With the overwhelming success of their 2012 sophomore full length, Floral Green, Kingston, Pennsylvania’s Title Fight have further solidified themselves as one of the best melodic hardcore bands in the scene. Having toured Australia in 2011, Title Fight will return to our shores in March, joined by Tasmania’s Luca Brasi. Killyourstereo.com caught up with guitarist Shane Moran to discuss the upcoming tour, as well as the band’s plans for the future.
How’s 2013 going for Title Fight so far?
It’s good so far. We’re on tour right now, which has been fun, but we just got a flat tyre, so that’s what we’re dealing with (laughs).
(laughs) Oh okay. So, the response to Floral Green was hugely positive. Were you surprised at all by just how well it was received?
Yeah, I think so, I thought a lot of people were going to be kind of be turned off by it, but I was surprised by the amount of support we saw from it. So yeah, I was surprised for sure.
Since there was such a positive reaction to Floral Green, does that add any pressure for future releases, or maybe alleviate some pressure? Is that something you think about at all?
I’m not sure. I mean, when the time comes to write new music, maybe we’ll wonder how people are going to like it, but we never really try to let that bother us too much because that sort of puts you in the wrong position. You know, if you’re writing music to sort of appease other people, then I think you’re doing it for the wrong reason, so sometimes it’s in our head, but it’s never something that’s bearing down on us. It never affects anything. People will think the song sucks or people will like it, but it’s never anything that has an influence on us.
With Shed being released in 2011 and Floral Green last year, can we expect any new material from you guys this year or are you taking a break from writing?
I hope so. We don’t have anything really mapped out, but we are lucky enough to not have to work jobs when we’re home, so this band is what we do. So, I’d like to think that we’ll be working on new stuff this year, but there’s nothing really planned out. But hopefully. I mean, I like writing music, and doing all the stuff that’s involved with that is fun for me, so yeah, hopefully.
Generally speaking, when you’re writing for a record, do you personally focus more on the guitar parts or are you equally involved with the lyrics and other aspects?
It varies from song to song. Some songs, I’ll write a riff, some songs I’ll write the whole guitar part, and some songs I’ll write the lyrics. And then there’s a lot of songs that I don’t really touch at all, and that kind of goes for everybody in the band. So it’s definitely a group effort, and everybody has their hands on all different kinds of aspects of the songs, so I don’t know. I’m more into writing guitar parts and lyrics, but I don’t know if I do one more than the other, it’s just a natural thing that happens I guess. It’s like whatever a song calls for or whatever, I’ll write lyrics or guitar parts. Nothing really dictates that, it’s pretty up in the air.
You’ve obviously had really good experiences working with Will Yip in the past. Do you think you’ll work with him again?
I hope so. Yeah, I mean, he’s our friend and he understands us and we understand him. There are records that I like and producers that I admire, but no one really impresses me so much that I’d think, "We have to work with them." I think we’ve sort of found our fit with Will; I’m not sure if any other producer would offer that sort of thing. Who knows, but I’m comfortable with Will, and we just like hanging out with him, and it’s close to home, so it would probably take a lot for us to change our minds.
You came up with the concept for the ‘Secret Society’ video. Do you have any ideas for upcoming videos or plans to do another video any time soon?
I always get ideas and just write them down, and some of them I think have the potential to be something cool, but we don’t really have anything planned. I’d like to make more videos, but we’re on tour right now, and it sort of needs to be the right time and place and everybody needs to be motivated enough to do it. When we’re home, if we’re not working on music, we’re all doing our own separate things. But yeah, I hope we do another video for Floral Green. If not, definitely for the next record we’ll continue to do videos, because that’s an avenue I’d like to explore more.
I guess you’re kind of known for using VHS and Super 8 cameras and stuff like that. Do you think you’ll stick with that style of filming?
I don’t know, it was just sort of an intuitive decision, it wasn’t a completely conscious thought. The first time we started off, it was like, "It’s cheap to use a VHS camera, and it looks cool, so why not?" And then it was not something we really thought about; it was just easy for us and convenient and cheap, so we thought let’s just do it. And I also don’t want to get stuck being the band that makes VHS style videos, so I’m interested to see what else we could come up with. There’s lots of different kinds of things we could with videos, so I’d like to think we’re not going to be stuck in that world for too long.
At one point or another you’ve all been involved in other bands and projects. Do you have much time for side projects these days?
