Burning Hotels
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Burning Hotels

Fort Worth, Texas, United States | INDIE

Fort Worth, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Last Night: Burning Hotels"

You'd think a show that almost ran until 12:30 on a Thursday night would keep a large crowd away. Not so.

When Fort Worth's Burning Hotels make their way across I-30 for a visit, Dallas shows up.

More than 200 people filled up Dada at its peak, but it felt more like 500. Celebrating the release of one of the most anticipated records by a DFW act, Burning Hotels (bye bye, "The") unleashed many new tunes from their self-titled second album.

And, judging by the crowd's response, there was an instant connection.

Taking the stage 20 minutes after their original set time start (more on that later), principal songwriters/vocalists/guitarists Matt Mooty and Chance Morgan led the charge. And while the band positions itself as a duo, don't think the rhythm section of bassist Marley Whistler and drummer Mike Ratliff are aloof hired guns. Ratliff was exceptional on the band's older material as well as the newer material. The guy has arms that seemingly never tense up.

You might have heard about how there is a notable difference in the material on Burning Hotels and the band's debut LP, Novels. Well, the songs performed felt like they were more influenced by '80s dance pop records rather than post-punk records. Hell, a number of the songs were accompanied by a backing track with beats that would not be out of place on records by ABC or Dead or Alive.

Sure, the idea of such a transition sounds misguided, but Morgan and Mooty didn't jettison what makes their material sparkle: their arresting melodies.

The band's earlier material, which did get some attention in the set, balanced the pace. Did you really want the band to always play songs with hi-hat hits that ran 90-miles-a-minute? No, but songs like "Lovely Lovely Lady" and "Austin's Birthday" were still wonderful reminders of what brought people to the band in the first place. And with how the 12-song set went, those faithful will probably remain faithful.

One other thing to point out: Though the band comes across as nicely-groomed and well-rehearsed, they knew how to wing it when things teetered on falling apart. Whether it was Morgan having guitar issues, their tuners dying, or monitor issues, the band kept a positive cheer and moved forward.

Before Burning Hotels' set, Air Review ran late with setting up all of their equipment, filling up Dada's relatively large stage with gear. By the time they were done with their 45-minute offering, there was a concern that Burning Hotels would go on too late. Alas, all was well, especially since Air Review received a pretty fanatical crowd reaction.

The five-piece rushed through their set, very aware of trying to not to run late. There was plenty of nervous between-song banter, thus making the set even longer, but the crowd didn't seem to mind. With tunes that either sounded like a Seryn peer or Old 97s-by-way-of-Radiohead inspiration, the band left an impression.

Hoyotoho opened the evening and played 40 minutes of building-block rock with plenty of atmospheric polish. With lots of tom-tom fills and keyboard trickery, the band didn't feel plodding or monotonous. And as an added bonus, the material got better and better before the set reached its conclusion.

Critic's notebook
Personal bias: I saw Burning Hotels a couple of years ago at the Double Wide. Why it's taken me so long to see the band again beats the hell out of me.

Random note: In the middle of Burning Hotels' set, they sang "Happy Birthday" to Will Hunt, a guy who has filled in as their drummer in the past and recorded the band's music. - DC9 At night

"Burning Hotels Step Out From Shadows"

Progressive bands hoping to rejuvenate their fans know taking chances with a new album is a requirement, not an option. Fort Worth’s Burning Hotels approached this challenge with a different focus, but hoped for the same outcome with their self-titled sophomore album. Vocalists and guitarists Chance Morgan and Matt Mooty stepped outside of their comfortable alt-rock vibe towards a more current, electro-based style.

The outcome is a staggering display of electronically sound singles intertwined with vivid snapshots of growth and understanding. They have deconstructed anything they were previously doing and pieced together something fresh and lively. The eight-track album brings to mind the layered synth-based band Washed Out, one of the hottest underground indie bands to date. Their songs are brave and distinguished, not only leaving remnants of a challenging love story but also somehow telling it in a way that leaves the listener feeling lighthearted.

Mooty and Morgan have been friends since the fourth grade, so getting into each other’s heads doesn’t seem to be a problem. Their combined writing skills have paid off, and walking away from their previous genre has also treated them well. Tracks like “Days are Gone” and “Sound City” stand out as potential singles: The mild pace of “Days are Gone” gives way to an addictive, ambient mood while “Sound City” plays like the newest track on satellite radio.

