PropertyOfZack had the honor of sitting down with The Starting Line just a few days ago during one of their four shows of the summer with All Time Low, Mayday Parade, and We Are The In Crowd to do a great interview. Kenny, Matt, Tom, and I discussed the band’s recent touring, how it is being “active” once again, when the band is planning to release new music, and more. The guys were absolutely a pleasure to chat with, so make sure to read up!
This is The Starting Line’s second date on the All Time Low summer tour, but you guys did play Soundwave and the Slam Dunk Festival this year as well. How has it been slowly playing more and more shows as a band again?
Kenny: We don’t really like to overextend ourselves these days [Laughs]. It’s been a great pace and it’s been great being able to travel around and play some shows.
Has it been easy to get back in the mix of things because you guys are going at a slow pace?
Kenny: It’s pretty effortless.
Tom: It’s more of a hobby at this point.
Kenny: To be honest, we only practiced one or two times before these shows.
Matt: It sounds like us still.
Kenny: We don’t have any moves to choreograph or anything, so we just spruce up the songs. It’s like muscle memory at this point.
Every year you guys do your holiday shows, but yesterday in Philly was the band’s first show in the States this year. How was it?
Matt: It was a lot of fun.
POZ: What’s the set like?
Matt: It’s a little bit of everything, I would say.
Kenny: We’re playing the hits.
Matt: It won’t really surprise anyone.
A lot of fans were incredibly excited when the band announced that it would be touring this summer, but some were put off by the fact that The Starting Line weren’t headlining these dates or doing your own tour. At the end of the day, did you guys just want to play a few shows this summer regardless of what kind of tour it was?
Matt: It just seemed like it would be a lot easier and need a lot less effort for us to just show up. No, I’m totally kidding [Laughs]. We go way back with the All Time Low guys and we thought it’d be fun to do a weekend and then tack on another show at the end. It was totally feasible and easy for us to do and manage with all our schedules. We’re down to play shows as long as it’s something we can do.
Is it sort of interesting to be playing to a crowd once again where half may know and be fans of the band but the other half may not?
Matt: I would definitely agree with that.
Tom: Not many people know who we are.
POZ: Is it almost like you have to win over fans once again?
Kenny: It’s up to them whether they’re won over or not. I’m not campaigning for their approval so much [Laughs]. We’re putting our best foot forward. I don’t want you to think that we’re slacking with these shows. You’ll notice a serious drop in energy and crowd interaction once we get up there.
POZ: Has that been weird at all?
Kenny: No [Laughs].
Matt: We’re just happy to be playing shows again. I try to be cute about it. These bands really bring the crowd participation into it.
Matt: There was a kid in front of me throughout the whole set that was resting his head on the barrier the whole time.
Kenny: He was catching some Z’s man.
Tom: He was getting ready for the real show.
Kenny: He had to save his voice. I watched some of All Time Low’s set and those kids know every word to all the deep cuts, not just the hits. They’re just saving it up and I can respect that. They don’t even know who we are [Laughs]. Some of it can put you to sleep if you don’t know what it is.
Matt, you released an update saying that you guys are all at the point where you “genuinely miss playing shows, writing, and being around one another” and that The Starting Line are once again “active” again. Was it easy to make the decision to slowing get the gears moving as a band again, or did it take longer than you would have liked?
Matt: With taking a year and a half to two years off I feel like it was enough time to make us want this again. That doesn’t mean that it’s going to be on some specific timeline or schedule, it just means that we’re open to play more shows, whether that be five, ten, or more than that a year. It’s nice to have the doors open and to get together and decide if we want to play.
Has it been a ball and stress-free doing these shows and festivals?
Kenny: Zero stress. It’s really like vacation. You play for 45 minutes and then that’s it. Playing is a blast in itself.
Tom: Especially in Australia and Europe.
Kenny: Those places are beautiful.
What about writing and recording new music? You guys also said that the band has a few new songs in the works.
Kenny: We have pretty good starts to five songs, but they need some work. A lot of slack needs to be picked up on my part.
You guys individually have everything else in life going on besides this, but are you looking to buckle down sometime soon for this music?
Matt: I don’t think so. It’ll get there. Part of being more active is just that we’re on our own schedule now, so when things feel natural and right to work on The Starting Line there is no pressure or stress. It’s almost like how it was when we first started this band where it’s us doing it when we want to. I think that’s going to be the most inspiring thing.
Kenny: I don’t really back it when bands come back and really force it like, “Hey we’re back, fucking be excited about it.” I’d rather people just want us to come back and then we’ll do some stuff.
POZ: You don’t want to force it down your own neck either.
Kenny: Exactly. People will be able to tell too, and I think this will just be a more enjoyable experience for everybody.
Obviously it’s too soon to tell, but would you like to release something next year?
Kenny: Yeah, but only time will tell. I wouldn’t even say a record next year would be realistic. Maybe a song or two though for sure.
Besides the holiday shows, are you guys looking to do anymore touring before the year is up?
Matt: I would say probably not. There might be a few shows here or there, but I would say that that’s it.
Kenny: We’re the worst. There is nothing satisfying about our answers [Laughs]. Ask me about Warped Tour, no [Laughs].
Tom: If we get a good offer, maybe.
Matt: Yeah, if Jimmy Eat World or blink want to take us out.
Kenny: We really do enjoy and love doing it, we just enjoy doing it at a leisurely pace.
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