Now on tour with The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, The Hotelier continues to reinforce the emotional spectrum of their latest record Home, Like Noplace is There. After their set in Burlington, Vermont, I was fortunate to spend a few moments with their singer and bassist Christian Holden to talk about the tour, the continued critical and crowd response to the record, and what their plans are looking like going into 2015.
MEB: Your tour with The World Is… just started, how has it been so far?
Christian: The tour has been great. There were a couple dates where we thought that no one would show up but then they all showed up later (Laughs). The shows have actually been really, really good; well attended and got a good response, which feels good ‘cause we worked a lot this year. It’s nice to see a payoff.
It’s been 5 months since your last show in Burlington; are you excited to be back?
Well the last Burlington [show] was alright; low attended, but I had fun. We met some kids who were really stoked on our band and drove from really far away to come see us, so that was nice. That was fun, but this show was much better since the space is really cool. I’m obviously not bashing 242 Main since that space is awesome and historic. This place is just different; I like the height of the stage and the feel of it.
If it’s not Burlington, then what date are you most excited for on this tour?
Well in Richmond we play the same day as Laura Stevenson, so I’m going to try to see her set and also go to the venue that she’s playing at and buy one of these sandwiches that’s a vegan grilled cheese, a bunch of vegan meats, and then another vegan grilled cheese underneath it. I’m excited to eat that and be there to see that set.
It’s also been just about 8 months since the release of Home, Like Noplace is There. How have the reactions to the record and the band changed during that period of time?
It’s hard to say because, you know, we have different responses depending on the tour we run. When we were on the Modern Baseball tour, the environment was a little bit different in that people were always jumping on the stage and stuff, and it would be really rowdy. Then we went on the Foxing tour and it was a little bit rowdy but not necessarily too much. And then we played with Laura Stevenson and the shows were very tame. Now we’re with The World Is… and they’re still pretty tame, which is fine because I like to just be able to play on stage and have people watch and sing along and have fun, that’s what’s cool about it.
How has the band responded to the critical response to the record and the constant flow of “album of the year” comments?
I don’t know. It’s really nice and awesome, but whenever I see that stuff, it makes me too excited to that point that I have put myself in perspective for a second and remember that it’s one person’s opinion and has no bearing really on what we’re doing or if our work is important. Some people listen to our music because it catches them in a certain way, others see it as good art. It’s all one person’s opinion so we take it with a grain of salt.
What do you believe the next step for the band is?
Not as sad (Laughs). I think that’s the logical next step for us.
What else do you have coming up following this tour as the year winds down?
After this tour we have two regular shows that we’re gonna play before the end of the year, two sort of holiday and New Year shows. Then we’re probably going to take a long break. I think we toured a shit-ton this year, we weren’t really stoked on it so we’re gonna take some time off and write a bit and make plans to record next year while touring a little less than this year.
Would you say that touring more than you wanted to would have an influence on what you write next, or is it just its own separate thing?
It’s its own separate thing. With the last album, writing was a pretty cathartic thing, but I don’t think I’m writing from that place anymore. Writing’s like its own sort of thing that’s in my life but not necessarily is my life or a big part of it.
Let’s end on a fun question: what is the best about being a part of The Hotelier?
Hmm…[long pause]. Chris [Hoffman, guitarist], what’s the best part about being in The Hotelier?
Traveling? Yeah that’s pretty awesome. As much as you meet a lot of people who you maybe don’t connect with or even hate in music, you also meet a lot of people who you really love. I’m thankful for being in a band and meeting people who I care about enough to really trust. That’s what I think I like the most about this, especially friends in other bands and a greater understanding about how the music and art world works.
Awesome, thank you very much for your time!
Thanks for coming out, man.