With a year and a half since their last album, Burning Hotels have spent their time wisely. Seeing that this album is only eight songs long shows how important each one is to the newly-recreated group. Even the cover shows their change: Mooty and Morgan's heads are covered in white. It’s simple enough to pass off as another cover, yet the shadows and facial expressions demand a second glance. The less-is-more mentality is brought out by the focused detail, which is an improvement on their previous albums.

“Wildly Inappropriate” is the favorite track. The layered vocals through the chorus give way to their angst in a less whiny approach than the usual indie-electro band. The Fort Worth band’s new style has only strengthened their intrigue, finally offering this under-the-radar rock group the opportunity to make a name for themselves.

Burning Hotels comes out Tuesday, and it would be in your best interest to grab this outstanding album as soon as possible. - Pegasus News

"Burning Hotels Are Reignited"

Chance Morgan is standing with his head down, staring intently at the bar of Austin watering hole 512.

He looks like he's about to jump out of his skin.

It's mid-March, and the latest edition of South by Southwest is in full swing just outside, with thousands of musicians, journalists and tourists milling about on Sixth Street. It's a festive, drunken, borderline chaotic atmosphere, one that will last long into the night.

But inside 512, there's chaos of the internal sort. The normally gregarious vocalist-guitarist for Fort Worth's Burning Hotels in anxious, his hands slightly clenched into fists. When asked how he's doing, all Morgan can offer is a tight, quick smile.

The band's longtime manager, Cory Bergen, seems at ease, swapping stories and cracking jokes. The rest of the band -- vocalist-guitarist Matthew Mooty, bassist Marley Whistler and fill-in drummer Will Hunt (original drummer Wyatt Adams amicably departed in late 2010) -- don't show any signs of nerves, even though they are about to take the stage for the first time in three months. During the self-imposed break, Morgan and Mooty, his best friend, co-writer and fellow lead vocalist, locked themselves away twice a week in Morgan's house, composing new songs at a steady clip.

These fresh tracks mark a dramatic departure from the keyed-up post-punk found on the band's 2010 debut, Novels. Instead, Morgan and Mooty turned the energy inward, creating an urgent, bleak dynamic and evoking modern acts like Miike Snow or Cut Copy.

It's a smart and calculated 180 away from frenetic, three-chord rock, but it doesn't come without risks.

The Hotels, with an ample, extremely passionate local fan base, is essentially erasing everything beloved about the band and taking a chance on alienating faithful listeners. It's a tightrope walk, with little room for error.

But hey, no pressure.

Morgan takes one last gulp of his drink.

It's show time.

Collective effort

Five months later, Morgan and Mooty are stretched out on couches at the back of Fort Worth's M Lounge, sipping cocktails, reliving South by Southwest and discussing their soon-to-be-released new album.

"Literally, our schedule for recording backed up to South by Southwest," Morgan says. "The morning we drove to Austin, we'd had our first and only rehearsal as a band again. So I think there were some nerves there, but we started with Beard and ... as soon as [Matt and I] do that vocal together, I was like, 'It's done. It's easy.'"

And, indeed, what appears to be a radical transition has been utterly smooth, with fans and critics alike embracing the new-look Burning Hotels, now complete with a new timekeeper: former Calhoun and Odis drummer Mike Ratliff.

Out Tuesday, Burning Hotels is eight carefully sculpted songs, produced by Will Hunt at his Fort Worth home and at Blackwatch Studios in Norman, Okla. In many respects, this CD feels like a debut rather than a sophomore effort.

The tracks, like lead single Beard or Allison, are more ambient and thrillingly cinematic, a trait that was scarce in the straight-ahead post-punk upon which the Hotels built its name. There's an austerity and a maturity that's startling; in the dazzling Wildly Inappropriate, Mooty conjures stark images of a life's final moments: "We had children/Now they're crying at your wake."

"I was thrilled," says bassist Whistler. "I was immediately excited and proud of them, and that's still how I feel. I really encouraged those two getting together and writing. I was impressed that they were inspired to create these songs out of nowhere. We're definitely where we want to be as far as sound."

In the weeks since Burning Hotels 2.0 unveiling in Austin -- any pre-SXSW show hesitation proved unfounded; the musicians sounded as sharp as ever, if slightly moodier -- the band has kept a relatively low profile, preferring to hone its second album and get ready for the world to hear the new material.

From the outside, it would seem that this shift is somewhat calculated, a risk designed to stimulate creativity as well as attract a fresh spate of fans. Yet Morgan and Mooty insist that the move toward a bolder, more synthesizer-laced style sprang from a random assignment, rather than a conscious decision to jettison the approach that yielded kinetic favorites like Stuck in the Middle.