Yeah, everybody kind of has their own separate thing outside of Title Fight, and it’s usually with the same people, or a handful of other people in our group of friends. So yeah, I mean, there’s always time to make music, and it’s what we love to do, so if it’s not with Title Fight it’s going to be with someone else. And like I said earlier, Title Fight is our job now, which is a really nice luxury, and it enables us to have a lot of free time at home and on tour to just mess around with music and create new bands and stuff like that. So there’s always new stuff floating around.
So what are you working on at the moment, besides Title Fight stuff?
I just spend a lot of time working on ideas and stuff, but nothing that I feel like putting out to the public. But Jamie has some new bands that I really like a lot, as does Ned. But it’s sort of hard to keep track of what bands people know about yet and what bands people don’t and stuff like that, so I don’t know. I don’t want to speak too much, because I feel like a lot of these things are in their infancy, but in due time I think people are gonna be hearing about a lot of new stuff.
I know you guys are all really supportive of the music scene in your hometown. Who are some of your favourite bands from that area at the moment?
At the moment, The Menzingers are probably one of the best punk bands that I can think of in recent history that have been doing stuff. I think Tigers Jaw’s really good. Cold World is really good. War Hungry, Dead End Path… there’s this singer-songwriter called Strand of Oaks that not a lot of people associate with the punk and hardcore world because he doesn’t really sound like that, but it’s really amazing stuff and he’s from Wilkes-Barre. Pretty much every local band that does stuff, I’m impressed by.
You mentioned Cold World… Ben and Ned have credited their brother Alex as being the one who kind of got them into hardcore. Did you have somebody like that?
Yeah, I mean they kind of played a big role for me as well, because I kind of grew up alongside of them when it comes to music, but I was in a band a few years ago with this kid Adam Rifkin, and I remember him being one of the first people who saw that I had an interest in it and he went out of his way to show me… I remember he burned me a huge pile of CDs and just gave them all to me and was like, "Check these out", and yeah, I think if I didn’t have someone like that to kind of foster me into this world then it probably would have been a lot harder. When you’re an outsider and 14 years old, it’s kind of intimidating with these older guys with a lot of tattoos and all that kind of stuff. So this guy named Adam definitely helped show me all these different bands and took me to shows in the area, and kind of got me an idea of what it was all about and that definitely helped.
So Title Fight are touring Australia again in March, and you’re playing more intimate venues this time. How are you feeling about that?
We’re excited. I mean, the last trip we had was great, and it was definitely very luxurious, but with that sort of came some things we didn’t really see eye to eye with when it came to the shows themselves. So I think this time around we owe it to all the kids to play the Title Fight show that they kind of envisioned, and that we envisioned as well. So that’s exciting, because although we’ve been there once before, it’s a different, new experience, both for the band and for the people coming to see us.
You’ll be in the country for a little bit longer this time. Is there anything you’re hoping to do while you’re here that maybe you didn’t a chance to last time?
Yeah, I think it will be a little bit warmer this time. Last time the weather was nice, but when I think of going to Australia I think of it being really hot and going to beaches, and last time, we jumped in the Indian Ocean and it was really cold. I’m hoping this time it’ll be a little more of a summer vibe, and we kind of get to do more things outdoors and go to beaches, and that kind of stuff; have kind of a generic Australian experience… whatever that is, I don’t know (laughs).
Kangaroos and stuff?
Yeah, we met some kangaroos last time, but I wanna meet some more. We made some friends last time, so it’ll be great to see those guys. We’re playing with a bunch of local bands I know, so it’s always nice to get an idea of what’s going on in Australia. Maybe play some rugby, I don’t know. We’re playing Byron Bay, which we haven’t been to, so I’m excited about that because I hear it’s really nice.
Yeah, it is really nice.
Yeah, so there are a lot of exciting things that we’re sure we missed out on last time that we’ll be able to do this time around… drink some Solo…
So after Australia, you guys are headed back to Europe. What are your plans for the rest of the year? Do you know that far ahead?
Yeah, in the summer I think we might be playing a few festivals here and there, but for the most part we’re home for the summer, which hasn’t happened in years. So I’m really looking forward to that, because every time we’re home, all of our friends who aren’t at school or work usually have time to spend. So we’re just gonna be hanging out at home, hopefully writing some music here and there, and doing cool shit.