weirdest band in the world

F A M O U S A L B U M S P L U S C O U P L E S 

The Script “No Sound Without Silence” | Snow Patrol “Eyes Open” | Blur “Think Tank” | My Chemical Romance “Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge” | Nick Jonas ft. Tove Lo “Close” | 5 Seconds Of Summer “Vapor” | Muse “Invincible” | Suede “Suede” | Green Day “21st Century Breakdown” |

So 2014 has been a really wild year for us, of course you know if you’ve been paying attention. We’ve played a 130 shows that ranged from 3 people in a garage in Isla Vista, CA to thousands at Riot Fest in Chicago. And out of all those shows, we only played our home city twice this year. Once in August, and once a couple days ago. I have a story for this.

Before 2014 we literally played here twice a month, helping our friends whenever they came through. In preparing for us to announce HLNPIT, we were all sort of like, “well I guess we should do a big tour, huh?” and so I booked us a tour around the US and into Canada with the help of some friends. I remember this being absolutely terrifying. I was going to be gone for a month and a half. Twice as long as I had ever been gone from home and the people I care about. I remember thinking that I needed to attack it in the same way as when I jumped off this way too high water fall in the Taconics. “I’m just going to take all the steps up to doing it, but I’m definitely not going to do it.” Some people could find that stuff more exciting. I was not that person. As much as sometimes I admire the mindset of “living in the now”, the more I get in touch with myself I kind of realize that the relationships I share with the people in my life are something I cling to. I mean, trust and deep understanding take time, right?

Well yeah so, we did the tour. We took JD, who can be a simultaneously frustrating and caring person, but I’ll take his peaks and valleys to a static character always. We decided to not do a Worcester show. We thought, we would end up playing a coming home show for the album for sure. It was kind of funny. We planned out this whole thing actually. We were going to book one of the more fancy Worcester theaters and have a formal party with formal invites and the lineup would be all of the peeps that had a firm hand in supporting us to that point. When we realized the rental was a couple thou’, we kind of gave up on the idea of charging punx $25 to rent a tux and watch us become broke.

After accidentally booking our entire year by April, we kept trying to throw in a hometown show so we could have a fun shin-gig on our own turf and introduce our new friends to our place. It didn’t end up happening. A show being bottom-lined by some dude with only a house phone probs wouldn’t seem that trust worthy for a booking agent used to working with some company with *productions* in its name. Maybe rightly so.

At the end of July I moved out of the house I was living in in Worcester. Basically I was on tour too much to get a job and I had a busy schedule coming up: tour with Foxing, Prawn, Little Big League in the first few weeks of August, Riot Fests and shows with Laura Stevenson in the first week of September, I worked as an advisor at a camp in Vermont for the last weeks of September, and then went on tour for a month in a half with The World Is…, Rozwell Kid, and J-Nasty.

So basically, that is the story, here is what I gathered from it. Being in a band continues to be some of the weirdest shit in the whole wide world. I love playing music. I love performing. I love the energy thrown between us and people feeling vulnerable to our music. I love spending time with Chris, Ben, and Sam. But overall the year has felt like it has both conceptually and physically ripped me from the life I had been cultivating. And yeah blah blah it’s good to be out of your comfort zone or whatever, but every time we came home it felt strange. Playing at home in August with Two Knights/Reptilian/Daydreamer felt real good. Seeing the faces of my friends dancing and singing while we play was something I hadn’t gotten to see in a bit. For those moments I felt loved and connected. Only to be followed later by, “so when are you gone again?” And I always had an answer. It made me feel like a visitor. It felt like all my relationships, even my romantic one(s), had been uprooted.

So tour ended at the end of November and we didn’t have shows until late March. And just as soon as I think, “yeaaaa some time to get my head back”… and in comes all the end of the year stuff. It’s been really nice to be recognized by all you folks, my parents have been pretty excited, and while I feel like I should be like “hell yeah thank you all” my body can’t fake it as well. Here’s another story…

So we were nominated for Boston Music Awards’ Punk Artist of the Year. My mom was really excited and was like, in her words “Don’t be a dick, go!” We ended up going to see Modern Baseball, Somos, Crying, and Foxing instead but got a tweet that said we won, complete with our name on a large projection screen and a picture of… not us. It felt right. I had never heard of them. They were hardly involved in anything we had done up to this point. It made sense.

So among all of the recognition from our album this month, I see an article about the top 8 Worcester bands of 2014. This I think is really funny and telling. So… we weren’t in the top 8, nor were we in the honorable mentions. It felt weird at first because we were being told by a lot of people that we were in their top bands of 2014 in all of the world, and yet we weren’t even mentioned on this article about bands where we live. But then it was like, nah it made total sense. In the wild year we had for ourselves, we played only two shows. We were hardly doing the labor of bringing art into Worcester, and we were almost not at all supporting the art existing in Worcester.

