• Interview

Interview with Vacationer

Making the switch from one band to another is fairly common place. There’s simply too much music to make. But what do you do when you try to leave behind one of Pop-Punk’s most revered and influential bands of the previous decade? In the case of Vacationer – fronted by The Starting Line’s Kenny Vasoli – you completely reinvent yourself. 

It would be easy to assume that Vacationer would pick up where The Starting Line left off, but that really couldn’t be farther from the truth. With a solid – and varying – electronic backbone, Vacationer is pop music, deconstructed, with a feel-good, island life flair. Not unlike bands like Vampire Weekend, Vacationer wears it’s world music influences on its sleeve, embracing any and all monikers and labels necessary to encapsulate what they’re doing.

I had a chance to discuss a few of these things with Kenny Vasoli below. Check out their new album, Relief, which is due out this June, and be sure to catch them tonight with Hellogoodbye at the 20th Century Theater in Oakley!

Being a relatively new band, but having a mixed, long-standing pedigree, can you talk about how you'veapproached Vacationer differently than you might haveyour previous musical endeavors?
Creatively, it was a new experience working with Matt Young and Grant Wheeler. They know so much about electronic producing, it was an enlightening experience writing with them right from the jump off.  

Can you give a little bit of background for the band,where, when, and how Vacationer came to be?
I started making music with those two in the summer of 2010. A mutual friend (and present manager of our band) set up a session to feel each other out. We hit it off right away.

The live band formed the following year, as we we're finishing the first album. Ryan, Greg and Michael are all friends from home. 

What are you finding to be most challenging with thisband, as opposed to your previous experience? Are thereany similarities? And do you find that it's difficult for someto separate your (assuming I'm asking Kenny thesequestions) other band from what they think Vacationershould be versus what it is? 
People seem to have dialed in an interest for vacationer that is separate from my previous work. There is some crossover, which is great. It's nice when people can experience the entire scope of what I do/have done. Once in a while I'll encounter someone who only want to reminisce. It's flattering on some level, but I tend to lose interest if it's lengthy or backhanded. (Thankfully that is rarely the case, the vast majority of our fans are delightfully courteous.)

How has the touring experience differed from earlier inthe 2000's? With gas prices up, and costs everywheremaking it more and more challenging for new bands to getout on the road, what kind of challenges have you faced, if any?
There are lots of parallels, tour life has been normal life for me since I was a teenager and nothing jumps out at me as being particularly different these days.  We just tour modestly (in a van) and try to be smart about it (not burn ourselves out.) 

How have you responded to the admittedly humorousgenre ddescriptions for Vacationer? Is it something you'veembraced, or are you just kind of doing your own thing and letting it go?
I'm pretty sure we embrace all the names, and probably coined one or two of them.  Genre boxing is almost always silly, I find it best to have a sense of humor about it.  

You were in Cincinnati last year for the second annualBunbury Festival. Can you talk a little about thatexperience, maybe compared to other fests you've played?Is there anything about playing in Cincinnati that makesyou want to come back?
That was fun. More people checked us out than we expected. I felt the love and got sweaty. Oh, and I took a picture with some kids who thought I was in MGMT.  

You're on tour with hellogoodbye, a band that started outas The Starting Line was winding down (though you werearguably contemporaries). How did that tour come about?How is it playing with a band who has matured and gainedsuch a large following over the course of the past 8-9years? Have you followed their progression?
I wasn't too familiar with HGB's history prior to the tour coming together. Forrest was a longtime acquaintance but now we are true buds. I have a lot of respect for all of the time they've dedicated to growing their band, while still reinventing. 

You have a new record releasing in June, titled Relief,can you talk a little about the album, how you feel it mightdiffer from your debut, and a little about what yourexpectations and hopes for it are?
I like to call Relief a more dimensional album. I think those who enjoyed Gone can easily get into Relief.  It feels like a honing on what we do, the intended vacationer vibe is as present as ever in my opinion. No expectations, I just hope this record finds people well. 

After this tour and the release of your next album, what'snext for Vacationer? Any plans for supporting the releaseyou can tell us about?
The plans are still forming at this point. I'm hoping it will include live shows in beautiful locations for beautiful souls. 

Is there anything else you'd like to add or mention? 
Thanks for listening.

Thanks so much for your time! Very much looking forwardto the show and the new record!

Hellogoodbye & Vacationer
20th Century Theatre