Hindsight: Lessons learned from The Scary Groover

Final cover art for The Scary Groover

Back in 1998, following the success of The Happy groover – When I Snap My Fingers, the record company was looking to release a follow-up single to continue the success. As a producer I felt the unique sound I came up with for the first single, had been done and i didn’t want to simply copy myself. As a DJ I was playing in credible clubs and I wanted to be seen as a credible artist as well. The track i had in mind as follow-up single was very different and much darker than When I Snap My Fingers was. So in that area I wasn’t copying myself. But it felt weird to release such a dark track as The Happy Groover. So I suggested to change the name of the artist with every release, depending on the mood of the track. That’s how The Scary Groover came to be.

In hindsight I regret several decisions I made at the time. Changing your artist name with every release is simply a bad idea. People looking for your music won’t be able to find you. I was lucky the Dutch release contained a parody of the previous single as a bonus track, as that got supported a lot by Radio 538, who produced the parody as well.

Backglass of Gottlieb’s Haunted House pinball machine

I also learned to keep creative control when it comes to cover artwork. The cover artwork on the CD-single was created by an artist working for the record company. The original idea I pitched was a cover similar to the backglass of a pinball machine called Haunted House. Come to think of it, The Haunted Groover may have been a better name as well. I think I described what I had in mind to my A&R manager at the time, who would then brief the graphic artist. As a plan B I may have suggested to do something with the face of a Dracula look-a-like. That must have been easier to create, as that was the only concept that was ever shown to me. As there was a rush to release the track, I reluctantly approved the concept, but I still feel the Haunted House cover would have been a better choice. Oh well.