Updated: 02/19/03

A lot has happened to The Starting Line in 2002. Their debut full length album Say It Like You Mean It was released by Drive Thru and they went on the Warped Tour all summer long. Based out of Philly, the band has made new fans all over the country and will be visiting everyone again when the Warped Tour makes its way across the nation this summer. Our interview is with Mike and Matt from the band as we attempt to catch up on whatís new with The Starting Line.

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Starting Line, and what your favorite Britney Spears song is.

Mike: I donít even know. The one where sheís getting all nasty in the video. Hey Iím Mike from The Starting Line and I play guitar and backing vocals and I like the Slave one.

Matt: Iím Matt Watts and I also play guitar in The Starting Line. And Iíll have to go ahead with Mike on this one Ė itís definitely the Slave one. She looks amazing.

So you guys have been touring a lot now. At this point, what has been the best and worst part about being on the road?

Mike: The best part about touring is just playing show after show Ė thatís why we all do it. But like the worst part is when you donít get enough sleep and you get sick. Thatís like the only downer.

Matt: Going on tour so much, our immune systems are horrible and we get sick pretty often but we try to not let anyone know about it. We try to make the best of it. But touring, itís fun seeing kids singing along Ė itís unreal.

What kind of reaction did you get with that first EP?

Matt: Overwhelming.

Mike: A lot more than I could ever expect, because weíve never put out a CD before this and it was just crazy to come here and have kids screaming along with us. I think itís amazing.

Where did you come up with the title for the new CD Say It Like You Mean It?

Mike: Thatís a line from one of our songs. Itís from a song called Obviously Going Nowhere. Ken actually came up with that, and we thought it would be an appropriate title for the record. We all pretty much just fell in love with the title Ė it definitely felt right.

Do you have any horror stories yet of performing live?

Mike: I fell off the stage at the last show we did. That was pretty awful. Cuz all the lights went out and like thereís no barricade or anything and the stage just kind of ended. And I jumped and I didnít land on the stage. I fell on the ground and it was horrible.

Matt: You know how they have monitors on the front of the stage? Well I tried running up one once. And the first couple times I ran up it was fine. I was standing up on top of it and playing my guitar and it was angled like at a 45-degree angle in the front. But by the end of the night it was hot in there so it was all sweaty and wet. I didnít realize it, so I ran up and soon as I hit a chord I totally fell down flat on my face. It was the most awful thing in the world.

Is there anybody in The Starting Line who hasnít fallen over yet?

Matt: Nah, I think we all have.

Mike: Tom hasnít, but he just stays behind the drums.

Matt: But weíll run into him one of these daysÖ

What are some of the new songs on Say It Like You Mean It that youíre excited about?

Mike: Thereís one song called Given The Chance Ė itís basically about touring and how excited we are that all the kids actually took to us.

Matt: Itís basically an anthem to our fans.

Mike: And itís fun to play. Itís my favorite one to play.

So what is a live show like for the two people in LA who havenít seen you play yet?

Matt: Very energetic.

Mike: We try to put as much energy into it as we can without killing ourselves.

Matt: We pretty much grew up as fans going to shows everyday. We kind of know what we like to see, and we try to put that into the shows.

Mike: My favorites bands are the most animated ones. So if I would like to see that, Iím sure that everybody else would, so I try to do that.

So no cover songs on the new CD?

Matt: No covers. Weíve done two so far in our career. People seem to like them, but weíd rather play our own songs.

What made you guys decide on Iím Real, the JíLo cover for Punk Goes Pop?

Matt: That was actually Kenís idea. We got asked to do the comp for Fearless Records and we had to come up with a song to do. And as time was winding down, we had like a week to pick a song Ė and he brought up that song. And we're though, no that one sucks. Because the original version of that song is absolutely horrible.

Mike: But he made it work really good. I was surprised.

Matt: He demo-ed it with a drum machine and an acoustic guitar. He brought it over to my house and we were all just like floored. And we like wow; weíre definitely doing that. We pretty much learned the song in the studio and recorded it the same day.

If you guys were asked to do a heavy metal compilation, would you do it?

Matt: Yeah, weíd probably do it. Iíd like to do some 80ís metal, like Skid RowÖ

Mike: Öor Winger. (Much laughter) I love hair metal like Winger or Poison or Warrant.

What about Slayer?

Matt: I donít know. I donít want to get my ass kicked by Slayer. Mike: Yeah thatís too metal. And I donít think it would go over too well.

With you guys touring for a while now, do you ever get nervous when your playing in front of a lot of people?

Matt: No, not at all. I love playing in front of a lot of people. I think I get more nervous playing in front of less people.

Mike: I get really anxious, but itís like a good anxious. It makes your adrenaline pump.

Do you guys have any messages for Starting Line fans or people who might be interested in checking the band out?

Matt: Our new record Say It Like You Mean It should be available everywhere so check it out. If you want to check out our site, itís And thank you for reading this and listening to us and giving us a chance.


THE STARTING LINE: Their Official Home Page!
THE HIGHWIRE DAZE HOME PAGE: Return to the Main Page!
DRIVE-THRU RECORDS: The Record Label for The Starting Line!

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