Sometimes, usually between lunch and the end of the work day, you just need a little break. A trip, rather. Sure, it would be nice>"/>
Sometimes, usually between lunch and the end of the work day, you just need a little break. A trip, rather. Sure, it would be nice to just get up and go, but in those instances when hopping on a plane isn't possible, there's the music of Philadelphia-based nu-hula band Vacationer.
Lead singer Kenny Vasoli talked to us about the Dave Homcy-directed video for "Trip" and the music that he listens to when he needs to take a mental vacation before the band plays The Crocodile tonight.
SW: What was it like shooting the video in Oahu?
It was pretty unbelievable. I think that the video is pretty accurate to how fun it was being there and the experience of shooting it. I went down there in the middle of a month-and-a-half of touring so I was pretty well burnt out from the road, pretty worse for the wear so getting to go down there and just soak up some sun and get to see all these beautiful places on Oahu was such a refresher for me.
Whose idea was it to shoot the video on Lomography cameras?
I think that was sort of a collaboration between us and Lomography. We got to do a showcase in their Austin store [during SXSW] and they hooked us up with free film cameras ... and through keeping in touch with them, they had the idea of us doing some sort of promotion with the cameras.
We went down there with the intention of shooting two videos, one for "Good As New" with the Lomography cameras and then one for "Trip" with high-quality film. We put together all the film that we had and it seemed like we didn't really have as much of a narrative or as much compelling visual with the stuff that we shot with high-def and so we readjusted the agenda and just took the Lomography footage and put it towards the "Trip" video.
It's interesting because in the song, you talk about needing a trip and the video looks like old-school vacation footage that you'd show friends or family.
That's always sort of been the aesthetic with us. With both visual and sound, we're into the highly-saturated kind of aesthetic and a little bit of scratchiness to it. When we play our live shows, even before we made that video, we have footage behind us and it's all compiled 8 mm and 35 mm footage, more or less, from archive sites that we just spliced and put to the music while we play so I'm glad we got to sort of follow in that line of a visual.
You all call yourselves "The eastern seaboard's foremost relaxation specialists." Did that come as the band started experimenting with different sounds together or did you all use that phrase to guide the music you made?
We wanted to come up with a biography for us that wasn't so typical for bands. We tried to come up with something that was sort of clinical [laughs] for what we do and Vacationer is less of a band and more like a supplement for relaxation. I think it sort of makes it a little something that's more than a band, almost a state of mind, which is something that I definitely get put into when I'm playing and making music with the band.
[Vacationer] was designed to be something that was a break from the music I was making in the past and something that sort of relieved my ears of really loud volume and thrash tones and something that I could listen to when I'm riding my bike and chill, so really breezy.
The bio also mentions that Vacationer's music takes the listener on a trip without airfare or reservations. What music do you listen to when you need to go on a no airfare, no reservations trip?
The stuff that I listen to is sort of all over the map. In terms of that stuff, like when I'm at home and I want to put some records on or if I'm buying records, I really look for stuff that I've never heard of. I really like psychedelic exotica. I found this record by a group called The Fabulous Echoes ... they have this live record that they recorded in Hawaii that I really like. I love live records like that, especially ones from the 60s and 70s just because they were so simply recorded and the bar was set so high for how well you had to perform at the time because there were really no tricks to get around being able to play. I think that's really my favorite kind of music to listen to when I'm in my living room and I just want to sort of get out of my head and visit somewhere else.
That was all I had; is there anything you'd like to add?
I just hope everybody is enjoying the record and hopefully, I would say, in the next couple months, we'll be able to start the next chapter and record some new music and take some people elsewhere.