#NewMusicFriday: 'The Feeling' By The American Hotel System
Residing in Grand Rapids, Michigan, The American Hotel System is a rock band that effortlessly fuses Hard Rock, Americana, and Folk. The melding of these genres boasts The American Hotel System’s diverse musical range. Previously described as 'socio-political rock', they strive to create music that allows the listener to relate and have their own feelings towards each track. Their discography ranges from songs about love to war and everything in between.
Their latest track 'The Feeling' a hard-hitting rock anthem. The emotive lyricism, pummeling guitar, tight rhythms, and powerhouse vocals fuse together to form an undeniable rock hit! This absolute smash will have you headbanging and rocking out wherever you may be. The American Hotel System’s chemistry, confidence, and finely-calibrated sound are impressive. They are unapologetically brilliant and we can’t get enough! While there are moments of experimentation and purity within 'The Feeling', the fuller soundscapes are where the more anthem-like and energizing effect lies. The American Hotel System paves its own way creatively, giving the band an alternative and optimistic edge that’s refreshingly freeing right now. The hard-rock collective is delivering nothing but hits and we can’t wait to see what The American Hotel System brings to the table next!
Listen to 'The Feeling' here and keep scrolling to read more!
Welcome back, guys! For those who don't know, how would you describe your sound and approach to music?
Jacob: We’re a rock band that experiments with elements of folk, Americana, and alternative contemporary music. I believe music is the most powerful tool we have to impact culture and try to keep that in mind when I write.
Jake: Our sound is the rock to its core, with the influence of folk that gives it a classic Americana feel.
Hailey: I would describe our sound definitely as versatile. We are a rock band that pulls from other genres like folk, Americana, and bluegrass. We have a very collaborative type of approach.
C.T.: Garage rock with some influences from folk, bluegrass, and indie. I definitely like to make music that has emotion, I want to feel the passion in the song as I play it every time. I love to have fun as well. So I bring a passionate, fun energy to whatever music I perform or write.
Tell us all about your new track “The Feeling”! What was the writing process like for this song?
Jacob: In March 2018, I had the opportunity to film a documentary in Belize. When I had some free time away from my travel group, I sat under a tree in the middle of the rainforest and started journaling; recounting all the beautiful experiences I had encountered on my adventure. As the breeze caused the jungle canopy to reveal bright blue sky and sunshine, I was struck with anxiety that this moment would soon be over-- the realization that this moment of beautiful clarity was fleeting and my normal life would soon return. I quickly wrote down what would become the first verse and chorus. I finished the lyrics a few days after returning home and filed it away into the lyrics folder on my computer. We had a writing session one evening where I had presented the band with a few new ideas I had been working on. As the night was winding down the band asked if I had anything else. I remember saying “Well, I have this one idea that I’m not really married to. If you hate it, let me know and I’ll forget about it.”; and then played a rough acoustic version of ‘The Feeling’. Before my guitar was done ringing out the last chord, C.T. looked at me and said “I’ll marry that song for you because it’s awesome. We need to arrange it and record it for our next single.” — And here we are a few months later! This song has become a musical expression of my longing for peace and clarity when my world is crowded by anxiety and chaos. I hope that it can serve as musical therapy for those who listen. I’m incredibly proud of this track and I’m excited to share it with the world.
Jacob wrote the song, but I think the song comes from a lot of what we deal with collectively and being able to put the parts in that we all wrote speaks to the special blend of our musical backgrounds.
Hailey: As a drummer, the writing process for me was a lot of fun. I was able to take some of the really slick guitar and bass lead lines and lock in with them, making for a really tight and in the pocket type of groove. When we started to write this song musically, it was a lot of playing off of each other until we found that sound, rhythm, or groove that we liked. I tried to have the mindset of: how could I best help to emphasize my bandmate's parts in this song without sticking out too much? The goal was to tastefully blend in. Overall, I loved the writing process for this song.
C.T.: This was the first song that the four of us actually wrote together. Jacob had the lyrics and chords but that was it. We got to build it from the ground up and I loved it. We all kind of got to put our own little licks in here and there and really put a lot of character and finesse of each individual musician into this song. I'm honestly super proud of this track, it is a banger.
We love your authentic and powerful vocals, have you had any professional training?
Jacob: Thank you so very much! Hailey, Jake, and I were all music majors in college together. I did a private guitar and vocal study during my undergrad and both of my coaches had a profound and lasting impact not only on my musicianship but on my life as a whole (Thank you Dr. Werkema and Mr. Holmes!). The three of us have had the privilege of playing together for the last five years, and the time of explosive growth that college provides is something I’ll always be grateful for us to have experienced together.
What has been your most memorable achievement as a band so far?
Jacob: This summer had been incredible for us. We played a nearly sold-out release show in our hometown for our second EP and were featured in the July/August issue of Relix Magazine. When I look at the various cities around the world where people have listened to our music, I’m humbled that these songs have traveled from my notebook into the ears and hearts of people I’ve never met; that will always be the most memorable and humbling experience I have with our band.
Jake: So far, playing the Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids this past summer and being able to play in front of such a fun group was an incredible experience.
Hailey: My most memorable moment has been playing a show and having a room full of people sing the lyrics back to us. That is the most wholesome, humbling, and crazy feeling. I’ll never forget that feeling.
C.T.: This one time Jacob, as he was painstakingly answering interview questions, leaned back in his chair and it broke. 10 out of 10 would never forget. Oh, and playing an almost sold-out venue in our hometown was cool I suppose.
What’s next for The American Hotel System through the end of 2019?
Jacob: We’re hard at work on our debut full-length album, which I’m proud to announce will be available on December 13, 2019, via Variare Music!