Dallas photographer Thom Jackson unwittingly set the band on this path last year, when he asked the Hotels to write and record a tune for use in a video he was shooting. Apart from a brief verbal concept, Morgan and Mooty were left to their own devices. The resulting track, Allison, named for one of Morgan's ex-girlfriends, was an exciting departure from the Hotels' previously established style, and allowed the two bandmates to fall back in love with writing and recording music.

"We wrote the song in one day," Morgan says now. "It was one of those things where there was no looking back."

"I was relieved," Mooty - DFW.Com

"Burning Hotels Heat Up"

After five years of performing, Burning Hotels have just wrapped the biggest show they've ever played. As they leave the Dada stage in Dallas, the club is still packed, and in a private corner on the back patio, singer Chance Morgan divvies a pack of Parliaments among the rest of his bandmates in celebration.

There's reason to be cheerful: This was among the first opportunities that the band had to showcase music from their new, self-titled record. And, other than a few broken strings, it was a flawless performance.

Still, considering the great crowd reception throughout the show, the band seems slightly out of their element. Because, really, they're foreigners and ambassadors. Chance Morgan and Matt Mooty, the band's two songwriters and co-frontmen, are Fort Worth boys. Granted, they're ones with really good timing.

At this very moment, Fort Worth has arguably the most vibrant music scene in North Texas. More impressive is the fact that Fort Worth is only continuing its growth. Next year will mark the opening of Near Southside's Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge and the reopening of the historic Ridglea Theater. Sooner than that, The Moon Bar will relocate to the Ridglea complex, whereupon Morgan will take over duties as the bar manager.

In many ways, this restructuring of the Fort Worth scene represents a shift in the North Texas scene. If nothing else, Fort Worth will now be able to more directly compete with Dallas mainstays such as the Granada Theater and the Kessler Theater.

But among the growing list of reasons that Fort Worth's music scene deserves more attention now than ever, one can't help but notice the Burning Hotels' name toward the top.

Sure enough, Morgan and Mooty are happy with the way things are going. But they're still a little unsure about being considered the Fort Worth "band of the moment." Truth is, they feel weird putting themselves up against the great acts that they were fans of long before they ever formed Burning Hotels.

"The first show that got us into local music was when I went to see [Flickerstick] on November 7, 2001, at Ridglea Theater," says Morgan, sitting at a small table across from Mooty at a smoky old country bar in Fort Worth. "It was right after Bands On The Run, and it was my first time seeing a local band at Ridglea Theater, which was a massive room. It was completely packed. And the lights! Those guys live in my town. It became more of a possibility than a dream. And then, to become friends with them and to be ushered into the scene, it was cool."

Mooty and Morgan had already been best friends for years when they saw this pivotal show. Soon after, they moved into a house together only a short distance from where they currently sit, sipping on whiskey.

"We used to live in a house back behind the bar," Morgan offers. "You could throw a baseball and hit it."

The analogy flows perfectly as Mooty periodically glances at a small television above the bar where the Texas Rangers are wrapping up their victory in the American League Championship Series.

But those times were much different for the two budding songwriters. They lived together, partied together and worked on all their music together. The result was 2007's fast-paced post-punk EP titled Eighty Five Mirrors. The initial effort was cohesive, especially considering that it was the band's first attempt at recording, but Mooty and Morgan were still struggling to signify the band's sound. Their next release, and first full-length record, Novels, was a necessary progression for the band. Mooty and Morgan each took an individual approach to songwriting, creating songs on their own rather than together. By the time the album finally came out in 2010, though, their chosen post-punk style had long since faded out of fashion. What's worse, the band had already grown tired of the new material, which had saturated their live show for more than a year before its release.

"Matt would say, 'Hey, I wrote this song,'" Morgan recalls. "He'd come to practice and do the arrangement with [bassist] Marley [Whistler] and [former drummer] Wyatt [Adams], and whenever the next show was, we'd play that song because we'd be so excited about it. We'd probably been playing Novels for close to a year. Then we sat on it for a year, and then we put it out and we had to play it for another year."

As a result, the shows began to get pretty stale. It didn't help that the band was being booked in bars that didn't usually have original music — or worse, an occasional broken-down skating rink. At one particular rink in Austin, the band was paid with ant-infested pizza. A string of gigs like that, of course, is all part of the plight of any band trying to make a name for itself. But it could easily cause burnout.

In the Burning Hotels' case, it just led to a three-month hiatus.

