Gentlemen Hall & Basic Vacation
About Gentlemen Hall:
Standing strong between the high-handed anthemic choruses of the Killers and the retro synth melodies of MGMT along with a dash of wildman flutist antics, Gentlemen Hall has established itself as one of the most talked about bands to emerge from Boston in recent years. Beginning as a group of friends hanging in college dorms in the mid 2000s the 6 guys formed the band in 2008. After winning numerous accolades such as MTV's Best Breakout Band in 2009 and Boston's Best Act in 2011, the band was nominated and won Billboard's Battle of the Bands and made history being the first independent band to perform on the Billboard Music Awards in 2011. Their tracks "Sail into the Sun" and "All Our Love" have been making waves during 2013 and the band's debut record on Island Records is due Spring of 2014. - facebook.com/gentlemenhall
About Basic Vacation:
One listen to Basic Vacation’s debut single “I Believe,” with its chanty, sing-along chorus and uplifting lyrics, and this up-and-coming trio’s mission is clear: to make emotionally charged, alternative pop-rock that burrows its way deep into your brain. The song is an anthemic foot-stomper that Neon Gold has called “a straight-ahead summertime smash.” Upon hearing it, Idolator remarked: “This kind of effervescent indie-pop would be a baked shoe-gazer’s delight if the chorus wasn’t so relentlessly upbeat.”
Basic Vacation’s music pulses with the dynamic chemistry between the band’s three members, vocalist-guitarist Chris Greatti, bassist Jon Paul, and drummer Mike Montalbano, who have played in nearly a dozen previous bands between them. Chris (who grew up playing guitar and writing songs in Morrisville, PA) met Wellington, FL, native Jon (who took up bass in eighth grade and joined his school’s jazz band) when the two got hired to perform with a New York solo artist. “After I moved to New York, I pretty much hounded Chris into starting a band,” Jon says. The two began to jam together on their own in early 2012 and by Spring, Chris was taking a bus from Philly to Manhattan twice a week and sleeping on Jon’s floor. “Actually, I slept on his roommate’s dog’s bed on the floor because there was nowhere else for me to crash,” Chris explains. A few months later they asked Saddle Brook, NJ, native Mike (who began playing drums at five after falling in love with Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like A Lady”) to join. “Since I met Chris, I remember thinking, ‘Man, I need to be in a band with this guy,’” Mike recalls. The band members bonded over the classic rock artists they were raised listening to, like Led Zeppelin and Queen, ’80s New Wave acts like Tears For Fears, Soft Cell, and Talk Talk, as well as bands with whom they feel a musical kinship, like The Killers, New Radicals, and Foster the People.
In the early months of Basic Vacation’s existence, “we were poor as hell,” Jon says. “We were scraping by and stealing from convenience stores just so we could eat.” Times may have been lean, but musically everything was clicking. They recorded rough demos of songs they had written, like “I Believe,” which found its way to Grammy Award-winning producer David Kahne (The Strokes, Regina Spektor) through one of their managers. Impressed, Kahne agreed to produce the track on spec, helping to solidify Basic Vacation’s electrifying pop-rock sound, which gets especially raucous during their live performances. (Basic Vacation have shared stages with fellow indie-rockers New Politics and Twenty One Pilots.) “When I exit the stage after a show, I’ll sometimes forget everything that just happened because I go into another world onstage,” says Mike.
“I Believe” is the first shot across the bow for Basic Vacation and is featured on their upcoming self-titled EP, which will be released by Atom Factory Music (an independent label founded by Lady Gaga and John Legend manger Troy Carter) and Capitol Records. In addition to “I Believe,” songs like the chiming, arena-ready “Worlds Collide” and “It’s All Happening” radiate with an optimism that the band members say comes from feeling like underdogs. “Nobody thought this was going to work but us,” Jon says. “Thus ‘It’s All Happening’ was us saying, ‘Yeah, this is working out,’ before it actually happened,” adds Chris with a laugh.
Basic Vacation’s EP was recorded with David Kahne at Avatar Studios in New York City, Grammy-nominated producer Machine at The Machine Shop in Belleville, NJ, and Jon Kaplan at The Lemonade Stand in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and mixed and mastered by Eric Valente. A full-length album will follow in 2014. - facebook.com/basicvacation