A Chat with Hotel California (18.05.21)

The brainchild of singer-songwriter Daniel Green, Hotel California uses the intimacy of Simon and Garfunkel with the intensity of America. Following his string of well-received singles, Green is ready to release his upcoming twelve-track album Orange. We had the honour of speaking with this talented singer-songwriter about Orange, favourite reviews, future plans and favourite smells.

OSR: What drew you to music?

Green: Hi Nicole, thanks for your interest in my music and me. I really appreciate it. As a child, I used to watch music videos on a black-and-white TV in the attic of my parents’ house. There was that one mashup by Take That that really fascinated me. They mashed up their own tracks with the Beatles and I thought I would love to stand there in front of all these people and sing. But more than that, my parents went to church with me every week and I loved it when the people sang their hymns.

OSR: What is the backstory to your upcoming album Orange?

Green: I started writing these songs at the beginning of the lockdown in March 2020. The first one was ‘We Aren’t Made of Stone’ (track 12) which came to me on the first day. But the music ain’t dominated by the fear of Corona. My wife and I used to split the day with watching our son so I could produce a few hours every day. When I finished the first 12 songs, I contacted my old friend Carl Albrecht with whom I hadn’t talked to in 12 years. We used to play in a rock band together around 2006 but broke up later due to some problems we had. Since then I wished we could renew the friends and the musical doing. If it wasn’t for Corona we wouldn’t have talked again I believe. Carl wanted to get involved again and so we produced 24 new tracks during the last 12 months. That was great because he is my friend again and it was music that brought us back together.

OSR: What was the writing and recording process like?

Green: I worked on my parts at home and Carl did the same at his place. Later we met and finished the tracks in times when this was possible. On some songs, I play everything but when it comes to drums and bass Carl provided great help. He is a really good musician.

OSR: Do you have a favourite track from Orange?

Green: ‘Make Some Friends’ is one of my favourite tracks. I was never good at making new friendships. I’m more the “working alone in your garden” kind of guy. But the few friends I have I hold dearly and I fight for these friendships as I did with Carl. In ‘Make Some Friends’ I tell a story about the moment when you have to say goodbye to the world and ask yourself if anyone will come to your funeral. Do you have some real friends?

When I have to leave this beautiful earth one day I will probably take my plants in my garden with me. At least I don’t want to leave them behind.

OSR: What about a least favourite track?

Green: ‘We Aren’t Made of Stone’ (track 12) was the first song I recorded for this album and I really liked this song because it came to me out of nothing on the first day of lockdown, but I had to change some parts in the end because of the drums. I liked it more in the beginning but it’s still my first track and the album needs it.

OSR: What do you hope people take from your new album?

Green: I tell a lot of stories on this album and I hope some people find one or two tracks on the record they can identify with. I believe the topics kind of matter to nearly everybody, at least to people around me and myself they do. One exception I have to make. On ‘Cherry Stone Experiment’ I sing about my son putting a cherry stone in his ear. I didn’t do this when I was young. Did you?

OSR: What is the best review you have had to date?

Green: Nicole, I really liked your reviews. You find very kind words for my music. Especially the one for ‘Keep The Fire Burning’ was so great. Thank you for everything you wrote so far.

Allanah Williams from Music Is To Blame wrote a cool one too about ‘Some Of You Remember Me Like This’ which I liked a lot because she looked into the lyrics. Also, Chris Mariotti from Edgar Allan Poets wrote my track ‘Keep The Fire Burning’ would be “therapeutically beautiful”. Sounds gorgeous to me.

OSR: Why did you choose to make music under the name Hotel California?

Green: In 2009 I wrote the first album for HC called The New Sound Of Folk. This happened at a time when my rock band with Carl fell apart and I needed something to hold onto. Hotel California is a place I picture when all is lost and I need a hideout or a place I can dream myself towards. The music I write for Hotel California shall be somewhat positive or at least helpful. Usually, I release under the name Daniel Green but that is mostly really sad music like The Family EP which came out this winter. With HC I force myself into a more positive perspective of the world which is quite real I think.

OSR: What is your favourite smell?

Green: I like the smell of coffee and beer when you open the bottle, but there is nothing more beautiful smelling as lilac in May. These two weeks in the year the bloom of lilacs are great. I wrote a song about this too. It’s called ‘Summer Son’ on Orange. Maybe lilac is more special because I can’t have it every day.

OSR: What advice do you have for new musicians?

Green: Don’t expect too much. It shouldn’t be about being successful as a musician when you write your songs. Although I still try to get attention with every piece I release I experienced too many times that it isn’t working out. I try to write my music for myself and a few people who can use my stories to work through good and bad times. More than that I want to leave something behind one day so my son can say, “My Dad did something in his time on earth he loved. Writing tunes and building Lego with me.”

OSR: Do you have any future plans?

Green: Musically I will continue releasing a new single every three weeks for the next year. I already wrote enough tracks for the follow-up records to Orange which will be out in spring next year, and I want to play live again after Corona. Maybe with Carl on drums or with my friends of the Daniel Green Band. It depends on what is possible in the nearer future. One thing I know for certain: I will write songs as long as I live because otherwise, I lose myself.

Thanks to Daniel Green for speaking with us. For more from Hotel California check out his Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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