"It was time to make a major change," Morgan says. "We needed a fresh start, getting back to basics."

Since there were no shows sche - Dallas Observer

"Burning Hotels On Austin's The Glitoris"

NEW video from The Burning Hotels! Burning Hotels released their self-titled album on August 30th, 2011. I reccently got an opportunity to listen to the album entirely and am incredibly impressed with every track!! It sounds a lot like Twin Shadow meets The Killers via New Order. Members, Chance Morgan and Matt Mooty wrote every song together. Its kind of a new wave vibe with pop/dance aesthetics. I really love this album and won’t be surprised if it ends up on theGlitoris’ top albums of 2011. Check out the video for their leading single “Beard” above. I highly recommend you purchase the album, here (I rarely recommend full albums). - The Glitoris

"Bonus MP3 - Burning Hotels "Beard""

Much has been made -- by us, even -- about The Burning Hotels' new sound of late, and how far a cry it is from the band's poppy (and highly enjoyable) post-punk origins. Indeed, their new New Wave-oriented output is an obvious change for the outfit. But Chance Morgan and Matthew Mooty, the driving forces behind the Fort Worth act, have very clearly always had a couple of sets of solid ears on their side. It was only a little over a year ago that we were raving about "Austin's Birthday," the very clear standout on the band's sophomore LP, Novels.

Now that the band is starting to leak some of the material off of their next, to-be-released-in-August LP, we can rest assured that at least that much hasn't changed. As the band has proven consistently in live settings since taking a sharp left turn with their sound, the new material may be different, but it certainly isn't worse.

Rather, it's not worse at all -- it's better, and by a longshot. Cultivating what appears to be a Flock of Seagulls influence, The Burning Hotels may be re-visiting the '80s a la so many others before them, but they're certainly doing so on their own terms and in their own way. And it pays off: "Beard," the first single off of the band's new album, and which the band has kindly made available as a free download," is an earworm to be sure, a dance track that demands repeat listens.

Stream and grab it after the jump.

The Burning Hotels -- "Beard" - Dallas Observer

"Burning Hotels // Burning Hotels"

After watching the MTV's Video Music Awards show Sunday night, I was feeling discouraged about music. The show was filled with bad jokes, awkward moments, and nothing original (besides of course the great win for the Foo Fighters).

Thankfully some music found its way to me today that snapped me out of the hopeless feeling for the music scene that the VMAs created. The Fort Worth band, Burning Hotels, is about to release their self titled album tomorrow. This cohesive eight song album falls under the genre as 'Sex Wave' (as Mark Schectman of KDGE labels it). This is my first time hearing of such a genre but if this is what it sounds like, I'm all for riding the wave. The band dropped their post-punk start for a more mellow pop-indie-rock sound after writing the song "Allison". Band mates Chance Morgan and Matt Mooty took the opportunity to experiment with their sound for this album and it really paid off, creating for some really nice music.

Burning Hotels Tracklist:
1. Beard
2. Always
3. Days Are Gone
4. Sound City
5. Wildly Inappropriate
6. The Incident
7. Allison
8. To You With Love From Me

-Laura Sliva - Subservient Experiment

"Burning Hotels Is A Triumph"

I am a total product of new wave. It is the music I cut my teeth on and weaned myself into music with beginning in 1985; I still love it to this day. Therefore, one might think I was ecstatic about the floods of '80s new wave-influenced acts who have come down the pike in recent years. Well, for the most part, I’m not. The majority of them seem to miss the boat, thinking a single plinky keyboard line sets them apart. They are very incorrect. As a matter of fact, I usually dislike '80s throwback as a whole, from music to fashion so much that I completely disregard it. Some have gotten it fairly right; Ladytron and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart come to mind. On the flip side, bands such as The Killers have done a poor job at throwing back to the '80s. I really hate that band.

Fort Worth’s Burning Hotels would fall into the former category. Not only did they get it right, but one would think they were straight out of the time period. Almost completely abandoning the post-punk flag they bore on last year’s excellent Novels and diving head first into new wave, Burning Hotels prove that they “get it” without modernizing the style at all. One can find flourishes of Ultravox, New Order, and even The Style Council present, without being copycats -- it’s very evident they are fans of the music and are influenced heavily by the early to mid-'80s, staying true to form.

Production depth coupled with a wealth of ideas and eight very strong songs sets Burning Hotels apart from their counterparts, displaying a tremendous amount of growth and musicianship just since last year. The teaser single from earlier this year, “Allison,” might have opened eyes to their new direction, but by far didn’t prepare the listener for this record. The mid-tempo breakup song only whets the appetite for the meal that is Burning Hotels, an album unashamed of its '80s lean, and begging for an entire album dance remix.

