The Album Leaf

Random Hotel Room, Erdberg, 2010

What a day! It all began with The Album Leaf almost getting stuck in Prague due to a disappeared instrument. When the San-Diego-based band finally left for Vienna, it was already hopelessly late to meet us in time for the scheduled afternoon session, with the rest of the day being packed with interviews, soundcheck and other duties. Never mind, we thought, there would be time right after the show. We knew that singer Jimmy LaValle and the band would be into the idea. Two years ago we had done a session with his Album-Leaf-bandmate and guitarist Drew Andrews, violinist Matt Resovich and visualist Andrew Pates, who toured Europe as From The Shade. After the show and some talking, drinking and loading the van, we decided to accompany The Album Leaf to their hotel for the lack of better location options (try to find a good, well-lit spot around Szene venue when it’s freezing cold outside and every bar is already closed…). After some hanging out in the Etap lobby (utter confusion, mixed up rooms and wrong keys as a french band wanted to check in as well at the same time), we finally entered hotel room 551 around 2 a.m. and recorded some of their wonderfully haunting songs – including „There Is A Wind“, „Falling From The Sun“ and „Wherever I Go“ – as long as the concierge let us.

Michael Luger
Sound Recording
Matthias Leihs
Post production
Michael Luger

Random Hotel Room, Erdberg

It is a coming and going. People and places are exchangeable. It is anonym and random. This blurred scenery of any hotel room is an elemental state of being for musicians on tour. The romantic motive of the artist as a rambling person is no accident. Yet the raw and pure charm of an idealized restlessness of the artist is soon volatilized by professional obligations. When the spiritual homelessness – footloose and fancy-free – turns into a factual one – bound to engagements-, the routine of the rambling musician is not so glamorous. Not everyone can or wants to live the cliché of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll in ever changing constellations in nightly hotel rooms. Again, the illusion of ongoing intensity easily wears out in the normal course of life. The other side of the coin is the idling between the kilometres to travel, the interviews to give, the shows to play. Apart from the joy of making music and playing live, people have their own strategy of how to settle a little and savour the everyday bliss. Be it the recording of a new song on a calm afternoon in your lonesome hotel room – so did Matthew from Phosphorescent when he stopped by in Austria with his Nick Cave-cover of Right Now I Am A-Roaming – or the companionship by your beloved partner in all that travelling – as Micah P. Hinson was treasured by his wife Ashley – or just having fun with your band members in the bathroom – as Thao did with The Get Down Stay Down. The Album Leaf even sacrified some of their sleep for turning a standardized Etap hotel room into a location for a laid-back acoustic session at 3 a.m.