Hotel Nights is the moniker under which Chase Kerby is releasing some of his most introspective and meaningful music to date. I took some time to sit down with Chase at Ponyboy to discuss his newest track, “Houses” and what inspires him to keep writing. Below is an excerpt of the interview.
HS: Thanks so much for taking a minute to chat with me, Chase! We can dive right in - what has been your motivation/inspiration for the music you’ve been creating as ‘Hotel Nights?'
CK: Thanks for having me! I write what I write to get something out. It’s not so much about making a buck or getting out a single for the sake of it. It’s more about pulling out the things I need to acknowledge within myself. We wake up with our phones and immediately start consuming and we see bad shit all the time. Bad headline after bad headline. A song like Houses to me is the culmination of seeing people taking pride in delusion. I’m someone that has always believed that all people have value. It just sucks to see people take pride in delusion to the point where they lose their identity.
HS: The message in your new track, “Houses” is completely different from anything we’ve heard from you before. Can you talk about the process of that coming together?
CK: The most interesting thing is, “Houses” was never meant to be a single. I mean, it’s a socio-political song! It came from a place of people blindly saying America is the greatest god-given thing on earth. I thought that releasing this song could be as ineffective as yelling into the social media echo chamber. Instead of falling into that, I voiced what I had to say in this song. The more I dove in, I saw the opportunity to put this out as an antithesis of the idea of a single. I eventually had to stop writing verses, but the entire song only took 30 minutes to finish!
HS: Composition-wise I can really see your influences shining through. Do I hear hints of some 80s synth pop and maybe some Springsteen?
CK: Absolutely! I like to say this song is kind of like if Bob Dylan wrote a synth-driven track. I’m always inspired by Bruce Springsteen, too. I draw inspiration from anyone with something to say. Like there’s a line in “Houses” that says, “You can hold your own, you don’t need my hand // But here’s a dollar for your trouble, because I’m an American.” It’s westernized colonialism. We help with the mindset of making people believe what we believe. We harp on things that are so temporary and the idea of American exceptionalism is us numbing ourselves to the realities we don’t want to acknowledge within ourselves or the insignificance of our own place in the universe.
With a booming chord progression coupled with deeply reflective lyrics addressing the sensationalism we face in contemporary America, “Houses” is a welcomed breath of fresh air against the insipid sugary pop we’ve all been beaten over the head with.