The real standout track, which is difficult to even pinpoint, comes in the form of “Days Are Gone.” Co-frontmen Matt Mooty and Chance Morgan, the constant driving forces behind Burning Hotels, play their vocal differences to near perfection, harkening Love and Rockets “Kundalini Express” for its relentless phrasing interplay.

Burning Hotels is a triumph for the Fort Worth quartet in many ways, standing up against some of the best of the genre, including the original '80s innovators.

New Wave fanatics, do yourselves a favor and pick up this record. It does not disappoint. Burning Hotels is available on iTunes beginning August 30. - The Synaptic via Pegasus News

"SXSW Comes To An End"

AUSTIN — Rumor is the new buzz: That seems to be how the 2009 edition of South By Southwest will be remembered.

The not-so-secret "surprise" Metallica and Kanye West shows, both of which were well-known several hours ahead of time, were the splashiest SXSW events this year. The Jane’s Addiction reunion at the exclusive, invite-only Playboy party and Perez Hilton’s tasteless excoriation of the ill Lady Sovereign were also newsy moments.

But mostly, people showed up in droves. If the economy hurt SXSW, you wouldn’t know it by the sea of people swarming around Sixth Street every night. Shows of all sizes and genres captivated the throngs, who queued up for the highly hyped day parties — Rachael Ray’s shindig was one of the more exclusive tickets — and in-stores gigs, pouring into the town lovingly known as "the live music capital of the world."

A few of my favorites:

The Hold Steady: Renowned for its prowess in concert, Craig Finn and company are still touring behind last year’s superb Stay Positive. Shortly after midnight, Finn strolled onto the tiny stage at the Mohawk, waved to the fans overhead and those in front, picked up his guitar and let fly. For the next 60 minutes and change, the Hold Steady affirmed its standing as one of America’s greatest living rock bands, a no-fuss yet deeply poetic group that simply speaks from the heart.

Rosie and the Goldbug: Decked out in trendy threads and pushing a pulsing, punky dance-pop on the crowd, the English threesome evoked the likes of Lady GaGa or even No Doubt, minus the whole ska-posturing thing. It was infectious stuff.

The Burning Hotels: Swung by Paradise and caught a live-wire set from Fort Worth quartet the Burning Hotels. Manager Cory Bergen said the band is primed to have a monster ’09, thanks in part to a role in the upcoming film Bandslam, but I’d argue that their live show will do just as much to raise the Hotels’ profile. Angular, stylish and steeped in the punchy sounds of the ’80s, the Hotels are, well, on fire.

Preston Jones is the Star-Telegram pop music critic, 817-390-7713 - Preston Jones - Star Telegram

"The Burning Hotels, A Music Inferno"

“the Burning Hotels” a music inferno!

After “True Widow” (mentioned in the previous blog) finished rocking their set “the Burning Hotels” took the stage.

A four piece Post Punk music inferno broke out. The two guitarist trade off fronting the songs, the bassist does background vocals but he also lead one song, the drummer was the madman of the band. He wouldn’t offer any expressions just hard, technical and fast rhythms. The other three the members offered the wall to wall audience charisma, passion and even some witty charm in between the songs.

Starting form the very first song “the Burning Hotels” set the place on fire. The music was dynamic and energetic. They also performed a couple of ballads for the ladies which went over quite well.

I am sure when they perform down in Austin, Tx during SxSW they will get plenty of positive attention.

I hope was able to capture their set for you to enjoy.

Canon 85mm/f1.8 lens

- The Shooter's Ledger

"Eighty Five Mirrors"

Someday when music critics of the year 2020 look back on the early part of the millennium, their discussion/holo-chat/mind meld will inevitably turn to Interpol, The Strokes, and the rest of the guitar-driven outfits who brought detached cool back to rock and roll. As with the grunge and nu-metal movements before it, the style will probably be broken into the innovators, the pretenders, and the real thing. In that context, consider the Forth Worth, TX-based Burning Hotels as a sort of Screaming Trees of modern post-art rock; they're certainly doing their own thing and doing it well, even though sometimes that thing is not entirely theirs to begin with.

