February 13, 2019 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

One could argue that local band The Hottman Sisters has been around since Jessica and Heather Hottman first held jam sessions with their family as children. Nowadays, the band is composed of the sisters and a brother from another mother, drummer Ed Getzlaff.

Prior to bringing Getzlaff into the group, Jessica and Heather had made roughly 10 tours of their own as The Hottman Sisters—with Jessica on guitar, Heather on a synth keyboard, and both sisters singing.

Jessica had been working as a communications professional at the 402 Arts Collective—the same place that Getzlaff was teaching music lessons. After hearing him play through the walls, she reached out, thus beginning Getzlaff’s role in the band.

“I guess I would characterize our music as intentional,” Getzlaff says, emphasizing that the music and lyrics have meaning. Though he adds, “I guess it is pop music. I think we all have a soft spot for pop music.”

The Hottman Sisters’ music has a heavy emphasis on vocals and lyrics—something that the sisters have been practicing together their entire lives. Jessica is the primary songwriter, but the group collectively works to refine and develop new music.

“Even if we have a different method, our end goal is the same. And that’s really driving when it comes down to what matters,” Heather says.

But being able to create music isn’t enough to form a successful music career. Operating a professional band comes with a litany of unforeseen tasks, according to Jessica.

“When we started out, we were definitely unsure about how to go about it. Like, how do you book your own tour?” Jessica says. “There’s not really one specific way to do it.”

At first it was just the band members reaching out to venues themselves, trying to piece together potential tours. With their growing success over the past couple years, they have had the ability to bring on some extra manpower—such as their manager, Brett Radin.

“We’ve added some different people that can take on the load and help,” Jessica says. “But it’s been really important for us to know how to do it on our own first.”

All three of the band members have spent their lives intrigued by the art of performance—whether it be bands, theater, or church choir.

“A common thread is that we all have practice performing, and I think that’s actually what matters,” Getzlaff says. “I went to music school, but I think I really developed [playing] at a club in Boston.”

And he isn’t alone in his thinking. Heather and Jessica do not have formal musical training—other than lessons when they were children—but have spent their lives performing and watching others perform.

Not unlike most contemporary artists, The Hottman Sisters can be found on all the mainstream social media sites—including Spotify, where their single “Fire” has racked up over 100,000 plays.

Their rising popularity was also apparent in the success of their December tour. For the first time, The Hottman Sisters headlined every venue they played during the 10-day tour on the East Coast. Fans and local music enthusiasts alike can expect to see more of the group in the coming years as the trio pivots into full-time musical careers.

“We really love what we do,” Jessica says. “It’s really easy in a creative endeavor to get hardened and let down, but I think this group is sustained because we love what we do.”


Visit thehottmansisters.com for more information.

This article was printed in the March/April edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.