Skip to content

The Starting Line – Base on a True Story

In a rock and roll world where too many bands are giving up hope, The Starting Line is back, feverishly striving to put a smile on your face. After the release of 2002’s Say it Like You Mean It, and four years of international touring under their belts, the boys, all still in their early ’20s, return with their sophomore effort, Based on a True Story.

They’ve grown up a lot on the road, and feel they have a more mature grasp on the world, which is evident in their pursuit to inject optimism into their music. The title Based on a True Story is definitely closer to fact than metaphor, explains vocalist/bassist Kenny Vasoli, “It symbolizes that there are things in the songs that I’ve taken from my own life, but like a movie, I had to go in and add some more drama.”


The record explores classic themes such as love (“Stay Where I Can See You”), and loss (“Surprise, Surprise”), but contemplates issues that are a direct result of being in a successful band, such as the public’s infatuation with celebrity (“Make Love to the Camera”), and the music industry itself (“Inspired by the Dollar Sign”).

Produced by the three-headed monster of Tim O’Heir, Howard Benson, and Eric Rachell (All American Rejects, My Chemical Romance, and Atreyu respectively), the record finds the boys have matured musically as well, incorporating more complex vocal and backing vocal arrangements, and more abstract, sometimes twinkling guitars, without sacrificing their familiar sound.

But some facets of evolution have their setbacks, including the loss of the upbeat urgency that dominated Starting Line’s first release, and with glossier production they boil into obscurity in the overcrowded pop punk/emo cauldron, almost completely unable to distinguish themselves amongst their contemporaries.

Michael is currently living in a gorgeous Victorian bi-level with his dog Chuck D, in upstate Maine. Michael enjoys playing Liverpool rummy, collecting Korean War propaganda mono-prints, and slicing oranges!


Sign up to our newsletter and get updates to your mailbox