The quartet's 2007 EP, Eighty Five Mirrors, bursts with frenetic guitar rock energy, borrowing from the playbooks not only of their reverb-heavy contemporaries, but take it back a step further into some of the quasi-progressive rock touches of fellow Texans ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead and even, arguably, the significantly gentler but equally adventurous Wilco and Radiohead. Yes, the hi-hats are constantly rolling and sure, the riffs are less riffs than they are straight middle-octave power chord progressions, but as with most bands the Hotels' strength lies not in their innovations but in their conviction; the undeniable swing of the chorus of songs like "Out and Alone" and the opening section of "Stuck in the Middle" offer up irrefutable evidence of a band ready, willing, and able to rock.

On the subject of ability (and of rocking), Mirrors packs a remarkably effective punch for its mere nineteen-minute running time. Some of this may be the result of the sometimes winding nature of songwriters/guitarists/vocalists Chance Morgan and Matt Mooty's compositions, and some might just be the consistently jangly tone of said guitars and the choice of nearly vibrato-free vocal delivery. Mostly though, it all comes back to the rhythm section of drummer Wyatt Adams and bassist Marley Whistler, both adding a slight shuffle to Morgan and Mooty's more straight-ahead deliveries (most pronounced on the mildly sneering ballad-that's-not-really-a-ballad "My New Romance"). Most bands would theoretically give these songs a more straightforward four-on-the-floor, but Morgan and Mooty's slight resistance to convention give the Burning Hotels a vitality too many other bands can only hope for.

Hyperbole and specifics aside, Eighty Five Mirrors announces the arrival of band eager to embrace what came before it but also leave their mark on a style they know they didn't invent. They probably won't change the world, but Mirrors proves the Burning Hotels are mightily capable of rocking it.

Recommended Tracks: Opener "Stuck in the Middle" throws down the gauntlet in a refreshingly non-pretentious nod to art rock, while closer "Yellow Eyes" dominates its three and a half minutes of uptempo rock as well as any song before or since.

- Andrew Reilly
- Made Loud

"Four Stars"

Four Stars

Even before playing their first show, The Burning Hotels were the hottest rock band in town — for good reason.

When was the last time Fort Worth saw a band that had major buzz before playing even one show? The Burning Hotels did — and after their second show, the buzz got even bigger. It’s no wonder: The foursome, all in their early 20s, play with the heart and talent of bands twice their age. Singer/guitarist Chance Morgan attributes the hype to a combination of luck, hard work, and help from some big names in the Fort Worth music scene, most notably Brandin Lea. Morgan and fellow singer and guitarist Matt Mooty once played in The February Chorus, Lea’s primary side project.

“We all grew up in Fort Worth and know everyone in town,” Morgan said. “I feel we’re lucky we’ve had people we know become successful. We watch and see what they do and how to do it, and we learn things from our elders in this town.”

And the music might be another reason — it’s blistering. Building on furiously down stroked guitar rhythms and circular riffs, the Hotels proudly wear their influences on their collective sleeve. Everyone from Gang of Four to Wire to, yes, the Clash is referenced, slapped on the fanny, and then sent on its way. Of course, no such comparison would be complete without pointing out the stripped-down, monosyllabically named outfits that have emulated that sound in recent years. The difference, at least so far, is that as The Strokes/The Hives/Jet have sold billions of records while The Burning Hotels have played two shows.

Still, the Hotels’ three-song demo, recorded on a whim a couple of months ago, is earning the band a devout following. More than 60 people crowded into the Wreck Room on a recent Monday night to see Morgan, Mooty, and company open for New York City’s Sex Slaves. Playing the three songs from the demo in addition to five tracks from an upcoming yet-unnamed e.p., the Hotels were incredibly tight, especially for a band with only one gig under its belt. The audience responded enthusiastically. Some of the concert-goers even knew the lyrics and sang along.

If Morgan wasn’t too conversational, the music more than filled in the gaps. Opener “Stuck In the Middle” began with a heaving wave of eighth notes that gave way to a half-time bridge before returning to the original jackrabbit-on-speed pace. “Lovely Lovely Lady” started fast and, amazingly, picked up speed measure by measure until Morgan’s and Mooty’s hands disappeared in blurs of strumming. The band closed with “Wrong Idea,” an even faster number sung by Mooty, with a loud, intense coda that stopped on a dime. After the set, drummer Wyatt Adams’ hands shook like a jittery caffeine addict’s, proof of the sweat he put into the Hotels’ rhythm section along with bassist Coby Queen.

