Interview: Title Fight

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Title Fight is a band from Kingston, Pennsylvania. They formed in 2003 and since have put out ten EPs and two full length albums- Shed in 2011 and Floral Green in 2012. The band was originally a trio compiled of James Rhoden (guitar, vocals), Ned Russin (bass, vocals) and Ben Russin (drums). They added Shane Moran to second guitar in 2005. Recently, Title Fight just finished a North American tour and put out the EP Spring Songs. We had the chance to talk to Ned and you can read all about the tour, EP and plans for the future below or on our issue #15.

How does it feel to be back in Canada?
It’s great! We’ve always been excited to come to Canada – Toronto especially. It’s always been really great to us; the shows have been really fun and we’ve made a lot of good friends up here. So, it’s always a pleasure to come back.

Will you guys be coming back any time soon after this tour?
We don’t have any plans yet. Maybe, but probably not. We’re trying to take it easy after this.

The band has gained a lot of popularity after the release of Floral Green. How has it been ever since then?
It’s been really cool! It’s very flattering, to say the least. We put a lot of hard work into the record and we’ve been playing a lot of shows since then. To see our hard work pay off is really flattering and humbling at the same time. So, it’s really cool! We get to play to a lot of people and we get to do what we like to do and we get to meet new people along the way. Like anything, there’s some stuff that gets annoying at times, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s just a lot of fun!

How was the recording process of Floral Green?
We recorded for about a month last summer. We recorded the same place where we were recording our stuff for a while now, called Studio 4 in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, which is about a hundred miles south of where we were from in Kingston, Pennsylvania. We went it and had a lot of time – that was actually the longest time we’ve ever had for any recording process. So, we really used the time the way we wanted to: we really dissected every part and we tried to look for a lot of different things sonically with different amps, different guitars, different pedals, cymbals, etc. Whatever we could try, we tried. We spent a lot of time really getting every detail that we wanted to be at and then we spent a couple weeks recording. It was an easygoing process. It was fun even though it was definitely stressful at times. Like anything, when you have a strict deadline, sometimes it wears on you, but all that energy going into it made the record what it is. It was a lot of fun!

When will your next EP be released?
The record is going to be released on November 12th.

What is the meaning behind Spring Songs?
The name is a reference to a poem by William Carlos Williams who is an early 20th century American author. We were looking for a title and it fit on a lot of different levels. I don’t know, it just really worked on a lot of levels thematically. Everything came together and everything made sense and it just stuck.

How many songs will be on the EP?
Just four songs.

You guys are friends with Tigers Jaw. Do you have anything to say about their hiatus?
I really don’t have anything to say about their hiatus, but I really don’t know too much about it. They’re still playing shows, so it seems like not much know about it.

You guys toured with them for the Floral Green tour, right?
They played a couple shows. At the time, most of them were busy with school. So, they were only able to do a couple shows. But the first tour we ever really did was with Tigers Jaw.

So it’s cool to tour with people you know?
On this tour, we’ve known Cruel Hand and Balance and Composure for probably close to ten years. We’ve toured with Balance before, actually, but never really on our own. So, this is a really cool tour for us.

If you could write a song with someone, who would it be?
I don’t know, that’s a hard question! Anyone who are our friends. It doesn’t really matter; just to be able to write and record music with your friends is really cool. Even the Balance guys, we’ve known each other for such a long time and we’ve always talked about doing something together. I don’t really have any aspirations to start this famous thing to meet famous people. So, just the people we really know, they’re the people we look up to the most.

Are you planning to do another split for next year?
I don’t know. We haven’t really talked about it. But maybe! I really enjoy doing special stuff for records, so I think that’s always fun and exciting. Maybe we’ll get something together. But if not, we’ll celebrate the day otherwise.

Where do you see yourself/the band in two years?
I don’t know. We’re just playing shows and writing music. So, wherever that takes us, it’ll take us. Maybe we’ll be at home or on the road, I don’t know.

What’s the difference between playing a hometown show and playing different places?
Playing at home is a lot less stressful. Sometimes, it’s more stressful because all of your friends are calling you and saying: “Hey can you get me whatever,” and that gets annoying when you’re trying to run a show. For the most part, when you’re on tour, it’s like a job: you wake up, you drive, you get to the show and you have your duties there. When you’re at home, it’s a fun thing for the day. I’m not saying that it’s not a fun thing for the day when you’re on tour, but there’s a lot more obligations when you’re on the road.

What do you have planned for after this tour and the EP?
We have a couple shows near the end of the year. We’re planning some stuff for next year and we’re just going to do the same stuff we do every year, which is write and record and hopefully play some shows.

What are your top 3 favourite albums of this year?
That’s a hard question since I like a lot of records that came out. In no particular order: Demolition from Canada put out a record called World Gone Mad that I really like; Balance and Composure put out The Things We Think We’re Missing; Merchandise put out Cruise Your Illusion which I really like. Right now, they’re all my top 3: they’re all different and they’re all cool. They’re just a tip of the iceberg of good records that came out this year.

Interview by Pauline Nguyen
Words by Nathan Cornell
Photo by Winnie Surya

 

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