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theSTART Interview

theSTART just finished their 3rd supporting tour since last summer. Check them out if they are near you!

theSTART Interview

How has the response been to the new album?

Aimee: Good. Really good. Actually, it’s been the response I had hoped for. People are saying it’s refreshing, that’s nice. We tried to buck the trend with the current in modern music being the way it is. It’s really cool to see all these people noticing us and getting it. It’s really great.

How has the tour been?

Aimee: We’ve had a great run. There was Weezer. Then we got right onto the Incubus tour. We have had the chance to play cities we’ve never played before, like New Orleans. Incubus crowds are really open minded. They put on great shows.

How does the Incubus tour compare to the Sugar Ray and Weezer tours?

Aimee: They are all distinctively different. Especially audience-wise. Maybe it’s demographic? Sugar ray audiences were mostly younger girls. You know how Mark McGrath is with the girls. Weezer fans are…..Weezer fans. They are kind of like Slayer fans but a little different. Weezer was the first arena tour we did. I didn’t expect to do an arena tour that soon after recording the album. I love Weezer and felt very blessed.

How were you able to hook up with the Weezer and Sugar Ray tours?

Aimee: With Sugar Ray, we’ve known those guys for about four years now. It was just a matter of a couple of phone calls. Mark himself called in and requested us. With Weezer, we were on the same label. We’ve had other business people in common. The same with Incubus. We’ve known them for several years. We shared stages in bands with them in the past. Los Angeles is a really interesting place to grow up as a musician. You really do cross paths with everyone. The music world is really small. For example, tonight my old bass player is playing at the Metro [several blocks away]. There has been this band following us or beating us everywhere we go. Either they are getting to the hotel when we leave, or we are leaving when we are getting there. We have seen them in three different cities in the space of three weeks. It was really weird. We finally caught up with them at one hotel when they were picking up their tour shirts one day and said, “Look, you have been following us for three weeks now, whats up?”. They said, “Oh, you’re theSTART. We’re big fans of yours.” It turned out to be the guys of Good Charlotte and Mest.

What was recording the new album like?

Aimee: We did all of the rehearsals in a “group home” type thing that was a studio apartment. Then we went to Sunset Sound and just banged it out over several weeks. We did some other recording for the vocals at the garage/studio of John Abraham. It was traditional rock record making.

How are you able to connect with Sugar Ray fans? Weezer fans? Incubus fans?

Aimee: Mark McGrath is an extremely boisterous and comedic person. He will go and make jokes between the songs. I had to go from being subdued between songs to being a very loud and funny person. Right now [Incubus tour] I am the most comfortable. The guys of Incubus are like me. They are very down to earth. The same with Weezer. Rivers is extremely quiet and shy. I’m like that. I feel I don’t have to be anything other than myself.

How did you connect with Interscope?

Aimee: Getting on Label 143 was Josh Abrahams doing. The Firm was looking to manage theSTART ans were also trying to start a label of their own. Instead of managing us, they signed us to the label as their first act. They called it “The Label.” They thought that was funny. The Label, theSTART, The Firm. The Label has good relations with Geffen Records and brought something of ours to their attention and it just went from there.

What do you hope to achieve with the new record?

Aimee: We want to provide an alternative to whats going on in music right now. We tried to be a little more upbeat. To us it’s really important that we were able to do what we do and transcend gender. It’s cool to see younger girls thinking of that as a career opportunity these days. I want to let people know there is something else out there. There is also a lack of punk rock dancing these days. The old punk dancing sort of ended after Nirvana. I heard someone use the term “Rape-rock.” That really freaked me out. Wow. But that’s kind of the case these days. I read a statistic yesterday that said one in three girls in the pit gets groped or molested.

Where did you get the name theSTART?

Aimee: In the beginning, we had a different name. Notice I said in the beginning. We called ourselves Hero. We wanted something classic and timeless that wasn’t just for laughs. Something that was basic. TheSTART has such a positive sounding name. My mom came up with it.

What do you try to do for fun on the road?

Aimee: We go to a lot of record and book shops. Things to expand the mind. We try to do as much goofy stuff as we can. A while ago, we went to a place called Play Place. We got to play video games and went go-cart driving, and laser tag playing. We try to do things that make us feel like kids. Our dog helps too. We are always trying to find good food. We also try to go see bands every night we are off. You would think that we are really tired of music but we arent.

What was the first concert you went to?

Aimee: The first thing that pops into my head is Billy Idol. I’m not sure if that was the first, but I think it might have been. My mom took me when I was really little. I have to say Billy Idol.

What was the first concert theSTART/Hero played like?

Aimee: Hero’s first show was booked before we had any songs written. It was a test. To see if we could do it. We had 12 days to write a set. I was writing till the last moment before we went onstage. I had to tape the lyrics to the monitor because they were so fresh. It was really fun though. It was a unique challenge. We rose to the occasion. I ran into some friends a few nights ago that were there. It was great. But it took a while to find ourselves musically.

What are the meanings behind “Shakedown” and “Gorgeous” ?

Aimee: “Gorgeous” is being fed up with the sad state of music and politics today. We are such an instant gratification society today. “Shakedown” is a call to action, to change. A call to bring out the best in yourself. Not to listen to others, but to trust yourself.

What are your favorite songs on the new album?

Aimee: I like them all for different reasons. The music came out incredible. “Shakedown” is an anthem to do your best. It doesn’t get better. “Gorgeous” is one I’m really proud of. I wrote a lovesong without hate in it. I like those two a lot. I haven’t had a chance to listen to the record in a while. I would like to see how different the live show is from the record now.