Person L

By paul

Paul: Hey Kenny, how are things?
Kenny: Everything is great, thank you.

Paul: For those who may have heard of you through The Starting Line, but not yet through Person L, how would you describe the newer band? What influences you?
Kenny: I would preface by saying that its not easily comparable to TSL. Person L was started to experiment with all kinds of music. Our influences range from post punk sounds of Fugazi and Drive Like Jehu to the obscure indie likes of Rescue and Pinback, and back around to the classic rock/soul/jazz greats (i.e. Hendrix, Beatles, Miles Davis, Curtis Mayfield, and James Brown.) All that being said, Radiohead is arguably our biggest influence.

Paul: What’s the story behind ‘The Positives’? What influenced the writing of the record? How does it differ, sonically or in terms of the writing process, from the first record?
Kenny: ‘The Positives’ is result of our explorations in the past few years. It has been a very positive experience to me especially. We are influenced greatly by music that can still impress us, no matter what genre. We still have a sonic schizophrenia on the new record, there are all sorts of song types on it. I feel the new record is a much more cohesive listen than our first effort, I think this came from our comfort playing together and A. Marsh keeping it flowing in the studio.

Paul: Where do you hope to go with Person L? It’s been written that you set up the band because of ‘limitations’ within the pop-punk genre. What did you mean by that? Do you still think the genre is limited or in a better state?
Kenny: I wouldn’t say that’s the only reason that we exist, my big motivation to start the band was to explore new sonic ground. Most modern pop-punk I just can’t seem to relate to. That’s not to say the bands aren’t any good, I just don’t have taste for it like I used to. There are exceptions of course, but all of my favorite bands who were considered pop-punk eventually evolved into something greater or just kept doing the same old tricks. I think no matter what line of music you are in it’s always a musician’s job to grow and improve their art.

Paul: How did you hook up with Scylla Records here in the UK? Can we expect you to tour the new album over here?
Kenny: I was introduced to Scylla either through our manager or Academy Fight Song, I can’t quite recall which. It’s been great working them so far, they’ve been nothing but a pleasure.

Paul: One of the first questions our users wanted me to ask was whether The Starting Line will ever re-form for more shows and, if you do, would you ever come back to the UK?
Kenny: We do have plans to reform and play locally in the States around the holidays. I’m sure we’ll eventually get it together enough to come back across the pond.

Paul: Does it annoy/frustrate you that people continue to ask about TSL? Can you appreciate why people are still interested in the band? On a similar note is it frustrating that people, currently anyway, are more interested in songs you wrote as a 16 year old?
Kenny: I can absolutely appreciate the attention TSL is paid, it’s actually a very nice feeling. I find solace in knowing that something I was a part of meant a lot to a good deal of people. I’m not frustrated that person L hasn’t had the same success as TSL, to many people I’m sure it’s a somewhat difficult pill to swallow. I’m still extremely pleased with what person L has achieved thus far.

Paul: Why did you choose to have a final TSL show at a festival than as a headline show? It’s an interesting take on it as most bands tend to do farewell shows as part of a tour…
Kenny: We had a farewell Philly show at the end of our previous tour which rocked, it’s even been immortalized in the upcoming TSL dvd. Bamboozle was booked before we decided to take the break and happened to be the last show. I think it was fitting, that fest was always a great to us and the first incarnation of Bamboozle was the largest show we’d played to that point.

Paul: Do you feel the internet has made it easier for bands to be heard, therefore reducing any kind of quality threshold? I’m a believer there are too many bands and too many labels, therefore diluting the ‘scene’. Is this a view you share?
Kenny: It’s true, if you have a computer today you can have a “band” by tonight. I’m with you, there are a hell of a lot of bands now, many of which are not very good. I look back fondly on the days when I had to scour the earth for a record I’d wanted or a new band to discover. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in a ocean of new bands, and every year I get hit by a bigger wave. The upside is that the people who have talent or a gift for songwriting will now have a better chance to make a name for themselves.

Paul: Equal Vision Records has just released the new This Time Next Year album as a ‘pay-what-you-want’ download where fans can choose the quality of the file and pay whatever they want for the MP3s – whether it be nothing, $5, $10 or even more. Where do you stand on downloading? Do you think the CD will ever become redundant? Do you feel the ‘pay-what-you-like’ model is sustainable for bands and/or labels?
Kenny: I like the pay-what-you-like idea, it’s a great motivator for a fan to download legally. The main problem is that many bands don’t have a fan base the size of Radiohead’s. If you only have a thousand or so people paying to download at say an average of $5 then you might not even recoup your recording expenses. Every kind of technology will eventually become redundant (well, hopefully not vinyl.) I do believe this business model will stick around for a while, but I don’t think it will save the industry. We need to search even further outside of the box to motivate people to buy music again.

‘The Positives’ is available to pre-order now at

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