Interview: Crashing Hotels’ Mastermind Ao Anderson Shares New Video, Talks ‘Trophic Cascade’ LP

Los Angeles-based dark electronic rock band Crashing Hotels have shared their newest track and video, “For a Sunburn,” and you can take a look right here at New Noise.

Ao Anderson is the mastermind behind Crashing Hotels, and the singer/producer uniquely avoids listening to music as much as possible in order to craft his sound free from outside influences.

The track comes off the band’s anticipated, new LP, Trophic Cascade, which documents the realities of climate change and navigating a dying world. The kickoff single, “For a Sunburn,” blends progressive rock and psychedelic elements, offering listeners a mind-altering trip into the headspace of one of today’s most eccentric artists.

New Noise had the chance to catch up with Anderson about the new track, the upcoming album, exploring existential themes in his music, and the road ahead. Take a look:

Hi there, Ao! First off, how are you? How’s your 2022 going so far?

Going well. I just released a new music video and single, so I’m feeling good.

I’m very interested in the fact that you avoid listening to other music in order to create your own sound as influence-free as possible. That said, what do you find that inspires you and the sound of Crashing Hotels? How would you describe it?

I get mostly inspired by things that frustrate me in everyday life/society. When I get annoyed, I always get a feeling of wanting to make something, and this world offers a lot of things to be frustrated about, so my inspiration is usually running high.

You’ve just shared your kick off single, “For a Sunburn,” to your new album. How does it feel to have the track out in the world, and what has the reception been like so far?

Man, I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about it. People seem to be happy that I’m back to releasing music and gearing up to start playing shows so yeah, everything has been super good.

Glad to hear it! I’m sure it’s a relief. Can you tell me a little bit more about the inspirations and influences behind the track and how it connects back to Trophic Cascade as a whole?

I honestly can’t remember what happened in my day that sparked me to write the song, but I wanted it to be part of Trophic Cascade because it’s a pretty song. It feels like sunshine and happiness, and I wanted a mood like that to be part of the album because it’s always more painful to lose something you think is beautiful. I wanted it to make people feel that.

Definitely. And looking toward the album as a whole, it documents the feelings a lot of us are surely feeling right now, observing the effects of climate change and the potential road ahead for the planet and the people on it. Can you tell me more about what made you choose this as a theme of the album?

It’s really interesting to me that we all are living through the transition to the end of civilization, and we continue to do the same stuff like lie to each other, stress over day jobs, scroll for hours on our phones, etc. … It’s been on my mind for a long time, and now here we are. In 10 years, this world isn’t going to be recognizable. All of our comforts are going to be far and few in between. People are going to be murdering each other for water in America; it’s already happing in parts of the world.

Absolutely. The future could definitely be a wake-up call for a lot of folks who really aren’t feeling the magnitude of the situation. How do you approach this conversation throughout the album and its tracks, and what do you hope listeners get out of the album when they listen?

I approach it by writing songs straight off the top of my thoughts. Not thinking about what I wanna say and just saying it. I wanted to write an album that acknowledged that we’ve reached the end of our time here on Earth and hopefully inspire people to be a little less crummy to each other, a little less worried about work, a little less tied to our phones while we all prepare to enter a world none of us know.

Obviously this is a really big conversation and something people in society are going to increasingly have to confront in their day-to-day. Do you see yourself continuing to explore some of these broader, and often more challenging, conversations in your music? Is there anything thematically you’d like to tackle next?

The next wave of eight songs that I release after Trophic Cascade will be titled Adaptive Radiation. They are meant to be seen as a double album with one representing the crumbling of humanity and the other representing the rebirth of Earth without humans. Once I have these out, I’ll move on to something else that bothers me. I’m not one to beat a dead horse.

Do you have any plans for the road ahead as you look forward to the album’s release? Any new videos, live shows, or other future plans?

My main focus now will be to play live as much as possible and really connect with people who are digging the music, face-to-face. There’s nothing I like to do more than play shows. I just put out a video for this single, so hopefully people chew on that for a bit.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Follow me on Spotify, Instagram, and TikTok. I’m trying to be better at that.

Watch the video for “For a Sunburn” here:

For more from Crashing Hotels, find them on Facebook and Bandcamp.

Photo courtesy of Crashing Hotels

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