Fate is one of those funny things that some live by and others think is complete B.S. I’m not big into “destiny”, but I do think the stars aligned just right when I accidentally came across a great new indie duo, Hotel Cinema, on a random Wednesday night at The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles. My intent that night was to see another band but as luck would have it, my usual tardiness to events and an unexpected short set, got the best of me and I missed them. A little disappointed that things didn’t go as planned, I considered getting in my car and leaving before the next act came on, but ran into an old friend and stayed for a few drinks. As I sipped on my glass of Maker’s mark, the beautiful sound of Keeley’s voice slowly took over my soul and the rest is history. I got a chance to sit down with the two in an interview and now you all have the chance to see why I’ve been fussing over them. Check it out.
Who is Hotel Cinema?
Hotel Cinema is Mark Hadley and Keeley Bumford. We write/produce everything, and have a great band who help us realize it live.
What inspired your band name?
We both really like the implications of both words… Maybe like a temporary escape from reality. It also fits the vibe of our music pretty well we think.
How did the band come about?
The two of us started working on some songs together just for fun and it sort of evolved into this project that really interested us both and challenged us creatively.
I see that you two spent some time in Boston during your college years. Do you have any friends or family affected by the bombing at the marathon?
Neither of us have any family or friends that were injured, but we both have a lot of friends still living there who were obviously affected to some extent. It’s interesting, we both feel affected on some level because there’s such a strong attachment to Boston for us both… it’s the kind of city that really impacts people.
Describe your sound and what inspired it?
We always struggle with this one… our sound draws on a lot of different influences, from indie to jazz to classical. We try to capture a cinematic sound mixed with simplistic elements that people can relate to. We try to create an original sound, not necessarily something people can really directly relate toan already existing artist.
Tell us about your debut EP “Hotel Cinema”?
Well we both started writing/producing a couple songs together with no intention of starting a band or even releasing it, and then as it developed, we started to feel like we had something that might be kind of interesting. It was fun because there was no pressure, nobody even knew we were a band yet, and we didn’t limit ourselves in any way production wise. Just experimented with a lot of different things, sampling weird instruments and incorporating interesting sounds.
We do album reviews here called “The Short List” where we pick the top two “absolute must hears” on an album. What would be your top two songs that fans absolutely must hear?
We both like “Haunting” and “All You’ve Ever Known”
What can we expect from HC in the future?
A lot more shows, and some new music in a bit. We’re also going to be releasing a couple live videos and a music video in the next couple months.
We could totally hear your music on a TV Show or movie. If you could pick a show or movie that you’d want to hear your music on, what would it be?
Keeley really loves Girls. As far as movies, we’re both big on Wes Anderson.
You have a new live in-studio video for “Better Run,”. Tell us about that.
This song is based around the idea of telling yourself “I can take it, I swear…” but not being entirely convinced. A bit awkward, insecure. Since it’s a live in studio video, we were mainly just trying to capture the way we present our live shows in a setting that people can see who can’t make it to see us live.
Do you have any goals for yourselves as artists/band? What are they? How will you know you’ve “made it”?
When we’re cruising down Sunset in a Lamborghini. But seriously, we want to be touring and just traveling the world playing our music for people. I don’t know if there’s any one thing to know we’ve “made it”, but every time anyone says anything nice about the music or a powerful feeling they got from it, that feels like the best success. Reaching people.
Check out the band’s debut video for “Better Run” and check back here for tour dates.