BBG Presents: The Hotelles

4 April 2014

As if you lovely BBG readers didn’t get enough of Ben from Models 1 already from Monday's Editorial 'Ben and Luke'. Today BBG presents to you The Hotelles, a South-East London alternative band where Ben plays Bass. The band is comprised of three brothers; Tom (22), Ben (19) and Sam (15). Creating a guitar led, cool compilation of fast moving and lively indie music, they want people to be able to dance to their songs. The group is influenced by bands such as The Cribs, Tame Impala, Interpol, and The Strokes as well as Arctic Monkeys front man, Alex Turner.

Shot in true BBG style, Cleo Glover captured this collection of cool images in and around the house of one of the boys. It’s fair to say that music lies in their hearts, as the bedroom wall is pasted in a colourful assortment of gig and band posters. The anthology of the film photographs truly captures the perfect harmony between the boys as a band and as brothers.

We caught up with the boys to talk about how the band started, how things have been going, as well as their hopes for the future.

Hey guys! Where does your band name The Hotelles originate from?
Basically we went through a name and image change a couple of years ago. Our manager at the time said we needed a better name than what we had, so we then went through a list of band names and started listening to bands like The Shirelles, The Ronettes and sixties girl groups. Also all the bands we like, like The Kinks or The Strokes, were all THE something.

The Velvet Underground.
Yeah exactly, so it’s like THE something’s, that’s what we like. So that’s pretty much why we decided to go with The Hotelles. We thought it sounded alright and looked alright.

It’s a bit different as well.
It’s not like a weird word. It adds a bit of intrigue and a bit of mystique. We know a couple of people pronounce it wrong on Radio, like The Hotellys.

Obviously you are brothers. How did you guys decide that you were going to be in a band?
I think it was purely by accident, but not by accident in a way. We can’t really put a point on when we decided to do it. I would say we slowly seeped into it. I personally started getting guitar lessons when I was thirteen. Then Ben wanted to get in on it and then Sam as well.

Copying their big brother.
Yeah pretty much.

How did you discover you could sing?
Just by like copying whatever bands were around. It was in the shower one time haha, and you realise you can sing. Yeah, it’s not a thing where you’re like "yeah I’m a singer now", I don’t know how it happened. It kind of happened just because whatever Alex Turner wrote I liked. I want to sing like him.

Who are your biggest influences?
I’d say for me it would be Richey Edwards from Manic Street Preachers, because I do creative writing and am very much into poetry and that. He is literally like the coolest guy ever, so I’m influenced by him quite a lot. I think sound wise the bands we like, sound like or are influenced by sound wise, would be The Strokes and Interpol. We want to sound like Interpol, who I actually went to go and see last night. They are amazing. We also like bands like The Horrors and Tame Impala. We don’t particularly sound like them at the moment, but we want to bring in more influence from them. At the moment we kind of sound like The Cribs, The Libertines or The Vaccines. It’s that guitar band sound.

You want your music to be quite upbeat?
Yes, we want people to enjoy themselves; we don’t want people to be lounging and sitting. Eventually we want people to be sort of basking it and actually listen. But for now I think the people we’re appealing to are the people that get, for one of a better phrase, ‘Fucked’. Go and get fucked up every time and have a good time. But not as a sell out, we want to make music we want to make. We like bands like The Ramones, bands that are back to basics, like the Beatles. Like in your face, two minute songs that people can sing back to us. Catchy songs.

What do you want for the future with the band?
I think to be able to put a new record out in the foreseeable future. In the long run it’s just to be able to do it for a living, which would be wonderful. Also to keep writing and just work harder and harder.

Do you all write?
Tom is the main writer. We don't all live under the same roof any more, so we try our best to combat that, and it can be good when we take a three or four week practice period, we can come back to a session and each of us have got something to throw out. Tom obviously does the main lyrics and the chord changes, but also it’s a team effort.

What’s been the highlight of being in The Hotelles so far?
We managed to put out our own vinyl. They looked really cool. With the vinyl’s we went round all the independent record stores around London, and to Rough Trade West. Have you been to Rough Trade West? The really, really small one. Then we went to Rough Trade East on the same day who turned us down, but when we went back 3 months later we saw there was actually a little section of ours in the vinyl. This was really cool to see. It was a big moment.

Is it still available to buy there?
Yeah, it should be in Rough Trade East and Sister Ray, and then Rough Trade West as well.

A lot of our readers live outside London and the UK, where can they buy your music?
They can buy it via Youtube, SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter and the website as well. You name it, we have it. I think some of them are also available to download. You can get some of our songs on ITunes. It’s pretty simple to find us.

When you are not doing music, what do you do besides that?
I hunt haha. Sometimes I hunt foxes. No I'm joking, I am educated.

What are you studying Sam?
GCSE’s, so all those kind of subjects. Science and such.

What’s your favourite subject?
Probably English, it’s the most creative subject you can do, without making yourself look like an arse. You know what I mean, because that’s what Drama is.

What about you guys?
Ben studies English and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, and also does modelling for Models 1 and music journalism for a magazine. So a lot of musical side projects, which are quite electronic. Tom's course is called Social and Cultural studies, also at Goldsmiths. "You’re quite boring, aren’t you Tom?". "haha Yeah, I know right."

So random fun facts time.
I know how to juggle. haha

You know how to juggle?
No, I don’t know how to juggle. I'm really sarcastic, which you can’t really convey the tone in print.

You guys all have quite similar style, is that purposeful?
I think as a band we consciously want to look quite similar. Maybe if we were kind of just chilling, then we wouldn’t wear the same clothes. How we look outside of the band has been influenced by being in the band. So take Ben for example, before hand he was wearing flares, you know like a seventies rock God would wear. But then as soon as he started playing in the band he started wearing tighter jeans, skinny jeans and that kind of thing. Eventually the hair as well.

It’s very Alex Turner.
Yeah, stylistically because we’re at Goldsmiths, it’s hipster central and I think we just want to stay clear of the whole hipster thing. You know we’re quite like what normal guys wear, really. We’re quite kind of grumpy looking. I personally like being quite smart, you know what I mean and maybe that’s influenced by the band.

If you want to find out more about the boys, visit The Hotelles Website.

Photography and Interview by Cleo Glover.
Assistant Justine Hyde-Mobbs.
Words by Rosie Williams.

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