Hotel Etiquette - Sound In The Signals Interview

Photo By: Matt Sleds

I recently had the opportunity to interview Mike Hansen of Hotel Etiquette. We discussed how the project developed as a way to cope with the state of the world, writing his new song, “Sounds Like Love” and how it changed from the demo version, filming a music video for the song, what’s coming in 2021, and more. Check it out below.

First, thanks for the interview.

Thank you guys for having me! 

Can you tell me how you got together and formed the project for those who may be unfamiliar? How did you initially become interested in music?

I started this project in the summer of 2020 as a way to cope with the state of the world. I hadn't written or released anything since Pentimento put out I, No Longer in 2015 and got to feeling like it was time for me to try make music on my own. It feels pretentious to call it a solo project, but I guess that's what it is. My father introduced me to playing music as a kid and I grew up around him & his bands so it was just the natural progression of things. 

You recently released your song “Sounds Like Love”. You said the song is about your wife. Can you tell me about writing the song and some of the lyrical meaning?

I just wanted to write a song about something that made me feel good for once. After I came across the initial riff/chord progression - I’d never had a song pour out that fast. It seemed easy to just try and write down what I wish I could tell her every day. It showed me that maybe I need to make a conscious effort to write about the things that build you up and not just focus on what breaks you down. The lyrical meaning is as straightforward as I think I’ve ever been able to be lyrically. I think my wife is hot and I love her so much I thought it needed a song. 

You released a video for the song. It’s really neat. Who came up with the concept for it? What was it like filming the video?

Thank you! I came up with this concept after demoing the song in december. I’m such a sucker for those awkward video dating service clips and wanted to try and do something in that vein. This was easily the most fun I’ve had shooting a video and I hope it came across like that when others see it. I’m so proud of how it came out and need to send big love to Aaron Coniglio/WNYVAD13 for editing, shooting, and helping me bring what started as a high-dea to life. 

Who designed the artwork for the single and why did you feel like it fit? 

My best friend and musical life partner Christian Adams put this together. He recently fell in love with collage art - so it seemed like a no brainer to commission him. Couldn’t be more psyched on it and I think what made it feel so fitting is that he really did his best to represent the mood of the song. It somehow shows that even if these two people were together forever - it wouldn't be enough. please check out his other work at @MYNEWSPACESUIT on Instagram. 

You had a cool patch giveaway for the song. Why did you decide to do that and were you pleased with how it went?

I just wanted to do something to thank the people who were kind enough to post about the song when it came out. Instead of spending money on Instagram ads, I thought it would make sense to just invest in a little something for the people who are advertising on my behalf. Just by posting that they're listening to the track, it instantly connects with other people in a way that an advertisement simply cannot do or rarely does. It cost me less than a crazy ad campaign, I don't have to be annoying, and now people have a small token of my appreciation for supporting the project. 

You just followed up the “Sounds Like Love” single with a new song “Sounds Like Trash”. Do those songs relate to each other at all lyrically or thematically? If so, how?

This isn't exactly a "song" persay. This is a demo of what "sounds like love" originally started as that I released to the people that received a patch. Just a simple idea about waking up and realizing you're in love. The actual song ended up being an extremely far departure from this demo, but I thought it'd be cool to show people where the song came from and how weird your initial songs can be - but if you keep searching for whatever gem is in these clumsy demos you'll find something truly worth it. 

What is coming up for you in 2021?

I plan to release a follow up to my debut EP called EX QUESTIONS. Hoping to have it out in spring time so we can all listen with the windows down and just vibe, baby. 

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Please listen to: fake space, post prom, funeral coat, briefly we exist, and dishonored. you are a human being and you can do anything. 

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