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.
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 met Jon when the two were 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. A few months later, Mike joined the band.
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). 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, having opened for bands such as New Politics and Twenty One Pilots.
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 Valentine. A full-length album will follow in 2014.