Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Saturday, 7 November 2009
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Monday, 2 November 2009
Hotel Lights is an American Indie band that was founded in 2004 by former Ben Folds Five member Darren Jesse. The band, best known for their single “Follow Through”, has had their songs featured on hit TV shows Grey’s Anatomy and One Tree Hill. Their song “Miles Behind Me” was also in the movie “Baby Mama”. I personally adore this band and probably know every single word to every single song, which could be why, a few weeks back, I reached out to the band for an interview. Luckily enough, Daren Jesse agreed to answer a few of my questions. So here goes:
1- What made you decide to start your own band after Ben Folds Five?
I wanted to make an album of the songs I was writing.
2- What would you say the biggest difference is between Ben Folds Five and Hotel Lights?
They are so different in many ways in style and sound. Hotel Lights uses layering and mood to get the desired effect and is quieter for the most part. Also, I play guitar and piano.
3- How did you come up with the name “Hotel Lights”?
I lived in hotel rooms for many years and then later I lived across from a hotel for a few years. I thought the name fit the sound of the music.
4- What are your 3 favorite songs from the album Firecracker People? (Personally I absolutely love Firecracker People, Blue Always Finds Me,and Down)
Thank you. Those are good ones. I like Dream State Flying, Amelia Bright, and Run Away Happy.
5- How did it feel having your songs played on such popular TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy and One Tree Hill? (I must say, Iwas more excited than I should have been when I found out)
It felt great, it was exciting for me to hear our song in surround sound at the movie theater.
Generally I will come up with a song idea and then work out the arrangement with the band. Then I will collaborate with my producer Alan Weatherhead to add the finishing touches to make it sound complete.
8- Have you always wanted to start your own band or was it something you decided to do after Ben Folds Five split? (I'm very happy you did it, where would I be without Hotel Lights?
9- Your music always has an amazing overall feel, do you do that deliberately or do the songs just come together that perfectly? (I'm talking mood and atmosphere)
There's a certain mood to my voice and melodies that just comes naturally,but it is also deliberate by the way we record and the instruments we use and how we choose to build the arrangements.
Saturday, 17 October 2009
Monday, 12 October 2009
1- Why VOiD808? (and why is the 'i' not capitalized?)
The band used to be a 3 piece in it’s original incarnation, and went under the name VOiD. We added the “808” because we found that there were waaaay too many things that popped up in the results when one typed “void” using a search engine. The “808” has nothing to do with Hawaii’s area code as most think. It was simply the time the 1st note was struck at our 1st practice. And the lowercase “i” was at one point used to look like a single candle, and the dot was supposed to be the flame.
2- How did you originally get into music?
There comes a point when one recognizes the need for an outlet. And outlets can be many different things. For us music was, and still is, a way for us to express our feelings. Oscar and Brandon have been surrounded by music their entire lives, I(mike) was taught how to play guitar in my 7th grade art class by a guy that was an insane guitar player for being in 7th grade. Our art teacher loved hearing me and my friend play so much that he actually allowed us to play guitar in class and take our art projects at home. Jay works at a music store that sells used instruments and has also been surrounded by music his entire life.
3- How did you guys meet?
Oscar and Brandon were the two original band members in the original VOiD along with the previous bassist Ryan Griswald who left the band to pursue other dreams. When Ryan left, Oscar asked Jay and myself(mike) to jam with them one night… and the music progressed from that point forward to create VOiD808
4- What's your most memorable moment working together?
In February of 2008 we were given the opportunity to be flown out of our hometown in Orange County, California to Honolulu, Hawaii to share the stage with Atreyu at the Pipeline Café. This was the 1st time the band had ever played a flydate so we didn’t know what to expect. As musicians, although this may sound really lame, one of the greatest feelings was to walk around the airports to pick up our gear as we were watching all the people look at us thinking “ooh, who’s that band” as we load a bunch of big guitar flight cases into the trunk of a limo to go the hotel we were staying at.
5- What is the song process like with VOiD808?
Well, Oscar is the primary song writer for VOiD808. He usually presents the “skeleton” of the song to us at one of our practice nights and we all take various parts of the skeleton Oscar has presented and make it our own by adding our own bit of creativity to it. I(mike) have also contributed to this skeleton process on a few songs. Sometimes Oscar or I will come up with a cool riff and record ourselves playing it on the acoustic guitar and then send it to the other via video messaging on our cell phone. Oscar writes all the lyrics too. VOiD808 is incredibly blessed to work with such a talented musician and writer.
6- How does your latest album differ from your last?
This time around Oscar has focused on writing a lot more with his piano. We found that the piano adds much more diversity to our music when compared to our previous dual guitar style of writing. So on this next album, which is yet to be titled, you will hear a lot more pianos. But don’t worry… we’re not changing the energy of anything we do or anything that our fans of come to love.. Its still somewhat aggressive and melodic. We’re confident that most all of our fans will love the new material.
7- Do you find inspiration in other bands?
DEFINITELY. We cant even begin to tell you how many bands have inspired us…many of which have never been on the radio.
8- As a band, what would you say your main goal is? To inspire, or to entertain, to enlighten, to guide?
All of the above. Everyone in the band has had their share of emotional roller coaster rides and we know we’re not alone. It’s a wonderful feeling when we have people message us on myspace or send us emails that tell us little stories of how our music got them through a difficult time in their life.
9-I noticed that many of your songs star with the word "Tonight" is that deliberate or just a coincidence?
"Tonight" has mainly been used for symbolism - creating a feeling of something succumbing to a foreboding or ominous conclusion or verdict. There are certain songs where the word creates an imagery that depicts the vision i have during the song's conception.
10- Some of the lyrics to your song are truly inspiring, does a lot of work go into them or does it come naturally?
As the lyricist, I(Oscar) always tell people that some of my best work is written in minutes, as opposed to some of my other work that I’ve slaved days and weeks over. I have always considered the songs I write as a gift and recognize that sometimes, no matter how hard i try, i have to wait for the song to come to me.
11- I think anthem of our lives,
and city lights would make great singles, which ones are you guys considering?
Sometimes the songs that we personally favor are a little different from songs that our audience favors. In this case, i think we've received the most feedback that favors Anthem of Our Lives.
12- In the end, how would you like people to see your music?
Ultimately, I(Oscar) would like people to see our music as something that they can relate to in their own lives. As a songwriter, my intention is never to have a fixed and rigid presentation of the message behind our music, but rather to have something that people can find closeness to in their own way. I hope that our music can be seen as a positive force in people's lives and be regarded as possessing a positive element, rather than something that brings people down.
And to all our fans…. Thanks for your support. We appreciate every person who ever gave us a chance and its people like YOU who fuel our passion to make music
Thank You VOiD808.
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Monday, 5 October 2009
Hold on. Hold on to me. When you hold me I believe that maybe love is all I need.