Hotel of the Laughing Tree

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Hotel of the Laughing Tree
Background information
Origin Long Island, New York
Genres Indie[1]
Years active 2009–present
Labels Brookvale Records
Associated acts Harvard, Gabriel the Marine, Tiger Riot
Website [1]
Members AJ Estrada, Brandon Peterson, Fred Ardis, Dan Ardis

Hotel of the Laughing Tree is a Long Island based indie rock band that was formed in 2009.


After the dissolution of the progressive rock band Rendezvous with the Kidnappers, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Aj Estrada began to put together a new project with a distinctive Indie/Pop sound. Hotel's members developed into the original lineup of Estrada on guitar and lead vocals, Brandon Peterson on lead guitar and harmony vocals, Anthony Arma on bass, and a combination of Neil Scalesse and Mike Nixdorf on drums and other percussion instruments. They would later be joined by keyboardist Mike Solomon in 2010.

Hotel released their debut EP "Old Dominion" in August 2009. Upon its release, it garnered a very positive review from the popular alternative music site AbsolutePunk, receiving praise for its songs' diversity in sound and catchy hooks.

While continuing to play shows in and around the Long Island area, Hotel entered the 6th Annual mtvU Woodie Awards in the category "Best Music on Campus". After making it to the top two, they defeated their opponent Oh, The Story! and accepted the award in New York City on November 18, 2009. They were then featured in Alternative Press Magazine as the Unsigned Band of the Week for January 29, 2010.[2]

Hotel released their first full-length album, entitled "Terror and Everything After", on February 1, 2011 with Brookvale Records.

Arma, Scalesse, and Nixdorf parted ways with the band in June 2011 with former members of the recently dissolved Tiger Riot, Fred and Dan Ardis, taking on drum and bass duties, respectively.

In November of 2012, Hotel released the EP "Mammoth Skin Pt. 1," for free digital download. This was followed up with "Mammoth Skin Pt. 2" in April 2014.

Their second full-length album, "New World Sundown", was released independently on February 1st, 2015.


Former Members[edit]


Old Dominion (2009)
Terror and Everything After (2011)
Mammoth Skin Pt. 1 (2012)
Mammoth Skin Pt. 2 (2014)
New World Sundown (2015)
Bad Canterbury
Barnaby Bison's Blind
Son of the Iron Sheep


mtvU Woodie Awards[edit]

The mtvU Woodie Awards is an annual awards show sponsored by mtvU, a division of MTV Networks. Hotel of the Laughing Tree received the 2009 "Best Music on Campus" award.[3]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2009 Hotel of the Laughing Tree Best Music on Campus Woodie Won


External links[edit]