First off, who are you and what genre of music do you make?
I am Cam, I am Hotel Books. I write spoken-word poetry and my friends put rock music underneath it.
If you had to describe your music with a color, what would it be?
Black. We keep it dense, we keep it difficult. We keep it raw.
What’s the biggest struggle you have when it comes to creating?
I think the biggest struggle I’ve had is writing honest lyrics without giving away too much of my life. I want to share stories of my life, but I also don’t want to give up all my secrets. I have a tendency to share too much in my music.
If you could play any show in the world, what would it be?
Modest Mouse, Los Angeles, most likely. I just would love to play with Modest Mouse, so any show with them in Los Angeles area would be ideal for me. It’s a short drive to the big city for me.
What do you consider your biggest musical success?
Probably our song “Van Nuys”. This was the first thing I’ve released since Ghost Can’t Love that I really felt connect to in a real way. I fell in love with that song, and seeing new listeners connect to it made it feel even better.
What inspired you to start making music?
Desperation. I needed to get words out of my mind, I needed to share my stories with people. There was no plan of Hotel Books becoming my main focus. If anything, spoken-word poetry was just supposed to be something I could do in-between punk bands. But once I started writing about myself, and my struggles, I felt a sense of peace that I desperately needed.
If you could hear any person living or dead sing to you, who would it be?
Buddy Holly. He had such a whimsical and complex voice. I love cooking, and when I cook, I always blast his music.
Who, aside from any band or musician, is your biggest influence?
Horror movies tend to inspire me a lot. Horror and comedy, anything absurd that really forces the viewer to escape reality and jump into the story. I think real human emotion can be drawn from the absurd, because to those who don’t know what the movie is about, they are watching beautiful chaos.
What’s your favorite book?
Probably Ender’s Game, or maybe Born Standing Up. I recently read the Seinfeld book SeinLanguage, and that book really spoke to me as well.
What do you like to do other than music?
I like writing and making comedy. Mostly stupid stuff, but stuff with some sort of point to it. Writing comedy is slowly becoming my day job. I don’t do much else.
Who is your favorite musical artist?
What’s one piece of advice you have for young musicians?
Always write about how you feel. Even if you’re writing a sci-fi song about outer space, still ground it in true feelings. People will much sooner relate to a song that speaks to them, rather than just a song that sounds good. Unless you’re trying to be on hit radio, put the passion first.
Lastly, what’s your lucky number?
No idea. I’ve never been one to think about that. When I’m forced to pick a number, I always go with thirteen, mainly because I want to break from the superstition.
You can follow Hotel Books on Instagram at @hotelbooks, and be sure to check them out on iTunes and Spotify.