Tomorrow is going to be a very exciting day for us. We are going to announce our new album as well as other stuff that I’ll explain later. But it has been three years since we have released a body of work into the world, and it’s extremely wild to think about how much everything has developed for us in that span of time. It probably doesn’t mean so much to y’all, but went from something I did recreationally for fun to an occupation and at times becomes something of an identity. It is honestly the strangest world I’ve ever been apart of as well as a place I can’t see myself separating from.
Prior to releasing It Never Goes Out, our game-plan was to play with the same friends bands various times throughout the year while occasionally being asked to play some show some friend was setting up. You have to remember that these were the Myspace Days which were very very strange times. Listen to our first release. We thought that was challenging. It honestly might have been in context, but what I’m saying is that it was all very insular. We didn’t understand how anything worked and we actually didn’t care. The It Never Goes Out release show had $5 T-shirt/album deal because all of our merch was shoplifted. We spent an assload of hours burning CDs on desktop computers for it.
Now days after that, we get an email from this dude saying he likes the album and wants to put it out. This is where it gets weird as heck. So we know this dude’s label from signing local superstar band, and us being us we were kind of really giddy. To paint a bit of a picture, this dude was in a band in the early 2000s and did some cool stuff. So, this guy keeps talking about all this stuff to try to get us excited. “Yo you want this popular guy to sing on your album? Name a band that has the popularity you guys want. Oh yeah I know that guy let me hit him up” You know? Cool guy shit. He’s trying to wow us but actually ends up making a group of conflicted and disenchanted kids.
One of the worst things you can do is try to sell me something. Marketing is the art of bullshit and I have a pretty solid bullshit detector. So after all his hype junk, having us come to NYC to have us play Pete Wentz’s night club thing and takes us out for Thai food (I got tofu fried rice served in half a pineapple), comes the biz talk. To which he gives us some real heavy deal that would essentially be the directing hand in everything we do with our music. Like for the next 3 albums or something like that. So now we have to get a manager to talk to this guy since we don’t know wtf he’s talking about and they are all fighting and the label dude is hitting me up saying this dude is trying to get him back or something to do with Four Year Strong and we just end up freezing up and hating music and stop replying until he calls us and tells us that we are taking too long and he’s moving on.
Now, I totally recognize that I have a lot of animosity since this dude totally shattered my vision of what the music world was like and where priorities lie as well as I’m pretty certain he was taking advantage of us not knowing wtf we were doing. Like, there are worse things than that. He’s probably a pretty alright dude. But like, thank god I realized this dude kind of also had no idea what he was talking about as far as how the music world was no longer Myspace/MTV days. Symbolically, the best representation I can give for the culture shock this was is that we were shoplifting shirts to sell for $5 and running $2 shows, and he was telling us to sell our album…
So, in a smart move we end up signing with even bigger boners, mostly because we argue with them enough for our deal to essentially be harmless to us and not at all beneficial to them. Similarly, one dude talks about being in his band that people cared about in the 2000s and feed us bullshit about how cool and political they are (to which they will later endorse SOPA and call for an end to downloading music). That whole thing sucked, and our album is still on iTunes through them even though I send him tons of stuff asking him to take it down since they aren’t even a label anymore and he didn’t really do shit for us. Except well, I got a free Devil and God record. That was cool.
That along with all the jock punk bro dweebs who write revenge songs for people who broke their hearts…. I mean, I understand they have complicated personalities but they still aren’t at all fun to be around.
What I’m trying to say is, it’s really really easy for me to be cynical and jaded and venomous towards “the scene” coming from where we came from and sort of catapulted into this large large world of music. But to do so is also to give way too much attention and influence to the wrong people and thus forgetting to praise the people I owe it to.
So I’d like to thank everyone who has ever invited us into your city or home with hospitality, especially those extremely nice large men studying to become priests in Binghamton. Everyone who has taken us under your wing while continuing to respect us as peers, Scott from Born Without Bones and Greg from Speaker For The Dead being the shining stars on that category. Thank you to everybody that has delved deep into our music to use it as a portal into us as individuals and not only a mirror of self-reflection. I enjoy the really solid discussions people trust to have with me about collective liberation, masculinity, deep meaningful relationships, and how school is total junk. Thank you to all of the extremely creative minds I am incredibly lucky to always have surrounding me, that allow me to think differently about my own work as well as give me ideas to steal and call my own. I do this regularly with the skilled artists I tell to use their talents to make me something which I then sell to support my own insignificant project. Every person who works to build an inclusive community in which music can occupy a powerful infrastructure to change many peoples lives. I am still amazed at ways in which people can organize spaces to truly allow people to be free and creative while also being welcoming. Thank you to everyone who gives detailed feedback on our work. I especially like when people constructively point out aspects of our work they dislike. Fuck yes to art critiquing in the scene. Thank you to our new label Tiny Engines for showing us there are people in this end of the music world who aren’t just trying to stay cool like some weird overbearing parent. Thank you to every free spirit I know at home or meet on the road. You fill my heart with love and keep me well grounded. And before I get too sappy, fuck those hippies in Asheville that invited us to their potluck then didn’t feed us because we brought canned beans instead of wild edibles.
I value each and every relationship that this experience has granted so far and look forward to all of the people I get to meet in the future of this project. With that, there was one thing that music biz wiener was right about, which was that we should have changed out name. so uh. Surprise! We are now officially The Hotelier. You can say our band name the exact same way as before. Or pronounce it in a French accent if you want. I don’t care. Your original merch is now worth 10% more. Congrats.
Our new album deals with some real dark stuff. So to all my brooding and slightly damaged friends, have your a happy album or Rugrats in Paris nearby. It’s partly about my experience with friends and loved ones in the past three years which were very complicated, toxic, and abusive. But laid within is a lot about the deconstruction of self for personal growth and transformation. I hope it helps you live and stuff. Apparently we are emo now. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I hope you start a band or do cool shit.