Band in the hotel

“attractive, well-run and clean”

Comfortable beds, a nightcap at the bar, breakfast in the room and a late checkout – after tough days working, Alec Völkel and Sascha Vollmer of The BossHoss want to feel good in hotels.

text: Antoinette Schmelter-Kaiser   //  photography: istock

The BossHoss was formed in 2004. Since then, the band has published eight albums, the most recent being “Black is Beautiful” at the end of October 2018. It tours regularly; the next one is planned from 16 March to 6 April 2019 and will include Leipzig, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Hanover, Stuttgart, Vienna, Munich, Zurich, Oberhausen and Berlin. The BossHoss’s trademarks are a mix of rock, country and blues music, coupled with their signature style of jeans, white ribbed vests, cowboy boots, Stetsons and sunglasses. Alec Völkel, aka Boss Burns, and Sascha Vollmer, aka Hoss Power, have become even more famous as judges on “The Voice of Germany” and as guests on “Sing meinen Song”. From winter 2018/2019, they will appear as coaches on “The Voice Senior”.

You’ve been in the music business for 14 years, have just published your eighth album and have given hundreds of concerts. So do you still enjoy travelling?

We also do our job because we like performing on stage in front of people. So we’re already raring to go and looking forward to performing live again from March. During a tour, we often all travel on a nightliner from one city to the next. This ensures great dynamism among us. From bar to kitchen and bunk beds, this kind of tour bus has everything on board, albeit crammed into a very small space. On top of this, we also have to attend promotional events, give interviews and do film recordings. Where possible, we drive or fly back home from such events in the evening.

But if you do stay in hotels, what is important for you?

After performances, it’s difficult to just switch off and sleep immediately. So we love it when we can get a nightcap at the bar after midnight or eat something proper rather than just snacking. And one of us might then want to use the sauna or go for a swim. Hotels of a certain quality should make these things possible. But we don’t demand such special treatment; we’re generally offered these services in the same way as we’re invited to leave an entry in the guest book. Our tour manager will clarify any special requests in advance and usually takes care of check-in for us, too.

What things are important for you in your room?

Simply because we’re a rock and roll band, we don’t like sleeping on uncomfortable beds. After a tough day, we need a restful sleep. And an easy-to-use air conditioning or lighting system is important, instead of having to fiddle around with it for ages. It’s great if we can order breakfast in the room so we’re not tied to normal restaurant opening times. If we need to leave early, checking out should be a quick and simple process. And if we’re not setting off until the afternoon, a late checkout is better than having to stand around in the lobby with all our bags at 11 am.

Bands like yours automatically conjure up the stereotype image of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. How do hoteliers react if you happen to break something?

We know how to behave; we’ve never trashed a room. When you were still allowed to smoke in hotel rooms, we might have caused an occasional cigarette burn in a duvet cover. But there’s insurance for things like that.

What setting do you need when giving interviews in a hotel?

There’s usually enough options – the restaurant outside of opening times, small conference rooms or a room that you can hire for a few hours with drinks service included.

Do you bother about the number of stars a hotel has?

It doesn’t have to be five. The main thing is that a hotel is attractive, good and clean, and that we feel at ease there. In the USA, we’ve even stayed in motels because of the special atmosphere they offer. When we travel abroad, we set our sights somewhat lower, as people there don’t want to incur high expenses.

One exception was the South African resort where “Sing meinen Song” was produced.

Yes, the setting was idyllic; everyone had their own little house during our stay there. And because the whole site was rented, we were always together as a team and our every need was taken care of – a very special experience indeed.

Do you prefer to remain anonymous in hotels?

If we’re away with our families, our privacy is important to us. Otherwise, we don’t mind being recognised. It’s okay if someone wants an autograph or a photo. If we’re in a hurry, our manager plays the bad cop and sends fans away, albeit in a friendly way.

 

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