Just when you think you have worked out The Hottman Sisters they surprise you with a new track that doesn’t sound quite like their previous work. From their acoustic folky sound to their electric pop-rock leanings, heightened by their lush vocal harmonies, Jessica and Heather are forever pushing the boundaries as musicians. Interestingly, the chameleon side to their nature has more recently produced a new infectious single called Fire that is mixed in a haze of synth pop and rock.
Their diversity might make some other acts a little nervous about not willing to bend with the wind or vary their approach, but not Jessica and Heather, whom have been experimenting and playing in their basement since they were kids. It’s understandable that they have more recently been compared to Haim, but don’t be fooled by the sweet comparison, they are definitely an entity of their own making. More importantly they have mapped out a plan to propel them forward beyond the bounds of their home base in Omaha, Nebraska.
With an exciting new EP titled Louder set for release later this month and a national tour that will see them play in famous music cities like Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles, the sisters together with the crafty Ed Getzlaff on drums, are ready for an exciting year ahead.
A few days ago, I had the brief pleasure to chat with an excited Jessica Hottman, who found time to speak with me, in the middle of promoting their new single Fire and preparing for their upcoming EP launch show. Here is some of what we talked about.
I came very quickly to the conclusion that there is no point in trying to pigeon-hole The Hottman Sisters. Is it fair to say your approach to music varies from record to record?
You are correct in saying this. I write the music for The Hottman Sisters and my approach to songwriting has always been to write music that moves me. I have never limited myself to a genre, but instead pull from many different styles to create a song, record, etc. Sometimes the songs have an edgy pop vibe, sometimes they have elements of hip-hop and dance music, and other times the song may take on a lonesome country sound. I am a person who enjoys variety and listens to many types of music, so it makes sense that the music I write would also take on more than one approach. With this new EP, I knew I wanted to shift our sound into a darker, indie pop/rock vibe, while still retaining the crux of The Hottman Sisters – the vocals.
That said, I was wondering could you tell us something surprising about your musical heroes or influences?
I am as much inspired by artists that push the envelope and write music that is outside of the box (Imogen Heap, Annie Clark, etc) as I am by artists that are writing radio hits (Sia, Justin Bieber, Post Malone, etc). I listen to, study, and pull inspiration from both the indie and pop side, because I think both bring value and influence to how I go about writing music. I am also very inspired by hip-hop and often listen to this genre before I go into a writing session. This style of music makes me want to dance and I think creating music that compels people to physically move or dance is valuable.
I read somewhere that you’re underlining goal with songwriting is always to tell a story and inspire listeners with your music. What’s the story behind new single Fire?
Very simply put, I wrote this song at a time when I was leaving behind an old version of myself. In this song, I am allowing fire to consume what has held me back from becoming who I was made to be. I am hoping to inspire others that they too can have a fresh start if they desire a change in their life.
Tell us a little bit about what you are looking forward to with your EP launch show at the end of this month?
The whole band is looking forward to playing our new music for our family and close friends. We are also very thrilled to be heading out on our LOUDER Tour following the release show, which will take us to the NW and W regions of the USA. We are musicians at heart, so there is nothing more satisfying than actually getting to perform our music for others and to connect with other music lovers. It will feel great to release our new EP – a new foot forward for The Hottman Sisters. We have spent the last year rebranding, writing, and recording and now it is time to release our new look and sound into the world.
I hope we can touch base again sometime after your Louder tour. But for now I guess I’d love to know what experience over the past few years do you believe has prepared you the most for what lies ahead with your Louder tour? It’s going to be an intense two weeks assault?
We would love to stay connected as well! Honestly, everything we have done up until this point has played a part in setting us up for this tour and all of the opportunities coming after this tour. We view this as the first stepping stone into the next tier of our career with The Hottman Sisters. We spent a good portion of the 2017 year, on the road DIY touring, and played over 70 out of town shows. A majority of these shows were self-booked, self-promoted, self-managed, and it was a lot of work and a steep learning curve. As we now move into The Hottman Sisters 2018-2019, we have a team behind us, supporting us and helping carry the weight, and we are about to embark on our first headlining tour. We are thankful to have this platform and excited for the tour that lies ahead of us.
For tickets and touring information on The Hottman Sisters Louder Tour click here. You can also connect with The Hottman Sisters via their Facebook page. Follow them on Twitter. Listen to their new single Fire via Spotify and iTunes. Watch them on You Tube.
Photo credit: The header images of The Hottman Sisters is supplied by Brett Radin at Zero Management. I am not the uploader of the You Tube clip embedded here.