Journal / ‘hotel’

wow. i was just informed by my managers that ‘hotel’ is now gold or platinum in france, germany, uk, switzerland, poland, belgium, austria, portugal, italy.

once again i’d like to say a special thank you to the people at mute and emi who have worked so hard in making ‘hotel’ a success.

congratulations, and i’ll see you all soon.


Journal / Hotel

so in doing interviews and talking to people i’ve been asked what some of the songs on ‘hotel’ are about, and where the ‘hotel’ title/idea came from.
so, here goes…

the title ‘hotel’ is mainly inspired by the idea of the temporary, specifically temporary relationships. perhaps you’re familiar with the experience of having a relationship that is warm and loving and filled with respect and attraction, but that, in the end of the day, doesn’t work? so you’re in the relationship but you know that you’re going to have to leave. it almost makes the warmth and the intimacy of the relationship that much stronger and that much more intense knowing that it’s temporary.

everything in our lives is temporary, including our lives themselves, obviously. but the intimacy of loving, but temporary, relationships was one of the inspirations for the ‘hotel’ title and idea. we stay in hotels for brief periods of time. they are places where we live but that are not our homes.

on to the songs…
‘raining again’ is about a relationship that’s falling apart while the world seems to be falling apart at the same time. almost a ‘mise en scene’ where in the foreground a relationship is crumbling and in the background the world is crumbling, too.

‘beautiful’ is, on one hand, a simple and devious love song. on the other hand it’s also about celebrity couples being simple and self-congratulatory.

‘lift me up’…this is a complicated one…’lift me up’ is about the human propensity towards turning off our higher, critical, rational cognitive functions and willfully and enthusiastically degenerating to an atavistic tribal state wherein we don’t judge things from an empirical, rational perspective, but rather from a limbic, feral, tribal perspective.
and it’s also about how religious leaders and political leaders(and, well, entertainers, too…but hopefully in a relatively benign way…)play upon peoples willingness to lose themselves in said atavistic, tribal, collective, irrational behaviour.(most descriptive line: ‘it’s sweeter than doubt’, regarding the certainy that comes with ‘true belief’…).

‘where you end’ is a simple, sad song about ending a relationship but still deeply loving the person with whom you had been involved.

‘temptation’ is a cover song. ask barney.

‘spiders’ is a song that is partially a tribute to david bowie, but it’s also about feeling profoundly disconnected from the dominant cultural milieu in which i find myself, especially in the u.s in 2005. when i was growing up i found great comfort and solidarity and understanding through the company of musicians(david bowie, ian curtis, etc)whom i’d never met but whose music made me feel connected to something. there is also some obvious christ imagery in this song that will resonate with some people and not resonate with others.

‘dream about me’ is a song about being in a flawed relationship that, although flawed, is still warm and intimate and loving. it’s a song about being part of a couple but still feeling like an isolated individual and recognizing that it’s impossible to find complete fulfillment through another person even if the two people in the couple genuinely love one another.

‘very’ is about staying out late and dancing to donna summer records.

‘i like it’ is kind of self-explanatory.

‘love should’ is a love song, a simple, little love song.

‘slipping away’ is a song that i don’t really want to explain. i think that the meaning of the song is pretty self-explanatory, but it might mean very subjectively different things to different people, so i’m going to leave this one up to you.

‘forever’ is, again, a very simple love song. it’s a song about loving someone so much that you want to turn your back on the temporal miasma that we all inhabit, and somehow turn love and intimacy into a timeless, eternal place that you never have to leave.


Journal / Hotel

so the day is upon us…
hotel’ is released in most of the world tomorrow(monday, march 14th).
someone asked me why ‘hotel’ is being released a week later(march 22nd) in north america, and i, being an ignorant musician, didn’t have an answer for them.
sorry. mea culpa.
right now i’m flying to milan to do a tv show, then it’s on to glasgow, london, paris, and berlin to do our small ‘hotel’ release performances.
after a couple of months of doing interviews it will be nice to finally stand on stage and play music for 90 minutes.
i like doing interviews, don’t get me wrong, but playing live music is incredibly enjoyable, and is a huge part of why i’m in the music business in the first place.
i’ll be doing some other public appearances(playing music and signing autographs at a virgin megastore in london, and doing a ‘masterclass’ for fnac in paris)in europe as well, so maybe i’ll see you soon.
and now ‘hotel’ is finally released. i’ve worked long and hard on ‘hotel’,
and i love it very much. as always it is my hope that you’ll love it, too(although it might take a couple of listens, at is a bit different from some of the records that i’ve made in the past).

p.s-oh, we just finished the video for ‘beautiful’, and, if i do say so myself, it’s great(i can say that it’s great cos i really had nothing to do with the making of it…).
my friend the notorious b.e.n has made ‘beautiful’ into a bizarre and funny and wonderful narrative video.
i’ll post it on soon.

Journal / Hotel

i’m in the final stages(i hope)of finishing the next album.
or album(s), as i’m hoping that it will be a strange-sort-of-double-cd.
strange in that each cd will be quite different.
cd 1 will be full songs and cd 2 will be quiet ambient pieces of music.
i even have a name for the next cd…
why hotel?
a variety of reasons, but here’s one of them…
hotels fascinate me in that they’re incredibly intimate spaces that are scoured every 24 hours and made to look completely anonymous.
people sleep in hotel rooms and cry in hotel rooms and bathe in hotel rooms and poo in hotel rooms and have sex in hotel rooms and start relationships in hotel rooms and end relationships in hotel rooms and etc and etc, but yet every time we check into a hotel room we feel as if we’re the first guest and we get very upset if there’s any remnant of a previous guests stay.
something about this idea, that these intimate spaces are wiped clean every 24 hours, fascinates me. that we enter a hotel room and it becomes our biological home for a while and then we leave.
in some ways it’s similar to the human condition. we exist and we strive and we love and we cry and we laugh and we run around and we sleep and we build things and we have sex and then we die and, not to sound depressing, the world is wiped clean of our biological presence. which, from my perspective, makes our brief biological time here all the more precious due to it’s relative brevity.
hotels in specific fascinate me in that so much effort is expended to maintain a perfect neutrality.
and my hope in this record is not to celebrate or represent the vacuum-like neutrality of an empty hotel room, but rather to represent the part of the human condition that compels us to lead big and expansive and messy biological lives.
i’m fascinated by the airless and lifeless neutrality of so many man-made spaces(empty airports, empty lobbies, empty office buildings, etc), but i don’t feel like making music that is airless and lifeless because i also really like people and the messy miasma of the human condition and i want to make messy, human records that are open and emotional.
because, whether i like it or not,
i’m messy and human, too(even though like all good sci-fi geeks i do occasionally wish that i was a robot).
have i said too much?
should i aspire to erring on the side of cryptic and esoteric explanations?
well, this explanation is neither cryptic nor esoteric, so there you go.