S//S//N Talks to Vacationer’s Kenneth Vasoli

 

Hey, what’s the story behind the band?

In the summer of 2010 I’d developed a strong desire to experiment with electronic music.  I had loved the genre for quite some time.  I asked my good friend, and now manager, if he knew anyone in the Philadelphia or New York area who produced electro records and might be interested in collaborating with me.  He pointed me in the direction of a few producers, my favorite of those were the boys in Body Language.  I inquired further about them and soon had set up a blind-date session with Grant and Matt.  We began turning out songs and ideas very quickly together.  I’ve been thoroughly enjoying working with them since.

 Nice, so what were you doing before you moved across to electronic things?

I played in numerous bands.  Primarily pop/rock bands and more recently an attempt at post-punk.  Lots of guitar music.

Where do you hail from?

The Philadelphia area.

What are your (musical) influences and how have you gone about creating your sound?

We love everything from The Beach Boys and Paul McCartney to J Dilla and The Radio Dept.  We really just went with our instincts creating the first record.  We were fascinated with the idea of putting dreamy pop arrangements over top of hip-hop tempos.

Yeah that’s something that maybe isn’t an obvious match but that actually works really well on ‘Gone’, was it tricky getting the balance between the two?

Actually it felt really natural.  Not many musicians are using that formula but I love the way it turns out.  I’ve recently realized that I love hip hop but, with a few exceptions, I’m not a huge fan of rapping.  So it’s really fun for me to write pop melodies over top of these beats.

Is there anything unusual that influences you?

There’s nothing unusual to me about my influences.  I’m driven to write by love and the bliss of life.  That’s probably a common motivator for many songwriters.

 You’d like to think so, but more and more seem to be angsty or just really morbid. Like Purity Ring who sing about disembowlment…  But yeah, the one thing about Vacationer that really got me hooked was the optimism that came across in your early tracks (also the Lp actually). Was that sunny summery vibe something you knew you wanted for the record from the start?

Definitely.  One of the first things I said to Grant and Matt was: I’m really in love right now and I don’t know how long it’s going to last, so let’s write as many songs as we can while I am.  It was important to me to keep that spirit constant throughout the record, even after the relationship had ended.

What’s the day-job?

Music all day.

Do you prefer being in the recording studio or playing live?

They both have their charms.  I love the idea of having only a spark or an idea at the beginning of the day and then driving home with a nearly completed song I can listen to.  On the other side of the coin, being rewarded by people dancing and singing to the music we’ve created is an unbelievable high.

Nice, so did you have many of the Gone songs in your head before you went into the studio, or did it all come together organically as you worked?

It all came out organically and in the moment.  I didn’t have any of these songs in my pocket prior to the recording process.

Any terrible live experiences yet?

Nothing terrible pops into my head.  I think any shows that have had undesired results I’ve been able to move on from pretty quickly.

Always good to hear, so if nothing too bad what’s been the best?

Playing Terminal 5 in NY was a blast because of the magnitude of that room.  As far as crowds go, we had an amazing reception at our last SXSW show.  We closed out the room after Reptar and Class Actress.  We were relatively unknown compared to those two bands, the room half cleared out after they played.  We got on around 1:30am and expected very little, but some how when we started playing the dance floor got rushed by party animals! It was like they threw a surprise party for us.  It really felt magical.

Tell us something we don’t know:

All of the songs on Gone are about one person, excluding one.  That song is about my dog.

Interesting, do they know?

Yes, they both know.

What’s your favorite release of 2012?

Beach House – “Bloom”

What can we expect from you this summer?

We’ll be relaxing, playing scattered shows and writing new songs.  Vacationing always

 Any plans to come to the Uk?

We definitely are aiming to get over there.  Should happen in the not too distant future now that the record is released over there.

 

 

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