The other day, I was at a Christmas party at the house I had moved out of earlier that year and I heard someone talking about someone who they thought summed up art in Worcester, which was to say… [and I’m paraphrasing] art here is beautiful because no one cares about how well what you are doing is doing, they just care about you doing it. They care about it being challenging and deconstructing. And I think that’s why I like it. No one cares too much about what I do. I see friends coming back and they say “someone said your band is doing pretty good. cool.” That feels grounding to me. I like that. So if I were to respect the integrity of people here, I’m pretty sure it was def right for us, some sad pop bad that holds hands with the industry, to be on that list. But it kind of solidified it for me. It’s like, this isn’t a matter of me FEELING detached from the place I value enough to identify with, but actually effectively being uninvolved in the working cogs of the underground.

Last Sunday, we booked a real wild show. Jake McKelvie and the Countertops (local rockstars, incredible band, no respect given south of Massachusetts), Adult Mom (Steph is a good friend and Bruce who plays guitar is a local folk punk legend), Told Slant (band of sweeties, incredible live show) and Emperor X (literal genius, incredible artist). Thought it would be maybe something that I could use to give me a push back into the relationships I had here. And like, I’m going to be fair, I had the greatest night and the show did so well and smooth. But this just stuck out. At the beginning of our set this dude walked up to me and touched me, and then said “sorry dude I just had to do it.” Later in the set he waved his hat in front of my face and when I looked, he just waved and then continued to keep touching me. It was just this strange feeling of thinking that the art that I made and the work that I did this year brought this asshole into a place where I normally feel safe and at home.

So much of this year has been spent thinking of ways to challenge myself in terms of how to reinvent the relationship between artist and listener, how to destroy the power that exists there and have conversations that feel healthy to me and see what happens. It was a conversation I got to have a lot with my friend Alyssa who plays in Ramshackle Glory. She came on tour with us and The World Is… and it felt nice to have her there. I’ve always thought about how people in bands unconsciously become their art/business. To me it seems like a dangerous thing because once it’s gone there is nothing left. And once it fails, you are a failure. It’s similar to when school is your life as a student. Or how capitalism teaches you to think of work. There was an incredible amount of soul searching/self finding/realness validating that went on this year that I think in certain times had caused me to be a kind of difficult person to be around this year, and there are a lot of apologies I owe to a lot of people. I’m not going to air it out here since they are more personal things, but it’s just this whole thing I’m literally realizing as I am writing this.

I don’t think I want to play Worcester anymore with Hotelier. When I’m on tour I already face this challenge of creating an environment while performing that transforms people for the duration of our set. I want people to detach from themselves, shed their outer shell, and feel safe and caring with the people around them. I don’t think I can watch at happen in this place I value so deeply. This is not to sensationalize this place or glorify it. It is not a sanctuary for all people. It’s pretty white. Some queers talk about how difficult it is to code. But yeah, *punk*.

Anyway, yeah. This was not the whole of my 2014. We made some great friends and I wanna thank a bunch of people. Thanks Erika for helping on tour and with all our art stuff this year. Thanks Jarrod and Alyssa for kicking ass at your tour duties. Thanks JD for being a real caring friend. Thanks Will and Chuck for kicking ass on our record stuff. Thanks Matt and Adam for getting all our shit together and muscling people for us. Thanks Greg for being out unpaid manager and constantly reminding us of our value throughout the year. Thanks Derrick for reminding me that Greg is full of shit. Thanks Garrett and Mitch for always hooking it up in Bloomington. Thanks Ginger for always gracing us with playing our shows when we come through. Thanks Steve, the 50+ yr old retired international arms dealer for Raytheon and pop punk fan for being our most interesting fan. Thanks Jake and Ian for being like really fucking solid people and taking care of me on tour. Thanks Bren for wanting to *get* me. Thanks to all the people who put thought into the interview we did this year. Thanks Joan, Emery, and Tyler for having difficult conversations with me when I am being difficult. Thanks Little Big League for the slumber parties. Thanks Sandi and Scar/Bethany and Elena/Victoria, Tim, and Kyle/Ruben and Dan/Lindsay and pups for giving us your homes to decompress while on tour. I’m missing people for sure. But thanks to everyone who helped us because you cared this year, you made it wild for sure.

Now for 2015. Last year we posted a picture of the back cover of our album because we were announcing it. Well above is an outtake photo from the shooting for a proper vinyl release of It Never Goes Out. That’ll be announced soon. We will also have CDs but you have no reason to believe us. We are going to Europe this year. Sorry it took so long. Details not soon.

We are no longer playing Housebroken live as some people have had some pretty understandable and intense readings of the song that have successfully alienated them from our work as a band. We may play the song on special occasions (such as playing the album in full) but not without being clear about it well beforehand. We are interested in hearing from folks who share in having readings of Housebroken that paint abuse victims in a troubling way. hotelyear@gmail.com is our email address. Or you can send us fan mail.

Speaking of which, we don’t do asks anymore because y’all are exhausting. I also don’t add anyone on personal social media sites that I don’t have intimate social or working relationships with because that’s also not good for my head. This does not mean we don’t appreciate the love, just like, I like to carve out space for myself where I don’t have to see that stuff.

Again, I can’t thank y’all enough. Thanks for 2014. Have a happy new year.