Person L - 04.20.10

Interviewed by
Person L - 04.20.10Kenny Vasoli is pushing boundaries and expectations for himself and his old band's fans alike. With last year's release of The Positives, an album miles out from Vasoli's nostalgic career, he's already looking to push things further with an upcoming EP release this year. Vasoli, tending to Person L's merch table, took the time to talk a bit about his progression, growth as a band and upcoming plans for the year.

The Positives was certainly a step forward, but with Initial, there was still a progression forward. I think many of us were a bit surprised. Thoughts?

As far as experimentation, that's the big motivation behind what we like to toy around with. Different genres. Different styles. Different instrumentation and stuff like that. It has been awhile, so it's hard to go back to last year, in February of that space, when we were making [The Positives]. It was a really creative session for us, as opposed to the first record. We had this one month to sit in a room and work through everything. The Initial's sessions were spread across a year. It was a lot different, and we became more of a band this time.

Did that time give you more space as an artist?

I don't know. It gave me more time to think about it. I guess I liked both ways of coming back and tackling it.

[Vasoli stops to take care of fan at the merch table.]

Okay. What were we talking about? You said there was more time for the band to sit down and find itself. Basically, were you doing Person L as yourself in the beginning and then forming a fuller sound with a band thereon?

Yeah, probably. I definitely set the course of what the band would be. That's not to say that these guys haven't brought their influences to the table. When Nate [Vaeth] puts something on the board, it's always before 1978. That kind of comes through in his playing. He has that rolling, kind of blues way with anything, which I think is kind of cool. I never thought of playing that kind of way. What I was playing was more angular, kind of noisy stuff.

So you think that balance among band members made The Positives the way it is?

Yeah. Definitely.

Do you still want the control though? You say you set the course, but with the band also shaping it, were there times when you weren't into what they wanted to do?

I think these guys sort of look to me for a lot of these ideas. I think they always kind of look to me to write the first kind of thing, then we all sort of do our thing. Then a lot of the time, we're just jamming together and that's how the songs come about. I don't really look at myself as the only one in control of it. Everyone's a factor, and their influence weighs on me and what the outcome of their songs are.

How does it feel being on your own label and having the support Academy Fight Song has behind you? With The Starting Line dealing with a major label for so many years, what do you think?

I really like it. It's not like we saw a bunch of money from being on a major label. There were some sign-on bonuses. It's not like we saw a whole lot of money.

Not necessarily money, but pressure...

Sure. Absolutely. There's so much less pressure. These guys at Academy Fight Song...the only thing they were concerned about was the artwork. The record was done when we came to them. We were like, "This is is done. This is it. We want to release it." They liked it and thought it was awesome. We clicked in the beginning. That was the smoothest business transaction I've ever had with another label. I don't focus on finance or stuff, but financially it evens out because the overhead isn't very much to make our record. Since we're half partners in it, the money kind of goes back to us.

I feel like that's the suggestion to do things now.

I think so. I think a lot of bands have these stars in their eyes to go to major labels. If you take a look at bands like MGMT, they sold millions of singles by releasing things themselves, so that's not the measure of a band.

In the wake of bands like Something Corporate getting back together, and the Taking Back Sunday original line-up reunion, this nostalgia, how do you feel about fans who still come up to you talking about The Starting Line?

I don't mind it. I love The Starting Line. I still listen to the Direction record in the van because I like it. It's still great when people come up to me and say that's something that they really like. I don't like people who put down what I do now....I just don't need it. I don't ask those people what I think. I don't need those comments. I don't mind people bringing up The Starting Line and asking about it. It's nice to know that people still care about that music and that it meant something.

What's with Person L now? What ideas are brewing on the road?

We're working on an EP right now out of the house. We're just trying to get everyone involved with recording stuff around the house, even household items. Hitting spoons against the walls and the radiators.

You want it to be lo-fi?

Yeah. It's going to be lo-fi electric. Lo-fi electronic, even. Using natural sounds. That's the thing I want to go with this particular release. We'll hopefully have that out by the end of the year. We're also writing songs for a new record. We have two songs that I'm really happy with, and we're going to go from there.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 20
06:04 AM on 04/20/10
Oh, but the world is a mess.
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ashiex3's Avatar
The new EP sounds interesting. Hitting spoons against walls and radiators, I'm looking forward to hearing it.
06:15 AM on 04/20/10
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bandnamexmyname's Avatar
Great interview, one of my favorite guys in the business.
06:53 AM on 04/20/10
I love lamp
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MReprogle's Avatar
I really like Person L, but I'm very glad to see that Kenny doesn't hate his older music. TSL is incredible, and now that he's went a little more excentric with Person L, I just figured that he'd hate The Starting Line for being somewhat poppy. Not the case, and that is a good thing. Hopefully, we can see TSL reunite at some point.

And hopefully they won't be under the influence when I see them. The last two times I saw The Starting Line, Kenny forgot the words cuz he was so buzzed..
08:12 AM on 04/20/10
every shining time you arrive
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topher465's Avatar
The Positives has grown on me as one of the best releases I've heard it the last year or so. "Good Days" is just fabulous.
09:18 AM on 04/20/10
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SmallFrailBoy's Avatar
Totally freakin' dig The Positives. Kenny still writes a hell of a song.

10:21 AM on 04/20/10
Registered Member
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HeavenResign's Avatar
Meeting Kenny Vasoli during the Copeland Last Tour was awesome for me. He was such a down to earth guy. I remember giving him a $20 for a shirt and asking him to keep it because I owe him WAY more than that for what The Starting Line has given to me.

If you read this Kenny, thanks for everything, and for the things you continue to put out. I love Person L.
10:38 AM on 04/20/10
Full time sarcastic asshole.
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ttttonyTM's Avatar
Great interview. Love TSL and Person L
11:33 AM on 04/20/10
Do what you love and fuck the rest.
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mrxstripes's Avatar
Didn't really listen to Person L before I saw them with Copeland. they were good. I'm pretty sure Brian should be my bff though, him and his excellent hair.
04:14 PM on 04/20/10
Drop all your things and go outside
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muttley's Avatar
I love the idea for the new EP. Should be great.
04:39 PM on 04/20/10
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DevinDomino's Avatar
I really like Person L, but I'm very glad to see that Kenny doesn't hate his older music. TSL is incredible, and now that he's went a little more excentric with Person L, I just figured that he'd hate The Starting Line for being somewhat poppy. Not the case, and that is a good thing. Hopefully, we can see TSL reunite at some point.

And hopefully they won't be under the influence when I see them. The last two times I saw The Starting Line, Kenny forgot the words cuz he was so buzzed..

There was a point like right after Person L's first record was out where he wouldn't listen to the music for a long time. Not really hate it but just didn't prefer it.
07:39 PM on 04/20/10
life in the greenhouse effect
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ReadyForAction's Avatar
Regardless of your opinion of Person L, I'm amazed that people would tell him to his face that they don't like it. I wouldnt dream of doing that to ANY musician, especially one as talented as Ken. Then again I may just be a Person L fanboy
09:54 PM on 04/20/10
Blake Solomon
every outcome's such a comedown
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Blake Solomon's Avatar
a lo-fi electronic album from these guys sounds simply amazing
05:38 AM on 04/21/10
Registered User
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Really looking forward to hearing this EP, sounds like its going to be amazing. Something new and different, kenny is creative guy anything he touches turns to gold. FO SHO!
05:20 PM on 05/05/10
Registered User
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No Avatar Selected
Just saw them live at the El Rey. They killed it.

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