The five-song e.p., according to Morgan, will be produced by Will Hunt, also known (somewhat pejoratively) as the man who unleashed teen heartthrob Ryan Cabrera on the world. But The Burning Hotels, whose name comes from a lyric in Ambulance LTD’s “Stay Where You Are,” are — unlike Ryn-O — focused strictly on music.
“It’s easy to say I want a hit record and to be on MTV,” Morgan said. “I just want to go to different cities and be on an indie label and get respect and have people know that we’re a good band.”

The buzz hasn’t gone to their heads: Morgan, a college student, waits tables; Queen is working on obtaining his pilot’s license; Adams is a hair stylist; and Mooty drives a forklift, a labor that he likens to mowing lawns. “It gives you a lot of time to think,” he said.

And, apparently, a lot of time to be inspired: Though the entire band contributes to the shapes of songs, Mooty and Morgan do most of the brainstorming — though both frontmen are quick to point out that their songs are never fully realized until the rhythm section contributes. Bassist Queen said that he and his bandmates have an idea of what they want a particular song to sound like and “sometimes it comes out right and sometimes it doesn’t.” In any case, 99 percent of the Hotels’ songs sound incredibly polished.

“Every band wants to make it, and very few do,” Adams said. “It’s like winning the lottery. To us, success is doing what you do to the best of your abilities.”

For his part, Morgan feels the band has achieved a measure of success already. “We’ve practiced enough where I know we play good music and play it well,” he said. “The only reason for somebody not to like our band is if they don’t like this type of music.”

The Burning Hotels have since won the FW Weekly’s Rock album of the year.

- Pablo Lastra
- Fort Worth Weekly

"The Burning Hotels Rise Up"

The Burning Hotels seem to have risen up from ashes as a short-lived Flickerstick side project (with Brandin Lea, Chance Morgan and Matt Mooty) began to fizzle out.

"We played for a while, but nothing really ever became of it. Matt and I started playing as a band until we met Wyatt [Adams], our drummer. Then, we ducked out of the scene for a while and just played in private for a year and half or so," Morgan said.
While on scene hiatus, the boys recorded a three song demo in a house studio one night, in the middle of the night, all night.

At that point, the band also ditched their ex-"fuckhead"-of-a-bassist and brought in Marley Whistler.

"We started make a big buzz because a lot of the music, at least in Fort Worth, is unlike our style of indie rock and post-punk. A lot of the bands are stuck in the Flickrstick rock sound... We were doing something a little bit different than what was going on, and a lot of people got a hold of it and really liked it," Morgan said.

Ironically, although the original side project might've been riding on the coat tails of Flickerstick's success, today, it's actually the sharp contrast of the Hotels' musical style that sets them apart from the rest of the bands on the Dallas/Fort Worth scene.

With influences like Black Rabel Motorcycle Club, the French Kicks, Tokyo Police Club and the Stills, the Burning Hotels became stand outs in the dry, desolate Dallas/Fort Worth scene.

"The Stills (for both Matt and I) are the band that we both, as we started getting older, really appreciated together. It probably influenced us the most when we started out as a band. In the beginning, the Stills' shows were just nuts. People come and enjoy what you do not only musically, but also visually with the stimulus of the performance in front of them. The intereaction between the crowd and the band is really important," Morgan said.

On stage, the Burning Hotels play pretty fast and move around in same manner as the early Stills'. Their animated stage presence has helped to gain notoriety regionally, and the band now considers Austin and Oklahoma a part of their regular rotation.

"The first time we played at the Conservatory Stock Market Crash ended up not playing, but it was still awesome; the crowd was really receptive. Everyone who came to see them still enjoyed us. It's cool to see there are more scene kids up there. You'd think that in a metroplex like Dallas/Fort Worth, there'd be way more of a music scene and tight knit kind of thing going on, but it seems it's more like that in Oklahoma than it is here," Morgan said.

Without a big local scene to participate in, when the band is at home, you might find the guys hanging out at a bar called the Moon, where there's usually at least one member present on the weekends.
"We are a tight knit group. We don't get to hang out with Marly [Whistler] as much as we'd like because he lives in Dallas, but we're best friends. We're pretty much always together," Morgan said.

As a closely woven bunch, the boys seem to keep good humor with one another, too.

"We call Wyatt 'Big Boner,' because he's just like a walking hard on basically. And that's definitely to his face," Morgan said.

With all the members feeling like chums, the band has started work on a new EP.

"It's turned into a much more collective writing process, rather than Matt and I writing and telling everyone what to play. We hope to record anywhere from six to eight new songs pretty soon," Morgan said.

In the meantime, Morgan's finishing up his last two semesters of college.

