The Host Club is an alt pop rock band from Denver, Colorado that just happens to feature three brothers. Aaron is the vocalist and Adam and Alex provide the backdrop. Their music is honest, insightful, and based on personal experiences. Since their inception they have put out two EPs(“Tut Tut” in 2010, “The Host Club” in 2012) and one full length album (“Coincidence” 2014). They have just recently released their latest single “Undefeated”, which is another heartfelt song about taking all that life has and coming out on top. I was recently turned on to them by a friend and immediately fell in love with their style and music. So I decided to contact them to see if they might want to speak to us at Don’t Let the Music Stop. Aaron enthusiastically agreed to talk about their music, honesty in lyrics, and his thoughts on depression and going through a rough patch in life.Thanks for taking the time to do this. I truly appreciate you taking the time to talk. For those who don’t know much about The Host Club, give us a brief overview of the band and what makes you special.
I suppose what makes us unique is the fact that we are three brothers that each add our own talent and unique perspective to the music. Though we grew up incredibly close, sharing many interests and what not, we still see life from very different sides and that adds a lot to the lyrics. It keeps the music fresh. It also keeps us honest and open minded. It’s too fun to be playing up the whole trio act as brothers since we love goofing off and making people raise their eyebrows with some of our Bowie-esque visuals. It’s fun when people can’t quite place you, you know.
I really love the new single, “Undefeated”. Is there plans for another album or EP in the near future we can look forward to?
Thanks! We spent a lot of time trying to get that song just write. We cut an album in 2014, called Coincidence, but now we’re going song by song with our producer. We like the idea in this day and age of releasing songs over a period of time to let people spend some time with them. It’s an interesting scene now, so we are sort of experimenting with how we release material.
Your lyrics are, by your own admission, honest and based on your own experiences. “Undefeated” is a prime example of that. How important is it to you for a band, especially a band where vocals are front and center, to be honest in their lyrical content?
People can smell a phony even if they can’t put their finger on what’s wrong with the song. I think it helps when the song is born out of your own personal experience and then belting it out with sincerity isn’t a difficult thing. You’re sort of just remembering it and preaching it in a way. Also, I think we feel awkward, like many bands, trying to force a disingenuous song out. It feels like a lie and you begin to hate it.
I had read an interview with you where you said that you wanted to “explore the hopeful side of the human experience without cheapening the hard times”. I really love that statement. It is so well said. Do you feel that having a hopeful message is important in music, or is it more about just having a message?
Thank you, I’m glad I sounded wise! I think trying to force out something “positive” or whatever is always the wrong way to go. I think it has to be born out of where you’re at in life. It seems many of the more successful bands are just very honest with their emotions and lyrics. I will say though that the artist, Lights, from Canada says it best when she says (I don’t remember exactly) “Music is very powerful so be sure to use it for good.” I think it would be wise for many musicians to be careful how they use their influence. Having said all that I think it’s important not to gloss over pain or sorrow, but to seek the light at the end of the tunnel you know. My faith plays a huge part in that.
What music do you turn to when you need inspiration?
I look to Ryan Adams for honesty. He sings so sincerely and paints such gorgeous pictures of life’s ups and downs. The Canadian musician Lights too. Her songs pump you up and make you feel like somehow everything will be okay. Paramore is also an incredible band when it comes to hope. Their last album was very moving on many levels.
If you could say one thing to someone who is dealing with mental illness or going through a rough time currently, what would that be?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I think it depends on what’s going on. Those who have lost loved ones and are going through a mourning, grieving time, I really can’t say. I have been fortunate enough to have dealt with very little of that deep kind of loss and pain in my life. I’ve always believed that in the end “All will be well and all manner of things will be well,” like the Christian mystic Lady Julian said. I believe God created everything out of love and that ultimately nothing is lost. I’d recommend George MacDonald’s book, Lilith, too. He experienced a lot of loss in his life. Still, I wouldn’t want to cheapen anyone’s pain who has dealt with that kind of loss…it must be so difficult. I think some feel that sort of pain when they lose a relationship that was very important too. That takes a lot of time to get through…I know that at least. The other sort of Depression I am pretty familiar with. That kind that feels like it comes out of the blue. In my early 20’s I experienced a lot! I think people need to remember it’s completely fine to feel bad about life sometimes. We need to stop obsessively looking at others and comparing our lives to theirs and thinking why am I not happy like they are?! Everyone has their shit. We also have to be careful as depression can become a sort of pleasure when we lock ourselves up in our own minds and sulk. Like any sorrow, again, we need to fully feel it and let it pass. As C.S. Lewis brilliantly says, “Crying is alright in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later and decide what to do.” There is a point where you have to turn your eyes out to the world and look at the beauty of everything and say, ok, what now? Friends of mine who have felt that usually just need some fresh air in their heads….if that makes any sense at all. They need a different perspective. It helps to talk it out with someone for sure. I hope that doesn’t sound callous, but it is what I found to be true in my own life.
Lastly, I am putting together a playlist of songs, chosen by the bands that I interview, that have inspired them. Can you give me a song that I should definitely add to the playlist? (the playlist is not published yet, but will be later in the month after this round of interviews are done. A video for the song chosen will be embedded here)
Oh man that’s awesome! Paramore’s song “Last Hope,” is absolute perfection. So honest and hopeful. Lights’ “Face Up” is another great tune. It’s very sweet and she sings it so intimately. I have a thing for female singers…hahahaha!
I would like to thank Aaron for talking the time to talk with me and for sharing his very insightful thoughts. Please check him and The Host Club at the following sites:
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