Forget that they’re finally getting to release their anticipated second album after three years of record-label limbo; THE STARTING LINE are still getting their heads around the idea that people realize they’ve matured.

Interview: Aaron Burgess

If you’ve been reading AP closely since October of 2003, when THE STARTING LINE made their debut on the magazine’s cover, then you probably also remember the time the Philadelphia-area quartet made our Most Anticipated Albums Of 2004 issue (January ’04), as well as the In The Studio follow-up we did with them that November regarding the same, as-yet-unfinished album. You may also find it a little confusing that it’s now 2005, the Starting Line’s sophomore disc, Based On A True Story, is about to hit stores, and precious little of the stuff the band had been talking about in those interviews (or accidentally leaked online) seems to have made the album-except for the fact that, as promised, they’ve “matured.” Interpret that however you want-whether it be through their ambitious new songwriting skills; their superstar production values (courtesy of Tim O’Heir [Say Anything], with help from Howard Benson [My Chemical Romance] and Eric Rachel [Atreyu]); or the newfound optimism in their lyric sheet. Because, as AP learned in our interview with singer/bassist KENNY VASOLI and guitarist MATT WATTS, conducted just after TSL-rounded out by guitarist Mike Golla and drummer Tom Gryskiewicz-had wrapped their video for the controversial single “Bedroom Talk,” maturity is a subjective state of being.

Kenny, the editors here promised ourselves we wouldn’t get into what people are saying on your message boards and ask you about your hair color or the lyrics to “Bedroom Talk”…

VASOLI: [Laughs.]

But in your online diary about that song, you mention being a virgin for 19 of your 21 years, and never having a one-night stand-dude, you’re in a rock band. Why not abuse the fame?

VASOLI: The reason I never abused the power that came along with being the singer of the Starting Line is, it’s just not in my nature. Ever since I was about 15, I’ve always had respect for girls, and had respect for being in love. And it’s always something I’ve strived for, as corny as that sounds. My virginity was the one thing I really held onto for all those years; I was always so afraid to give it up to somebody that didn’t really deserve it. I finally held out-it was right before I turned 20, and I knew that I was gonna be with this girl, and I knew that what we had was gonna last, and [“Bedroom Talk”] is kind of the marker in the diary, to help me remember how exciting it was that it was finally gonna happen.

For the rest of the story, pick up AP 203 below…