Exclusive Interview: Kenny Vasoli Talks Fans, Travel & All Things Vacationer!
I’ve got to know, where would be your top choice to take a vacation?
Since getting to shoot the video in Costa Rica, I can’t wait to return there. The air is so thick with moisture it feels like getting a warm massage at times. It was by far the most lush and beautiful place I had ever been.
When you are touring, do you get lots of chances to explore the cities your in?
We do explore as much as we can. I always bring my skateboard to get me quickly around a city. I usually hunt down the best record stores, looking for buried treasures. We also make frequent stop overs in parks and trails to hike and chill. We’ve found it’s a good move for morale to set aside some leisure time.
You use lots of looping in your sound, where does the inspiration for this come from?
That production comes from Grant Wheeler and Matt Young of Body Language. We came together through a common love of electronic music. They’ve schooled me on deeper level of influences since I’d started working with them. I’d always loved Four Tet and Caribou, but they were the first ones to show me J-Dilla “Donuts” and that opened the door to instrumental hip hop for me.
How do the lyrics to your songs come about?
To be honest, I try to get as relaxed as I can and then I just mumble along with the music. I usually record that once I’ve locked into a melody I like. Then I listen back and write down words that I think resemble my mumbles. It starts out with a lot of blanks, but if I have a few words to start with then it seems to shake complete thoughts loose. I try not to second guess my lyrics. A good friend and fellow musician once said to me “I ask myself if my lyrics are embarrassing.” If not, then they stay.
Your band name, the name of your new album all have a mellow-beachy vibe. How do maintain such a chill outlook?
Worrying never helps me, so I try to never do it. Life is so enjoyable if you can just remember to relax and enjoy it. I love the no-worries message in reggae music. I try to relay that with this not so reggae band. I love chill people. LOVE them! I truly want to be one myself and want to attract them to hang out at our shows.
What was the biggest challenge of making the album? What are you most proud of?
It can be an intimidating feeling going back to the drawing board and facing a blank page. The biggest challenge was returning to the well for inspiration. It took me quite a while to get the juices flowing. I owe so much to Grant and Matt for constantly sending me instrumentals to work with. It’s very inspiring writing to their tracks. I’m glad that we didn’t rush it. I couldn’t be happier with how this album sounds and the message that it holds. It’s a very good reminder for how I’d like to aim my outlook on life.
What are you most looking forward to for fans to experience with the new album?
I try not to form too many expectations about how people will react to this record. You can just bet on seeing a very excited individual performing these songs when there are people there enjoy them. I love seeing a connection from the people, I hope they feel the vibe.
What is your favorite song to perform live, and why?
I like playing “Shining” a great deal. It’s got enough breaks in the vocal so I can dance and we’ve been locking in together on the performance. It’s a dance number, so it works well anywhere in the set. We’ve recently started playing “Glimpse.” That one is a welcome change of pace. It’s such a different arrangement from the rest of songs.
Who are some of your OG’s, or people that have inspired you by being so good at their own craft?
David Byrne and Thom Yorke are both guys that continue to blow me away throughout their lives. They both have magnificent minds that definitely motivate me to improve and hone my own work. The brilliant records from some of the greats really light the fire under me as well. Albums like Astral Weeks, Pet Sounds, Pinkerton, Vespertine. Those can break my heart at times because they are so good.
Who would you like to work with in the future?
I’d love to work with James Murphy, in any capacity at all. If he’s not available there are lots of artists I’d love to collaborate with; Classixx, The Avalanches, Orna. Please, give me a call for a top-line.
What do YOU think of Vacationer?