There really is no need for introductions, hailing from Kingston, Pennsylvania, is the promising four piece that is Title Fight. Throughout their entire career up until today, Title Fight have been nothing but successful. With a pack of records under their belt and newly acquired label Side One Dummy, Title Fight are back yet again with the eagerly awaited debut full-length "Shed". Before they hit Australian shores in September, I caught up with bassist/vocalist Ned to discuss the new album and Australia.
For the record could you state your name, role in Title Fight and your most prized vinyl that you own?
My name is Ned, I play bass and sing in Title Fight and my most prized record is Floorpunch – Division One Champs on gold.
Since last time KYS spoke to you, you now have released your long awaited debut LP Shed, toured relentlessly and signed with new label Side One Dummy. Did you ever think when you were jamming your first songs at the age of twelve that the band would achieve such great things as these?
No, not at all we came from humble beginnings and whatever. We just started playing in my basement when we were twelve just to play music and to play shows, that’s still what we’re doing now and we don’t really have a different approach. We’re just four friends that want to play music and we never set out goals such as to be the biggest band in the world, or to sign with a big record label, or to play these big shows but it’s our only opportunity and it’s really cool. We’re really excited that we have this opportunity because people play music for their whole lives and they don’t have the opportunity to go to places that we’ve gone, and see the things that we’ve seen so we are really thankful. We definitely never thought this would happen.
How has the overall response been from the new record so far?
People are into it, I try and stay off a lot of message boards and stuff like that because I feel like a lot of people on there are weird, not people I’d hang out with in real life, but I know that’s where a lot of people post their opinions about music. So I haven’t searched all those for what people are thinking about the record but a lot of people that I know and that have come to our shows have said that they really like the record. People that we don’t even know, people that are reviewing the record and this and that have all been really excited and accepting the record. That’s a really big weight off our shoulders because we took a lot of time to do this and we put a lot of work into it, we’ve kind of been sitting on it for the last five months and we didn’t know what people would think of it. It’s finally out there and we’re finally hearing people’s opinions and people are into it so it’s really cool. We’re glad that people like it because we like it. We spent a lot of time and effort into making this record and I’m happy to see it all pay off.
Earlier this year you announced the signing to Side One Dummy, how did that deal fall into place?
We had been talking labels for a little bit, we had a mutual friend with Side One Dummy and they said you should go check out Side One Dummy, I think you guys would really like it. At the time we were being pretty stubborn and we’re saying no we don’t want any labels, we kind of know what we want to do. We met with Side One Dummy in their office in L.A and we just clicked, we met with them, we met with everybody in the entire office, everybody that works there. They basically asked us what we want to do as a band, where we wanted to go and they told us what they could do for bands and what there game plan is for bands, records and all the stuff that goes along with it. Our plans met up and we stayed in touch with them then basically it just felt right we went with our gut and signed with them. It took a little while to get things sorted out which sucks and is a stressful experience but we wouldn’t rather anyone but Side One Dummy, they’re great to us and we love being part of the Side One Dummy family.
Would you say your genre and overall style has changed subtlety since your previous releases?
Yeah I guess so, I’d agree with that. The thing is we don’t make a conscious effort to do something that’s completely different or to do something different that we’ve ever done before. We just kind of write songs and we knew we were doing something we hadn’t done before, but we weren’t doing it to just say we did it. We were doing it because we were writing these songs and the sound that were coming out. I mean that’s happened on every release that we’ve done, we weren’t doing it just to do it ,we were doing it because that’s how we followed the path.
Obviously working with producer Walter Schriefels would be a hell of an experience, who had the idea to work with him in the first place?
Well we had been working on the record for a really long time, we had been writing ever since the last record that we finished and that was in December of 2008. We took a little bit of time off from writing and started touring pretty heavily, once we got that down and got everything together we got into a groove of writing and it was all really cool. We all got that finished up then met up with Walter Schrifels who ended up producing the record and that was a really cool and unique insight on the record. We also worked with an engineer by the name of Will Yip and he had a lot of cool input too, he was a friend of ours that really helped us out. So it was a really long process but I’m really happy with how it came out.
