Interview: The Hotelier (Record of the Year 2014)

For a lot of people The Hotelier were complete unknowns 12 months ago, now as 2014 comes to ahead the Worcester, Massachusetts quartet have become one of the most talked about bands in the underground punk scene.

Over the past 12 months ‘Home, Like Noplace Is There’, the bands second full-length, has gathered plenty momentum and praise on both sides of Atlantic and through several publications and casual music fans.

Through the bands tales of grief, hope, despair and isolation, The Hotelier have produced a record where fans have formed a solid, emotional connection. Along with this is the bands passionate, emo punk rock approach which simply adds to emotional outpouring ‘Home, Like Noplace Is There’ delivers.

We really can’t say a bad word about The Hotelier or ‘Home, Like Noplace Is There’, which is why we’ve picked it as our Record of the Year.

Already Heard recently spoke to guitarist Ben Gauthier to get his thoughts on being number 1 on our list, his personal highlights from 2014 and more.

Already Heard: First of all congratulations on being number 1 our Top Ten Records of the Year list. What do you make of being chosen as our album of the year?
Ben: Frankly, I am pretty amazed at how caught up you are because I really only listen to early 90s metal albums. Once I get through these I’m going to get into mid 90s jam rock. Kudos to you. and Thank you.

AH: I understand the album was recorded in late 2012/early 2013. How did it feel to finally have it way back in February of this year?
Ben: You know, it’s kind of like having a child. I’ve never had a child. Don’t really intend of having children. Maybe I’ll get a dog. But yeah, it’s kind of like having a dog. There are all these responsibilities and you have to take care of it, you know? Like, feed it (tour), train it (promotion), pick up after it (tour), and do all this stuff so that you can eventually send it out into the big bad world to fend for itself.

AH: Did you ever expect the record to have the response it has had over the past 12 months?
Ben: Can’t say that I did. I got to do some pretty wild things this year. I learned how to fix a van, discovered Fox’s pizza, and met one of my biggest musical inspirations, Jordan Rudrick of Dream Theatre. None of which would have been possible if not for this year.

AH: It seems the album’s reputation was built on word of mouth. Would you agree? If so do you think it shows how influential the independent online community can be?
Ben: I guess so, sure. I don’t really have Internet so I can’t really follow it. Sometimes I get a glimpse of stuff when on tour. And even then I just use it to look at dogs mostly. But yeah, it sort of seems like people at our shows either like heard of us through a friend, had listened to us before, or just stumbled across it. It’s pretty cool.

AH: You released the album through Tiny Engines who have also had a fantastic 2014. How did you two join together?
Ben: We hit them up to put out our old record, and the pieces kind of just fell into place. They said no. They just wanted to do our new album.

AH: What would change about the record, if anything?
Ben: Picture disc.

AH: Besides the release of ‘Home, Like Noplace Is There’, what have been your personal highlights of 2014?
Ben: I mean, this year has been kind of filled with touring. I’d consider myself a true rocker so I was cool with it, but not too much happened this year otherwise for me.

AH: Going into 2015, what can we expect from The Hotelier? Will you be gracing us with your presence here in the UK?
It’s going to be a slow year probably. We are pressing ‘It Never Goes Out’ to vinyl which we’ve never done. And we’ll have CDs for all you CD junkies who refuse to join the rest of us in the Future-Past.

AH: To finish things off, you’ve released one of our favourite albums of the year, what have been some of your favourite albums of 2014?
Ben: Again, I don’t really know any current bands. I’ve been really into Dio this year. ‘Holy Diver’ is of course great. But ‘Lock Up The Wolves’ is the one I’ve been into lately.

‘Home, Like No Place is There’ by The Hotelier is out now on Tiny Engines.

The Hotelier links: Bandcamp|Facebook|Twitter|Tumblr

Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)


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