HOTEL's new single, Loose Change, is out now! We chat to the musician about the track and more.
Sydney based artist HOTEL has today shared his new banger, Loose Change. The song conceptually navigates the age old idea that money can’t buy you happiness, whilst also commenting on needing to be financially stable to get out of tough times.
Featuring Obi ill, the track was produced by Billy Gunns, both from TripleOne, with its soundscape taking influence from 70’s and 80’s nostalgic sonics. The release comes complete with a killer spoken word chorus, drawing from the musicians love for 90’s hip hop and the music of Lou Reed.
The release is accompanied by a visual, with HOTEL enlisting Jay Wroe-Jonson to create an enticing animated video for the song. The vibrant clip features slices of Japanese anime films, with scenes directly relating to money.
Loose Change is out now! Read our interview with HOTEL below.
Tell us a bit how your musical journey began…
I guess it began with me and my childhood friend listening to the music his older brother had on iTunes when we were seven or so, and getting into Green Day, Incubus and Guns N' Roses and progressed through different genres as I got older and picked up playing guitar. I played in a few bands including Bangers and Rash, who sold out the entire living room of my friends house, and then played in Sck Chx for a few years. Now I am writing music on my own and exploring different sounds that can go along with my mindset at the time.
Loose Change is conceptually based around the old idea that money can’t buy you happiness, but also commenting on needing to be financially stable to get out of tough times. What prompted you to explore this theme?
I guess exactly that. It was the eternal anger at the fact that I don’t care about earning money and would much rather be lying in the sun with friends, but it seems as each day drips by like water in a leaky share house tap, I see more and more that it is inevitable. I guess the song was a way for me to say to myself that no matter what happens, I don’t want to lose sight that there is always more to life than money.
The song is a banger! It’s hard not to groove along and get immersed in it. The track is infused with 70’s and 80’s influences with a killer spoken word chorus. How did you arrive at the soundscape present on the track?
It is a culmination of my influences. The aesthetic was always supposed to be driven and crunchy and the spoken word draws from 90’s hip hop as well as my love for the work of Lou Reed which is smooth and hopefully accessible for listeners.
Loose Change features Obi ill was produced by Billy Gunns, both from TripleOne. How did the collaboration come about and what was it like working together on the release?
We’ve all been friends for as long as I can remember. Myself and Conor went to school and Billy went to a school just down the road from us. The two of them are in some of the best memories I have. I wrote the song and then myself and Conor were hanging and I mentioned that I thought it would be fun to have him add a verse - and he killed it. I asked Billy to be involved when I realised the track was getting to a really good place and wanted him to put his Billy Gunns magic on it - which he did.
The track is very relatable and conversational. How important was it for you to make the lyrics as open and relatable as possible, even though you’re writing from your own life experiences?
That is a big consideration for me when it comes to lyrics. I always want them to be real and personal however I don't want to neglect a listener by making them too personal and introspective, which is why I landed on the subject of money which is universal and then used my own perspective on it to create authenticity (I hope). I write music as a way of conceptualising my mindset, but if I am going to release it publicly I want it to be accessible also.
What messages do you hope listeners take away from Loose Change?
That there is more to life than money. It is just something we overtime get overcome by. Don’t let it ever get you down because money may maketh the world but money don’t maketh the person.
Can we expect an equally compelling visual to accompany the track? If so, what are you hoping to conceptually depict?
Jay Wroe Jonson has put together a really enticing animated video for the song. It is a mash up of clips from Japanese animes over time with scenes that involve money. Something simple yet entertaining for the visual experience.
Loose Changewas written earlier this year during isolation. Did you encounter any challenges whilst creating music during the COVID-19 pandemic, or did it allow you the time and space to immerse yourself within this musical project?
I actually found it gave me the time I needed to get my creative endeavours done.
Australia has a diverse and vibrant music scene, who are some of your favourite Aussie acts
Pond, Jermango Dreaming, Johnny Hunter, Dives, Triple One, Cooper Parsons, Koi Child, Neil Francis, Hector Gachan, Thomas Gray and Liam Ebbs - all for different reasons but they all do whatever they want which leads to them making music that is both innovative and interesting.
The current pandemic has obviously put a half to touring and performing live. Do you have any post-pandemic touring plans?
No tour plans. No gig plans even just yet. Just more music.
How much sleep I get. The people around me. If I am hangry or not.
I don’t really mind. Maybe someone like Debbie Harry.
Album that has had the most impact on you?
Maybe Graceland, Is This It, Transformer or Writers Block.
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Sounds like lollies.
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
Fantastic Planet by Renee Laloux.
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?
Malcolm in the middle.
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Writers Block - Peter Bjorn and John.
Last concert you went to?
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?
Go to the Pastizzi Cafe in Newtown more. It’s delicious.