Jérôme FARAILL / 3FormMusic : How would you define your style of music ?
Paul (Spacehotel) : I centre around what I’d call « alternative electronic rock » that often contains darker lyrics, aggressive guitars and synths and heavier bass and drums driving it along. Though much of the music I’ve released so far hasn’t sounded like that, for example « Rewind 25 » is pure synthpop and « Ride » which is a more traditional pop/rock song. These are more on the fringes of the kind of stuff I mainly do but it’s fun to not be locked in to one specific genre. I really just write for myself so I’m not too concerned with trying to hit a certain genre type consistently, and in any case have always found it hard to define. I think what links the songs together is my way of expressing lyrics, the way the vocals are delivered and the types of phrasing and « attitude » of the lyrics. As long as each song is expressing something authentic from me, even if it’s based on a fictional idea, and conveys emotion, then the style isn’t really something I worry too much about.
Jérôme FARAILL / 3FormMusic : On your youtube channel what is the concept, the idea, because you have posted many songs around 1 min ?
Paul (Spacehotel) : I’ve not really pushed youtube at all so far because I’m focusing on songs/recording. Even though the account goes back years it’s mainly been as a place to show previews of future songs, work in progress etc. Sometimes people like to hear what you’re working on for the future. It can take a long time to finish the songs when doing it alone because you need to distance yourself from the song for a while, maybe a month or more to come back to it fresh to mix it with a slightly different mindset. Then, if you have time and I’ve not always had time, it’s best to distance yourself again for a month after mixing to come back to it to see if it sounds as good as you thought or if it needs re-doing. I’m more patient these days and the songs, until now at least, have taken longer. Hence all the preview clips and 1 minute demos etc, something to help grow an interested audience while I work away behind the scenes. Just before the album, and then on-going, my YouTube channel will be far more focussed and have « proper » videos for all the songs and less, if any, previews and short clips.
Jérôme FARAILL / 3FormMusic : Why can’t we find your EPs on all the streaming platforms ?
Paul (Spacehotel) : There is only one Spacehotel EP from 2008 and it’s really old and I’m not happy with the recording/production on it so I removed it from Spotify but left it on iTunes? for now, for those that wanted to listen. The parity of releases on ALL platforms started with « Stereo Girl » in 2017, which was a kind of ‘reboot’ for Spacehotel. I feel my recording and mixing skills had improved enough by then to say « this is the new Spacehotel », so everything released since Stereo Girl is on all platforms, streaming and download. Some are singles that don’t really fit on albums but « Ride » and the brand new one, « Infiltrator », are from the debut album! An Album can take a long time so if I have some random songs that are not from that album, I will take the chance to put them out there.
Jérôme FARAILL / 3FormMusic : You’re preparing the release of your first album for spring 2021, will it all be with the same style or there will be some “surprises” ?
Paul (Spacehotel) : Going back to the ‘genre’ answer above, there is the foundation of ‘alternative electronic rock’ and overall the album is quite dark, sometimes heavy lyrically. There’s a few songs about loss on there (death of loved ones and ending of relationships) for example, however I’ve always been aware of not making the album too morbid or depressing. So there’s also some hopeful tracks, and lyrics, mixed in among this. I guess you could call it yin/yang or light and shade. My songs do tend to alternate, from one to the next, between darker and lighter, or futile and hopeful! And I love to embrace both sides with authenticity and genuine passion for the subjects. Recognizing bleakness and the darker side of humanity doesn’t mean we have to wallow in it, it’s more like if you highlight it and express it (or purge it through listening), we don’t have to carry that burden or heavy feeling with us from day to day. Much like they say many comedians/comics are actually really sad behind the scenes, I believe many songwriters who write dark or melancholy songs are actually happy and content with themselves and their lives outside of the songs, and maybe because of their ability to express it in the songs it removes it from their systems a bit. Back to the actual question, I think and hope the album works as a ‘whole’, which is my main goal. That the surprise if anything would be how consistent it would be in emotional power from song to song, rather than each song just sounding the same musically or genre wise. There is dark guitar rock on there, mainly, there is aggresive electronic music on there, there is upbeat piano stuff like « Ride », and there’s some lighter stuff, at least musically, maybe more like « Rewind 25 » but with deeper lyrics. It’s varied but, hopefully, cohesive and all of the songs are thematically linked and hand picked for the album.
Jérôme FARAILL / 3FormMusic : Do you think that “Bandsintown” can be “the” solution for the artists and bands to stay connected with their audience and gain money ?