Recently you released your first ever official music video for “27”, who was this directed by and where was it shot?
The video was actually directed by my girlfriend, her name is Hannah Roman. She goes to school for film and we kind of had this idea to do a music video on our own. We wanted to do it with a real low-key idea and we decided to do the song “27." It was Shanes idea to do all of this superstitious stuff which hides behind the lyrics a little bit. We literally just filmed it in the living room of my house, we cleared out all the couches, chairs and my parents nice furniture and set up our equipment and filmed it in two hours. It was filmed with a VHS camera we got off eBay for thirty bucks or something, so we did that pretty quick and it really fit the aesthetic of our band and the song really well.
So you took two tracks from “Shed”, “Flood Of 72” and title track “Shed” and branded them into acoustic tracks, what made you decide to release these songs acoustically?
We actually were sitting on what tracks we were going to release for a long time because we felt the way that we’re going to set the tones for the whole record is what songs we release. So we had been talking as a band for a little bit and the songs that we came out with were those songs because we felt like it showed progression in our song writing and in the band, but at the same time still showed we were the same band. I think there was a lot of stuff from the new record that I think is a progression from our old songs, it’s a little bit new and different and the way some kids are as they see this and they say “Title Fight have a new song and it’s a little bit weird and they signed to Side One Dummy and they’re sellouts and I hate them, and I don’t wanna listen to them anymore”. I think that attitude sucks but there’s nothing I can do to change peoples opinion so we wanted to do something to show that we signed to a different label and we have a new record coming out but we’re still the same band.
I noticed the “Shed” artwork looked very familiar to "The Last Thing You Forget" cover. Was this created by the same artist?
Yeah it was, the guy that did both records by the name of John Slaby is a friend of ours from our hometown. He had done art for a while, he is actually a bit older than us he’s my brother’s age but we always knew who he was and we always liked his art. We hit him up for ‘The Last Thing You Forget’ seven inch and we just asked him if he was interested in helping us out and he was really excited about it. Then when the time came around to do the new record we were thinking of artwork ideas and we thought it would be cool to do something along the lines of ‘The Last Thing You Forget’. A big outdoor scene and something like that because that’s what a lot of Johns artwork looks like. The artwork on the new record is really cool to us because the building in the painting is in Wilkes Barre and it used to house a venue called Homebase that was a local spot for kids in the early 2000’s and to us that was really cool.
Finally, you are hitting Australian shores this September with Touche Amore, are you excited to get over here and play to a bunch of new faces?
Yeah, we’ve been touring so much over the past year or two and we’re really happy that we could do this but at the same time we go all around the country a couple of times a year and you kind of know what you’re expecting, you know what places you’re going, you know who’s going to be there. Then when you go to a place like Australia we’ve never been there before and we don’t know what to expect it’s a completely new experience and it’s exciting, it makes touring that much more fun the fact that we can go to these new places and not only that we get to go to a new place and play to new people. We get to go to Australia, which is so cool, and it’s completely different than North East Pennsylvania and it’s just something that we’re really excited about.
So far, what do you rate as the top 5 releases this year?
There’s honestly so many records out this year that I’ve been really into I’m just going to name off a couple, I don’t know if I can put them in order. The new Rival Schools album is really great, there’s this new band from Canada called Omegas and they put out a record called “Blasts Of Lunacy” and that record is really cool. Cold World did a split with Sean Price and that’s also really cool, they’re from our hometown and they are a real good band. Our friends in Dead End Path have a new record and it’s not officially out yet but it’s going to be out before our tour and that starts in two days which will be out really soon. Also our friends in United Youth have a new record out and they did great job with that, they’re a bunch of little kids playing hardcore music.
Thanks for doing the interview, any last words or shout outs?
Thanks to everybody who has been supportive of us over our entire career as a band and to everybody in Australia we’re coming soon and it’s going to be fun and we’re very excited. Thanks a lot for doing the interview.