The Hotelier’s Christian Holden

The indie-rock band finished a tour of Europe and landed at Pitchfork Music Festival.

Joe Cristo

Following the release of their two studio records — “Home, Like Noplace is there” in 2014 and “Goodness” in 2016 — American rock band, the Hotelier, sat down with A&E to discuss its creative process, the inspiration for its latest album and its plans after Pitchfork Music Festival.

It’s been two years between the release of your albums — what have you been up to? When did you write the record? Do you write the songs yourself?

We just have been doing a lot of touring for a while. I think over the course of 2014 and 2015, we had been, like, playing shows for a third of that time. We’ve been mostly learning how to be people who do music as a hobby to people who do music as a living — learning to interact with the world of art in a different way.

I wrote the record in-between shows whenever I got a chance. I mostly come up with chords and words, and we sort of jam them out together.

The album starts with a spoken-word piece. What inspired it? Why are some titles coordinates?

I sort of made sure that there is a lot of intentional grounding in this work. Making sure a lot of people are centered and present. I’m also, like, leading them through the record by introducing everything — like I’m a guide or something.

[The coordinates] lead to spots that the poems are written about; like places where I wrote each one. The first one is in White Mountains in New Hampshire. The second spot is in Vermont. The third one is a short walk from my backyard.

Your album cover is a bit different than most. It features naked adults who are not “attractive” by traditional standards. Who are the people on the album cover? How was this idea conceived?

The people on the album cover art are figure models, retired artists and other folks who were willing to pose for something special that we wanted to make.

[What inspired it was] an interaction with the idea of nakedness and all ways in which that word is used, exploring the natural aspects of art. It’s about exploring the interaction of different cycles of life and time.

On past records, you write a lot about your mental health and love. This time around, what did you write about that didn’t make it onto this album?

Honestly, everything we had written made it onto the record. When you are constantly touring, you sort of have to come up with every little thing you are going to use on the fly. There is usually a map with bits and pieces, and I try to fit it all together. I don’t know, maybe I write different than most songwriters. But basically, there were no songs that didn’t make it onto this record.

What are some influences on this new record?

Musically, it would’ve been a lot of the people we were playing with this last year or so, anyone who is making interesting music. We are sort of endlessly influenced by all the genres of music we come in contact with, even if it doesn’t necessarily show. Some stuff is just us interacting with different ideologies about the world, basically — like delving into a more spiritual understanding of my life, at least. And trying to think of ways in which music can sort of represent this idea of eclecticism, where all of the sounds and ideas are just different. Yeah.

What about your songwriting was different on this record?

We were experimenting a lot more with how to create pop songs that interact with the listener, shaking up the pop song structure a little bit. I think this record became a little bit more advanced in terms of how we were dealing with those structures and also how we can sort of allow the music to challenge the listener. Pop music is sort of not known for challenging the listener. We just wanted that to be equally present all the time.

You guys are about to finish up your tour, and Pitchfork is the last stop. When you guys drive around the country, you must be listening to music.

Actually, I feel like we’ve been listening to less music on this tour than we have on previous tours — a lot of people with headphones on. I’ve been listening to a lot of audiobooks and podcasts. When we were touring Europe there wasn’t a radio in our van, so we were all acting very insular.

Was this your first tour of Europe? Where did you guys go this time around?

Nope. We had toured back in 2015. We went to Switzerland and Austria, which we had never been to before. We went to Prague. Italy. The European tour was really, really cool because we went to a lot of places I’ve never been to before and a lot of places I’ve never seen.

Do you find the audiences to be different at all?

Not particularly. There was a surprising turnout in Europe, which made me pretty happy. I’m not sure if I could really pinpoint how they were different, but I’m sure they are probably, definitely different in some way. We brought our friends Rozwell Kid, who are from West Virginia. We played with them more than most bands. And then we played with whoever was there in the U.K.

What are you guys going to be doing after the tour?

Lying down. Probably a whole lot of relaxing. Just seeing people we haven’t maybe talked to in a while. But, uh, definitely a lot of lying down.