Paul (Spacehotel) : I think it’s great. I don’t know too much about it myself as I’m so focussed on getting albums done first. But virtual gigs are great because it empowers smaller artists to be able to reach much larger audiences, much like the internet has done for independent music in general! And even with larger bands I see it will be embraced more in future. Especially when Virtual Reality devices become a lot more common. I can’t comment on the money side as I tend to shy away from anything connected to ‘making money’ from people. The reality is that Artists should be rewarded for music if people like it and listen a lot, but none of us can demand that of anyone. We can only earn it through good songwriting (and good performance if playing live). The thing is, for me, if you get caught up in how you can make money, or where you’re not making money, it takes over from the love of music making. You can end up resentful towards ‘the industry’ and it could actually stop you in your tracks (no pun intended) then you could easily end up turning away from music entirely and working in another industry that’s much easier to get a sustainable income from. So, as far as I know, esp for younger bands and artists and also those with good followings already, websites like the above could be excellent. For me it would be more about bringing a ‘live’ performance to people more easily. My listeners are dotted out around the world so it’s for sure easier to get them alltogether in front of their devices than it is to hope they all get on planes to arrive at a single medium sized club in the U.K just to see me! I love going to real gigs and seeing the artist in perrson, the atmosphere and sound of the venue and that can’t really be replaced, even by Virtual Reality. I’m open to all kinds of technology to spread music however!
Jérôme FARAILL / 3FormMusic : How has Covid impacted your creations/works ?
Paul (Spacehotel) : Like lots of independent musicians, songwriters & producers, especially those who do it all themselves, the actual lockdowns have had zero affect on me negatively. In fact I’ve been able to focus more by not hearing so many people out in the streets! Songwriting for me is a very isolated pursuit anyway so it’s what I’ve been doing for over 20 years. On the flipside there have been some Covid related delays regarding distribution times, now things have to be ready longer in advance, so that they have time to get processed by the companies that deal with them to get them out to Apple Music, Spotify and others on time. This has meant delays for me from finishing a song to the release of the song, more than usual, and that has been a bit of a drag because by the time it comes out I’m already all about the next song or even the next song after the next song! Also I had planned to get around to doing proper videos for all the songs from the album, including « Ride », but Covid and our own local lockdowns have meant it’s harder to get to the ideal locations I wanted to get to for filming. So I’ve had to delay the videos. However they will be released next year before the album. The album also was delayed a few months due to it. Not so much because I couldn’t work on it but because it didn’t make sense to be rushing to force something on people with so much going on in the world. Hopefully next year will be a much better year for us all and there will be a lot of new albums from some great bands, I’m happy releasing the Spacehotel album in 2021 when people may, at least, be more receptive to it and some of its themes.
Jérôme FARAILL / 3FormMusic : Can you tell us how many titles will be on your album ?
Paul (Spacehotel) : There are 11 tracks on the album. I’ve always liked 11 track albums and some of my all time favourite albums have 11 tracks. To me it feels like the perfect number, not to outstay your welcome, especially when you’re not a massive band with an established reputation. I’ve had to make some tough choices to keep it to 11 because part of me wants to keep adding other tracks I love, but I think, or hope, that it works out for the better by restraining myself and ensuring the 11 tracks I’ve chosen work together on the album to give it variety but consistency while also not allowing for over-indulgence. I think it’s around 45 minutes? As a fan of the album format (more than singles) I love to be immersed in an album from start to finish and in the correct running order, and for me, around 45 minutes feels about right. Albums 2 and 3 which are already at least half finished also contain 11 tracks each, they will be out in 2022 and 2023.
Jérôme FARAILL / 3FormMusic : Last question : do you think that music “will save us all” ?
Paul (Spacehotel) : I think music has the ability to save us all on an individual basis at least. I can’t and won’t speak about ‘the world’ as a whole because I can’t talk for everyone, but us music lovers already know how songs save us, often daily, from our worries, sadness etc. I think music is the purest form of mood enhancement. If you have the ability to really get into a song and almost parasitically piggy-back its emotions, you can gain a hell of a lot of internal empowerment that can help you overcome a lot of issues, from depression to self doubt, from relationship woes to loss of a loved one. Any form of media or entertainment can take us away from our worries for a while but music is the only one that, I think, taps into our hearts and minds on a personal level. This is also why I firmly believe that once a song is released, it’s as much the listener’s as it is the artist’s. The listener, in their own world, listening to a song, is what makes it live and continue to live. Of course the songwriter/artist is the key to it in the first place but any good and authentic songwriter will know and tell you that we don’t really ‘own’ our songs on an emotional level. They mean one thing to us, another thing to the next person. Listening to a song can be a crowd event that collectively raises the mood, such as at a gig or a party, but it can also be a powerful antidote to life’s ups and downs while you’re alone in your room listening in the dark on headphones.
You can find SPACEHOTEL on : https://www.youtube.com/user/SpacehotelMusic , Twitter : @spacehotel , https://www.facebook.com/spacehotelmusic/ and for sure on http://spacehotelmusic.com/ and Spotify/Deezer..
(Photos copyrights : SPACEHOTEL, Interview Copyright Exclusif/Exclusive Copyright : Jérôme Faraill pour/for “3FormMusic.com”)