and smiling from the moment we walk out and we love stepping up the theatrics from show to show.
Have you always felt connected to ‘70s style and music?
Dan: Absolutely, both of our Dads used to play and educate us on ‘70s and ‘80s music as we were growing up so we kind of didn’t have a say in the matter.
“We are actually pretty committed to it [the ‘70s aesthetic]. We both work hospitality jobs and are 80% rocking flares to our shifts.” – Cal
Musically, which musicians inspire your sound?
Cal: I get a lot of influence from session musicians/Producers like Nile Rogers and Quincey Jones.
Personally, what artists/music are you listening to right now?
Dan: As of late, people like Mayer Hawthorne and Confidence Man influence the Groove City project, but we listen to a whole bunch of different music. There’s this band from Perth just coming up now called Dulcie who we can’t stop listening to.
What’s your creative process like? Do you binge on Saturday Night Fever and Boogie Nights, or blast a bit of Steely Dan to get inspo?
Cal: I’ll usually start with my guitar and humming some melodies, see if something sticks, and then get together and flesh out any ideas I have stored in my voice memos.
What are you working on in 2020?
Dan: Heaps planned for this year. A bunch of new original music, and we absolutely plan to be getting out and doing as many shows as possible in between the other few projects we have going on.
How committed are you to the ‘70s vibe — what do you wear when you’re just heading out for beer with a mate?
Cal: We are actually pretty committed to it. We both work hospitality jobs and are 80% rocking flares to our shifts. It also helps get into the mood when heading out.
Do do you have any cool memories of performing up north?
Dan: We have played in Townsville twice now, both times have been really fun. The last time we flew in was right after those hardcore floods, and everyone was banding together and helping out which was awesome to see. The festival we played, Lukewarm, actually donated a bunch of money to the relief which was lovely. Keen to come back but nothing locked in yet.