Strange Hotels in the U.S

Photo by Antonia Kimatian

Blending classic, psychedelic, and acoustic rock in their own unique way, Strange Hotel has been creating a local buzz since they formed earlier this year. Vocalist/guitarist Frank Abreau sometimes sounds like Mercury. Sometimes like Dylan. Other times like Jack Russell from Great White or some other 80s glam metal singer. His band, which also consists of guitarist Sean Reilly, drummer Tim Aristil, and bassist Miles DeIaco, recently released their full length debut album, All the World is a Strange Hotel. Do415 sat down with the self-described ‘gothedelic’ group to discuss how they met while working at a church, their evolution from studio project to full-fledged live band, and their new music video. Read on for our interview and check out the exclusive video premier for their album’s title track below. By Brett Leader.

How did all of you meet?
Frank Abreau: I was working at a church playing guitar and bass. Miles was doing sound. Timmy was playing drums.
Miles DeIaco: Then we met Sean at a bar. [laughs]
FA: Eventually we had to quit. We were fighting for the wrong side; working for the enemy.
Sean Reilly: Satan owns rock and roll.
MD: Do you know that song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”? The devil’s parts are way cooler than the other guy's.
FA: Charlie Daniels is good, but he’s no Lucifer.
MD: And the devil had Miles Davis in his band.

So after quitting the church, you guys started playing together?
FA: Our previous band fell apart. Tim’s band fell apart.
SR: My band was falling apart at the same time.
FA: We all had this net that we fell into that was Strange Hotel.
MD: Now when we break up with girlfriends we’re worried that the rest of us are going to break up with girlfriends. [laughs]

How did the record come about?
FA: The recording started in January. It was an acoustic record initially and then it became a rock record.
SR: You can’t fight the rock.

What was the concept behind the new video?
MD: David Dutton, the director, seemed very artistic and cool and right away he wanted to work with us. When we met with him we really liked his concept - all of these double exposed scenes.
SR: We wanted a performance video that was artistic and something you haven’t seen before. The results are better than we could have hoped for.

What is the meaning behind the band name?
SR: All of the world is a strange hotel. We’re just passing through. It was here before us and it will be here after us. We all just occupy this space for a while and it is a very strange experience.
MD: You have to get kicked out at some point.
FA: Individually you are also a strange hotel. People come into your life and leave. It relates to both.

What artists inspired Strange Hotel’s sound?
FA: The Mars Volta, Baby Shambles, Razorlight, a lot of 80s goth, The Cure, Television, all of that CBGBs New York punk.
SR: I was listening to Back Sabbath, Muse, and Cave In when I first joined because that’s what Strange Hotel reminded me of. As they brought each new song to me, I noticed that each song was a completely different genre than the previous song and I had to branch out as a musician to be able to play with them.

If you were a hotel, what kind of hotel would you be?
SR: A bed and breakfast. I’m quaint, peaceful. A place you want to come back to.
FA: I would be a haunted hotel with multiple personality disorder.
MD: A desert motel because I’m from the desert and I like people not being too close to me – unless it’s people I like.

Why should people come to a Strange Hotel show?
FA: There are not a lot of people doing what we’re doing right now here in San Francisco. Not to be conceited, but no one else is doing records like we’re doing.

It's Interesting
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