What is your name and role within The Hottman Sisters?
My name is Jessica Hottman and I am the singer, electric guitar player, song writer, and band manager for The Hottman Sisters.
How did you start?
I have been singing, performing, and songwriting since I was a tiny kid. Both of my sisters sing, as well as my mom, so I was immersed into the world of four part harmonies at a young age. I grew up singing in church, at weddings, for events, musicals, and local production companies. I have spent many hours jamming out in the basement of my house with my family.
Where are you based?
Our band is based out of Omaha, Nebraska. It is nice to be in a central part of the USA for touring purposes. Also, the rent is affordable and it is not an oversaturated music market, so it has been smooth getting our project off of the ground.
Please give an example of your music writing process?
I am always writing music in various ways. I write on the piano, guitar, vocally and without an instrument (aka the shower). My focus is on the layers of a song and telling a story. I want the music to move and I do this by thinking about the direction and interaction of each layer of a song that I write.
What are you working on right now?
We recorded and released an EP titled, This Two, this past year. Since, then, our music has developed greatly, so we are ready to record again. I have been writing lots of new music and we are scheduled to go back into the studio at the end of this month. We have been touring off of our first EP most of the year, all across the nation, so we will be continuing to tour and there is even talk of another music video.
What is your gear setup?
I sing, play electric guitar and sometimes acoustic guitar. My sister, Heather Hottman, plays synth and sings with me. We harmonize a lot and often switch between harmony and melody. We also have a drummer, Ed Getzlaff, who is our rhythmic backbone.
What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?
I have my teaching degree, so I sub teach occasionally. It goes without saying, that there is constant inspiration from young minds. I do some local modeling, and this really speaks to the fact that I love to create art in various ways. I also love to run, dance, write, play tennis, spend time with my family and friends, travel, and snuggle my dog. All of these components are so interwoven in my being, so it all affects how I write and perform my music.
How would you describe your music genre?
This is a difficult question for our band because it’s so across the spectrum! We are often classified as indie rock / alternative, but have also been classified as anything from folk to pop. My sister and I harmonize with strong, sister vocals. There is an element of rock and pop meshing together, but there is also an ambient, floating, haunting sound underneath everything. Like I stated earlier, we are most concerned with telling a story and moving people with our music.
Do you know any music theory?
I took piano lessons growing up, so the theory is there (even if it’s somewhat dim and rusty). I was always getting called out for trying to play musical pieces by ear, instead of reading the sheet music, and spending more time creating my own music.
What are your plans for the future?
We will be doing lots of touring, as well as recording and releasing new music. Our goal is to continue on this journey we are on and let our project grow naturally. We definitely want to jump on some tour packages with bands we love and have been inspired by.
How did you get into music?
I have always been singing, writing music, and performing. It just feels like something that is so innately part of who I am. I also listen to a lot of music and can cry at the drop of a hat when a piece of music moves me.
What are you listening to at the moment?
This is a constantly changing list. Pulling from my most recent Spotify playlist, I am listening to Little Dragon, Local Natives, The Mamas and the Papas, Hank Williams, Missy Elliot, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Roy Woods, Lorn, Celine Dion, James Blake, and Lucius.
Who are your top 5 influences and icons?
I don’t know if I am ready to answer this question yet haha. Come back to me on this one…
When are you playing next?
Our band is playing in Omaha, Nebraska for the first time in a while at Reverb Lounge. We are opening for touring artist, Esme Patterson and her band. I saw her at The Waiting Room Lounge last year and she’s wonderful.
We are really looking forward to playing at MAHA Music Festival this summer, alongside of artists like Belle and Sebastian, Run The Jewels, The New Pornographers, The Faint, Built to Spill, and many others. This festival is well curated and worth attending.
Soundcloud (private link): www.soundcloud.com/thehottmansisters/sets/this-two/s-GiyfF
Band Website: www.thehottmansisters.com
Youtube Video (of our song, “My War”): www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9j25D_X7Oc
Featured Photo Credit : Ali Marie Photography