Based on a True Story (The Starting Line album)
|Based on a True Story|
|Studio album by The Starting Line|
|Released||May 10, 2005|
|Genre||Emo, pop punk|
|The Starting Line chronology|
|Singles from Based on a True Story|
Based on a True Story is the second studio album by American pop punk band The Starting Line. After spending the majority of 2004 writing and demoing songs, recording for Based on a True Story began in July 2004 and wrapped up in September. It was recorded at various studios across the New York and California states, with separate sessions being produced by Tom O'Heir, Howard Benson and Eric Rachel. Prior to the album's release, "Bedroom Talk" was released as a single in April 2005. Based on a True Story was released through Drive-Thru and Geffen on May 10. Peaking at number 18 on the Billboard 200, the album received mixed to positive reviews. Following its release, the band went on the Warped Tour throughout the summer. Sometime after this, Geffen de-prioritized the album, which resulted in the band leaving the label in November.
The Starting Line formed in 1999, signing with independent label Drive-Thru shortly afterwards. Drive-Thru had a distribution deal with major label MCA, which allowed the latter to upstream bands from the former. MCA saw potential in the group. Vocalist Kenny Vasoli explained: "We were cool with that because we saw what they did for New Found Glory and Blink-182 and all that stuff, and we felt maybe they could do that for us." The band's debut album Say It Like You Mean It, released in July 2002, was a joint release between Drive-Thru and MCA. Lead single "The Best of Me" received attention from MTV2 while the group performed on the Warped Tour in the summer. In mid 2003, MCA was absorbed by UMG label Geffen, which resulted in MCA's staff and roster being moved to Geffen. The band spent over half of 2004 writing and demoing material for their second album.
Pre-production began on July 6 and lasted for two weeks, during which time the band worked on 15 songs. Guitarist Matt Watts exclaimed during pre-production: "for the first time it feels like we're making a record" and "not just a bunch of songs that we like all". On August 1, it was announced that the band was one week into recording. On the same day, drummer Tom Gryskiewicz's drum parts were completed. On September 22, it was announced that, following 8 weeks of work, recording was finished. Watts called the process "great and really laid back".
Tom O'Heir produced and engineered "Inspired by the $", "Surprise, Surprise", "Photography", "Autography", "Artistic License", "Stay Where I Can See You", "The B-List", "Ready" and "Cut! Print It". These tracks were recorded at Mission Studios in Brooklyn, New York. Additional engineering was done by Oliver Strauss. Additional recording took place at redruM Studios. David "Garo" Yellin arranged the strings on "Photography", as well as performing cello on the track. David Gold, Amy Kimbal and Taguchi Hiroka performed violin on the track. Benjy King played the Hammond B3 organ on both "Photography" and "Cut! Print It". Max Bemis of Say Anything contributed backing vocals on "Ready".
Howard Benson produced "Bedroom Talk" and "The World", with recording taking place at Bay 7 Studios, Valley Village and Sparky Dark Studio in Calabasas, California. The tracks were recorded by Mike Plotnikoff, with additional engineering by Eric Miller. They were also edited using Pro-Tools by Paul DeCarli. Benson also performed keyboards and programming on the tracks.
Eric Rachel produced and engineered "Making Love to the Camera", with recording taking place at Trax East in New York. Shawn Corrigan served as production assistant. Additional production was done by Vasoli. All of the recordings were mixed by Chris Lord-Alge, with assistance from Dimtar Krnjaic, at Resonate Music in Burbank, California. Greg Calbi mastered the recordings at Sterling Sound in New York City, New York.
Most of the themes on Based on a True Story, according to Vasoli, stem from being "at home waiting to get into the studio and the frustration of having all the songs and not being able to get them out through the recording." Vasoli thought the band had "definitely got more comfortable with each other as far as songwriting goes. We know what are limits are and where we can push ourselves." Vasoli claimed the band "brought out a lot more musicality" with Based on a True Story "as opposed to the four chord formula ... We really tried to expand our horizons and offer more".
"Inspired by the $" came about from Vasoli attempting to write a song their record label would "consider a hit." Fed up, Vasoli wrote "something that would cater to my musical needs more than theirs. That’s where ‘Inspired’ came from." According to Vasoli "Bedroom Talk" was inspired by the concept of "knowing I would lose my virginity to a girl who would love me for longer than that night." With this in mind, he wanted the song's lyrics to "embody both the physical and passionate sides of love while remaining honest." Vasoli viewed "Photography" as a typical love song, in which he "tried to take all the cheese out of and tried to get down to the actual feeling of love". Watts considered the song "our "November Rain"". Similar to "Inspired by the $", "Ready" was "another song where I was really going against the grain of what the label wanted me to do". The label wanted the song to have a verse/chorus formula, to which Vasoli refused.
In April 2005, the group went on tour with Armor for Sleep, Mae, and Suicide Pack. While on this tour the band debuted several new songs: "Surprise, Surprise", "Bedroom Talk", "Ready", "Inspired by the $", and "Photography". Around this time, the band had filmed a music video for "Bedroom Talk". On April 12, "Bedroom Talk" was released as a single. On April 22, three songs were made available for streaming. Based on a True Story was released by Drive-Thru and Geffen on May 10. Between mid June and mid August, the group went on the 2005 edition of Warped Tour. On July 11, the music video for "Bedroom Talk was released, directed by Corey Petrick.
Shortly afterwards, Geffen de-prioritized the record, and as a result, provided very little promotional effort to its single, despite the band's increasing popularity. From late September to late November, the group went on the 2005 edition of the Nintendo Fusion Tour. On November 3, Alternative Press announced that the band had left Geffen and was in discussion with other labels. In January 2006, the band went on a co-headlining UK tour with MxPx, with support from The Matches and I Am the Avalanche. In February and March, the group headlined the Screaming Is for Babies tour, with support from Copeland, Gatsbys American Dream, and Cartel. The album was later released on vinyl in 2013.
Based on a True Story peaked at number 18 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album received mixed to positive reviews from critics. AbsolutePunk founder Jason Tate wrote that the band's sound was "still catchy, the music still bouncy" with "plenty of guaranteed sing along choruses". He considered it an unexpected release: "I figured it would be good, I never expected it to be great. I'm glad I was wrong." He concluded with calling it "uplifting and incredibly fun to listen to." AllMusic reviewer Johnny Loftus drew a comparison between the band's earlier release The Make Yourself at Home EP (2003) and Based on a True Story. He stated the latter incorporated acoustic instrumentation, placing focus on Vasoli's "edge-of-tears" vocals, as well as "favoring busy breaks that distract from actual rocking." With this album, Loftus noted that the band "matured into a more grandiose version" of New Found Glory.
Kaj Roth of Melodic mentioned how the group mixed emo and pop punk with Based on a True Story, comparing it to "having Armor For Sleep and Autopilot Off making a record together." Roth thought the album contained "some truly great stuff,a few ok songs and unfortunately 2-3 fillers", proposing that the band should've made an EP instead of an album. Punknews.org reviewer Meg Reinecker noted how the group used the preceding three years to mature "both vocally and instrumentally."
All songs written by The Starting Line.
|2.||"Making Love to the Camera"||Eric Rachel||3:31|
|3.||"Inspired by the $"||Tom O'Heir||2:57|
|4.||"Bedroom Talk"||Howard Benson||4:04|
|9.||"Stay Where I Can See You"||O'Heir||2:48|
|13.||"Cut! Print It"||O'Heir||3:45|
|Japanese bonus track|
|14.||"Nights and Weekends"||3:15|
Personnel per booklet.
The Starting Line
|US Billboard 200||18|
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