"After that, I think we are all on a consensus that everything will be band oriented. Everyone's going to put their marbles in one bag, and go for it I guess," Morgan said.

- Natalie Wright
- Sophiezine

"And Now The Next Big Local Band"

And now, the next big local band. Now that Black Tie Dynasty has stepped aside, who's the next big local band?

The Burning Hotels, Fort Worth.

Who are they? Guitarist/vocalist Matt Mooty, guitarist/vocalist Chance Morgan, bassist Marley Whistler and drummer Wyatt Adams. What do they sound like? The band’s MySpace page says "sex punk," but that’s selling short the frantic energy this quartet conjures — think a less dour Joy Division, a not-so-dub-obsessed Clash or even the Killers, if they weren’t bent on Bono-worthy world domination. Morgan can’t contain himself onstage, leaping about while Mooty pops veins shouting lyrics over crackling, gleaming guitars and Adams’ awe-inspiring thrash and clang.

What’s next? The Hotels will help open for Oklahoma alt-pop exports Starlight Mints on Friday at Fort Worth’s Longhorn Saloon. Beyond that, the Fort Worth foursome is preparing for its close-up on the silver screen, with a role in this summer’s Bandslam, a feature film starring Vanessa Hudgens and Lisa Kudrow. Around the time of Bandslam’s release, the Hotels are hoping to have their full-length debut ready to go.

Can they break big? The Burning Hotels have sleek, melodic songs that hurtle out of the speakers and sound even more vital live. Couple that with a tireless work ethic (the fellas have booked an East Coast jaunt for May) and the potential exposure afforded by Bandslam, and you’ve got a band on the brink of big things. - DFW.com


Burning Hotels (2011 Miss Press/Kobalt Music)
1. Beard
2. Always
3. Days Are Gone
4. Sound City
5. Wildly Inappropriate
6. The Incident
7. Allison
8. To You With Love From Me

Novels (2010 Miss Press/Kobalt Music)
1. Austin's Birthday
2. Boy Or A Girl
3. The River
4. Time
5. Hey
6. Silhouette
7. To Whom It May Concern
8. First Love
9. Where's My Girl
10. French Heart Attack
11. One To Five

Eight Five Mirrors (2008 Miss Press/Razor & Tie)
1. Stuck In The Middle
2. My New Romance
3. Lovely Lovely Lady
4. Out And Alone
5. Yellow Eyes



It’s been quite the run for Burning Hotels since 2009. During that year, the band’s EP was still building momentum while their first full length was ready for it’s debut in early March. However, after the album was stalled by a film release, Burning Hotels did not actually end up releasing Novels until April of 2010. Although it didn’t quite fit into the same calendar year as planned, the band continued to move forward with touring and put a few North American runs under its belt.

Most intriguingly though, Burning Hotels bumped into an opportunity to write a song (“Allison”) for a video test for Thom Jackson that ended up bringing new life to the band and changing their sound forever. Their former post-punk sound, referred to as Sex Punk, has been buried. And with their recent signing to Kobalt Music Publishing, Burning Hotels now have a clear vision of their future and it’s evolution.

On the new album (Burning Hotels), Chance Morgan and Matt Mooty wrote every song together. Recorded earlier this year in Fort Worth, TX at Spaceway Studios, and mixed at Blackwatch Studios in Norman, OK, the self-titled Burning Hotels album shines through with a Texas flare that fuses new wave pop with dance aesthetics. Burning Hotels have created their own distinctively pop and oblique brand of music, that Mark Schectman from KDGE rightfully dubbed as Sex Wave.

Make no mistake about it; this is not a stab at a trend. This is pop music. And the songs sound exactly as the band wants them to: full of energy with electronic textures, danceable rhythms and catchy hooks. Internally, the excitement and emotion has never been greater for Burning Hotels than it is right now.

Burning Hotels have supported The Toadies, Surfer Blood, We Were Promised Jetpacks, The Cribs, The Horrors, Ladytron, The Appleseed Cast, The Octopus Project and more.

The Dallas Observer just awarded the band a "local award" for Best Indie Act (2011). The Fort Worth Weekly has likewise presented the band with several “local awards” including Rock Album of The Year (Novels, 2010), Rock Song of the Year (Austin’s Birthday, 2010), Rock Act of the Year (2010) and Rock Album of the Year (Eighty Five Mirrors, 2008).

Management: Cory Bergen, Bergen Management.
Licensing: Julie Hurwitz, Kobalt Music Publishing.
Press: Nicki Sumner, Here We Are PR.